23 April 1985

Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than three months.

New Coke was a reformulated version of Coca-Cola that was released in 1985. The launch of New Coke was met with intense backlash from consumers, leading to one of the biggest marketing failures in history. There were several factors that contributed to the failure of New Coke.

Firstly, Coca-Cola was a well-established brand with a loyal following. The company had been producing the same formula for over 100 years, and consumers had grown to love the taste of Coca-Cola. When the company announced that it was changing the formula, consumers felt betrayed and were not willing to accept the change.

Secondly, the company failed to do proper market research before launching New Coke. Coca-Cola conducted taste tests that showed that consumers preferred the taste of New Coke over the original formula. However, the company did not take into account the emotional attachment that consumers had to the original formula. When consumers were told that the original formula was being replaced, they felt like they were losing a part of their identity and rebelled against the change.

Thirdly, the company’s marketing campaign for New Coke was poorly executed. The company marketed the new formula as “better than ever” and “the best Coke ever,” which made consumers feel like they had been lied to for years about the quality of the original formula. The company also failed to communicate the reasons behind the change, leading to confusion and mistrust among consumers.

Finally, the backlash against New Coke was fueled by a grassroots movement led by fans of the original formula. The company underestimated the power of this movement and was not prepared for the level of backlash it would face.