Let’s assume that among the marketing strategy solutions for Coca-Cola in 1985 was the strong consideration of introducing a new cola product (in some form) in the marketplace. As we know, Coca-Cola did in fact reformulate their flagship Coke product and relaunch it in 1985 – but was that the right decision? Now it’s your turn to determine what would be the best product mix for the Coke brand, given the competitive marketing environment in the soft drink market of 1985.
Recap: Why Coca-Cola Introduced New Coke in 1985
The New Coke Strategy
Coca-Cola’s management believed that the introduction of New Coke would completely destroy Pepsi’s competitive strategy. In fact, Pepsi’s own management initially believed that this was a masterstroke by Coke.
Firstly, the New Coke product was to be positioned as new, exciting, modern and young; directly confronting the “Pepsi Generation” campaign and stealing Pepsi’s market positioning.
Secondly, the New Coke product tasted better which would stop the Pepsi Challenge taste-test advertising. In fact, Coke had plans to run their own taste-tests and run their own TV commercials in order to win back lost customers.
Therefore, you can see why Coke’s management was so confident, as they believed that they had boxed Pepsi into a corner and destroyed their competitive strategy, as highlighted in the following perceptual map.
Alternative Product Options to Consider
You need to consider whether if and how Coca-Cola should launch a new product or whether there are better non-product solutions to their competitive battle with Pepsi.
Here are the different approaches to a new product to consider.
A. Develop a NEW product
B. Do NOT develop a new product
C. Do nothing different
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