Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Changing the taste of your product might be a bad idea

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The Coca-cola company is a multinational company that was set up John Stith Pemberton (a pharmacist) in 1886. Their first product which is commonly known as Coke  has had a great global presence since 1886 till date. If coke were to disappear from the market it will definately affect most people. 

In 1985, after 99 years of continuous success, the managers at Coca-cola decided to change the taste of coke. Changing the taste of a product that had worked for almost a decade amuses me. Yes, it was known that they were losing shares to Pepsi, changing their product totally was a no no. A similar product could have been introduced, like today we have Coca-cola vanilla flavour, prices of their product could have been adjusted, promotions could have been carried out, the container of the product could have been made more attractive but no they went for the taste.

They carried out their research, got a focus group to find out if the new taste was better than the former, they got a postive result and introduced the new product. This did not go down well with customers, they got a hostile reaction, some customers rioted, some carried placards and protested at their headoffice, some got bottles of coke and started pouring them away. This is to tell you how people get attached to a product.

That same year, Coca-cola re-introduced its old product and their sales skyrocketed. The thought of losing the product and finally getting it back must have created a need for customers to buy more of the product. Some speculated it was a strategy to increase sales, it was no strategy, I watched the documentary and key management staff were interviewed. They made a mistake. Thus changing your product totally is no no but introducing similar products while you still keep the existing one is a yes yes.  By the way if you must take Coke take it once in a week. Keep checking my blog regularly. Cheers!

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