Although it was a long time ago, Coca-Cola’s ‘New Coke’ fail is still one of the most talked about mistakes in the marketing industry.
It was leaked in 1985 that Coca-Cola was working on a new variation of the well- loved product in order to maintain prime position over close rival ‘Pepsi’. There was uproar! People were stockpiling the old stuff in fear that the new drink just wouldn’t compare. When ‘New Coke’ launched in April 1985 it crashed and burned. Protest groups formed and were demanding that the old product was brought back to American supermarket shelves. It became clear that Coca-Cola just hadn’t done their research and they forgot to ask the soft drink lovers what exactly it was that they wanted.
After holding the same recipe for 99 years Coca-Cola believed it was time to re-energise their brand. After less than 3 months in stores, Coca-Cola listened to the people and pulled ‘New coke’ off the shelves and replaced it with the original product. In an interview, company President Donald R. Keough said “we did not understand the deep emotions of so many of our customers for Coca-Cola”. The phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” springs to mind!