New Coke : Failed Project Or Marketing Ploy?

2243 Words Apr 6th, 2015 9 Pages
New Coke: Failed Project or Marketing Ploy?
In April 1985, Coca-Cola announced that it would be completely replacing its old recipe of Coke with “New” Coke. After several weeks customers started to protect this decision demanding that they go back to the original recipe. After three months, the Coca-Cola Company decided to reverse its original decision and kept the old Coke in production along with New Coke. Despite being reintroduced as Coke II, the new soda never caught on and was eventually discontinued entirely in 2002. Being called the most epic new product fail in marketing, the question remains: how could Coca-Cola Company make such a bad decision?
Discussion for replacing the recipe started back in the mid-1970s. At that time, researchers were discovering that a majority of consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi versus Coke in blind taste tests. This was communicated through different advertisements which resulted in Pepsi taking some of Coca-Cola 's market share. By 1977, Pepsi had obtained a leading market share in grocery sales. Concerned by the loss in market share, the management of Coca-Cola started looking into the possibility of reformulating Coca-Cola. In 1984, researchers had developed a new formula for Coke. Using blind taste test, it was shown that customers preferred the new formula not only beat the old Coke formula by 10 percentage points, but was preferred over Pepsi by 6-8 percentage points. The new formula was aimed at largest market of…

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