Mistake # 57: Don’t pull a Coke Classic mistake!

This dates me to talk about this, but I remember 24 years ago when Coke came out with a new Coke. This introduction to the new Coke was one of the most outrageous marketing mistakes in business history. In 1985, Coca-Cola made a different, and sweeter, formula, replacing the original Coke. They spent years researching and conducting taste tests with Coke drinkers who said, yes, they liked the new Coke. But, what Coca-Cola failed to determine was, how would Coke-lovers feel if it were replaced with the original Coke. Coke put the “New” Coke on the store shelves, yanking the original “Classic” Coke.


There were thousands of calls daily into Coca-Cola headquarters, people running out and hoarding stashes of the original version, and thousands of others boycotting the company altogether. Many thought the entire marketing ploy was staged, due to the extensive press coverage, as well as the surge of buying Coke Classic.


Now that there is no “new” Coke, and that a generation now knows that the Coke you buy is truly the original Classic Coke, Coca-Cola is taking Classic off the product label.


I don’t think any one marketer could have planned and pulled off such a highly-rated marketing plan. It truly was a classic mistake! 



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