Switch it up or Leave it Alone?

Coca Cola is making some pretty big changes to its brand this year, including the redesign of their traditional Diet Coke packaging and the introduction of an array of new ‘weird and wonderful’ flavours to partner this:

  • Ginger Lime
  • Fiesty Cherry
  • Zesty Blood Orange
  • Twisted Mango

One I thing we can all agree on is that the new flavours are certainly daring, and are a whole world away from the traditional flavours of Coca Cola.

The question is however – being a well established global leader, is there really any need in a switch up, or is it best to just leave your brand alone? Coca Cola would do no harm to allow their products to continue as standard and be as popular as ever. To switch up your brand that’s universally recognised and appreciated is a bold move and certainly a risk, but is it worth while?

Diet Coke v.2 was put to the test…

And in the credited words of the Business Insider, the flavours were nothing more than “gimmicky stunts failing to live up to the original’s excellence.” Although not trying them, I certainly don’t doubt that they’ve hit the mark.

This is undoubtably a well thought through campaign from Coca Cola, but is it really necessary, and have they thought it through enough to know how their consumers will react. It’s common knowledge that people aren’t so acclimatised to change, especially in their favourite products and I’d certainly predict many not being happy with the brand’s new changes as a result. What more, this isn’t a new stunt from Coca Cola. Although a few years ago now, I do wonder if the brand took in to consideration their failed implementation of ‘New Coke’ – the organisation’s slapdash attempt to mimick Pepsi following its growing popularity in the 80’s.

The product was fast named Coca Cola’s biggest mistake and was pulled from sales in no time at all. The process of taking a somewhat low performing product and trying to creatively reinvent it evidently did not end well last time for the brand, so who’s to say this time will fair any better?

Though Diet Coke is acknowledged to be the brand’s worst performer, in my humble PR opinion, I’d say leave it alone nevertheless. It has been academically proven that humans, in general, are not accustomed to change and would rather stick to the status quo, and whilst this doesn’t speak for everybody, I don’t doubt it speaks for a fair few of Coca Cola’s loyal consumers. Change what they love and backlash is almost certain to follow.

There’s no 100% telling of what is to happen until the products hit the shelves, though. So let’s just wait and see how this pans out.

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