- THE KEVIN JACKSON NETWORK - Lawrence Johnson - APRIL 13, 2023 -
“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” - Warren Buffett
Get Woke, Go Broke!
That inspiring quote is from American business magnate, investor and philanthropist, Warren Buffett. At a net worth of more than $100 billion, he is arguably the most successful investor of all time. These iconic words from him remind us of one of life’s most ignored yet valuable principles, pay attention. If you see someone hit their head- DUCK.
Over time we’ve all seen some interesting ad campaigns. Then of course, there were those that were not only bad, they were cringeworthy. Even among disasters such as Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial and McDonalds “I’d Hit It” to Burger King’s “Women belong in the kitchen” and PureGym’s “12 Years a Slave Workout,” there were still those that were worse.
Those marketing ploys cost their companies not only their fan base, but their bottom lines.
For nearly 80 years, soft drink giant Coca-Cola was the most powerful beverage force in the industry since its inception in 1886. WIth the exception of the newly formed Pepsi-Cola in 1898, Coca-Cola literally had no competition.
However, in the mid 1980’s, that had all but changed. By 1985, they had continued to lose significant market shares to diet and non-drink alternatives. To make matters worse, blind taste tests proved that consumers preferred Pepsi by large margins. In response to those results, Coca-Cola made a bold move-‘New Coke’ was introduced. The backlash was ‘bold’, to say the least.
As History.com remembers it:
“New Coke left a bitter taste in the mouths of the company’s loyal customers. Within weeks of the announcement, the company was fielding 5,000 angry phone calls a day. By June, that number grew to 8,000 calls a day, a volume that forced the company to hire extra operators.
“I don’t think I’d be more upset if you were to burn the flag in our front yard,” one disgruntled drinker wrote to company headquarters. At protests staged by grassroots groups such as “Old Cola Drinkers of America,” consumers poured the contents of New Coke bottles into sewer drains.
One Seattle consumer even filed suit against the company to force it to provide the old drink. The outrage caught Coca-Cola executives by surprise. They had hardly made a rash decision unsupported by data. After all, they had performed 190,000 blind taste tests on U.S. and Canadian consumers.
The problem, though, is that the company had underestimated loyal drinkers’ emotional attachments to the brand. Never did its market research testers ask subjects how they would feel if the new formula replaced the old one.” After only 3 months and a reported loss of $30 million, “New Coke” was replaced by “Coke Classic”; the name that remains to this day.