1985 New Coke Fiasco
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Coca-Cola, an established brand internationally, does a marketing flop. How does a multi-billion-dollar corporation fail in the launch of a new product? What led to what some experts call the “Coke Fiasco” in 1985?
In 1985 Coca-Cola decided to introduce to the market a “variation” of the original formula. They called the product, New Coke, with the intent that it too would take the market by storm like its predecessor had. However, according to various articles, it soon became clear that customer were in an uproar about the change to the American classic drink. Michael Ross from MSNBC.com quotes, “[S]ome likened the change in Coke to trampling the American flag.” www.buildingbrands.com wrote in an article, “The launch created a public outcry, with Coke receiving 40,000 letters of complaint and over 6,000 calls a day to the companys 0800 phone number.”
Customers from all over were buying supplies of the original Coke in bulk. Ross says that, opportunist ingeniously took advantage of the situation and sold cases of original Coke for as much as $30 per case as reported by Newsweek. It took less than 3 months for Coca-Cola to yank the product off the shelves after realizing that it was not going to succeed.
The different articles summarize that, “Coca-Cola had done at least two years of market research, at an expense rounding $4 Million dollars, and about 200,000 taste tests where New Coke outperformed Pepsi.” So, what led to this failure in a company that makes it a priority to understand who their consumers are and what they look for in their product? Did they fail to do enough research, or did they fail to interpret the research correctly?
The marketing research involved in decision-making is much more than answering survey questions or taking polls from consumers. It is essentially the process of collecting data, analyzing it, interpreting the results, and finally reporting those findings in a manner that can be interpreted by the marketing manager and applied as a tool. The purpose of the marketing research process is to identify the problem a company has in reaching a particular goal and then to utilize the acquired research to test out possible solutions.
There are many forms of doing the marketing research process available to the researchers which include, but are not limited to: situation analysis, collection of primary data, focus groups, or consumer panels, etc. Once the research yields a result the researcher can present the marketing manager with that information, and an informed marketing decision can be made.
In todays world it has become easier