A creepy comparison

Discuss anything here. But do not forget that our rules still apply !

A creepy comparison

by blackadder22 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:20 pm

This is something I brought up on the Classic Server Update thread. It was about the New Coke debacle in the 80s and how it is very similar, if not the exact same as the situation with Legacy servers. It's a huge wall of text, but it's worth a read.

Just after World War II, the market share for The Coca-Cola Company's flagship beverage was 60%. By 1983, it had declined to under 24%, largely because of competition from Pepsi-Cola.

the overall market for colas steadily declined in the early 1980s, as consumers increasingly purchased diet and non-cola soft drinks, many of which were sold by Coca-Cola themselves. This trend further eroded Coca-Cola's market share. When Roberto Goizueta took over as CEO in 1980, he pointedly told employees there would be no "sacred cows" in how the company did its business, including how it formulated its drinks.

The company's marketing department again went out into the field, this time armed with samples of the possible new drink for taste tests, surveys, and focus groups.

The results of the taste tests were strong – the sweeter cola overwhelmingly beat both regular Coke and Pepsi. Then tasters were asked if they would buy and drink it if it were Coca-Cola. Most said yes, they would, although it would take some getting used to. A small minority, about 10–12%, felt angry and alienated at the very thought, saying that they might stop drinking Coke altogether.

Management also considered, but quickly rejected, an idea to simply make and sell the new flavor as yet another Coke variety.

(This is where Coke 2 replaces Coke altogether)

Most Coke drinkers resumed buying the new drink at much the same level as they had the old one. Surveys indicated, in fact, that a majority liked the new flavoring.Three-quarters of the respondents said they would buy New Coke again. The big test, however, remained in the Southeast, where Coke was first bottled and tasted.

BACKLASH INCOMING

Despite New Coke's acceptance with a large number of Coca-Cola drinkers, many more resented the change in formula and were not shy about making that known — just as had happened in the focus groups.

Company headquarters in Atlanta began receiving letters and telephone calls expressing anger or deep disappointment. Over 40,000 calls and letters were received by the company, including one letter, delivered to Goizueta, that was addressed to "Chief Dodo, The Coca-Cola Company". Another letter asked for his autograph, as the signature of "one of the dumbest executives in American business history" would likely become valuable in the future. The company hotline, 1-800-GET-COKE, received over 1,500 calls a day compared to around 400 before the change. A psychiatrist whom Coke had hired to listen in on calls told executives that some people sounded as if they were discussing the death of a family member.

Gay Mullins, a Seattle retiree looking to start a public relations firm with $120,000 of borrowed money, formed the organization Old Cola Drinkers of America on May 28 to lobby Coca-Cola to either reintroduce the old formula or sell it to someone else. His organization eventually received over 60,000 phone calls. He also filed a class action lawsuit against the company (which was quickly dismissed by a judge who said he preferred the taste of Pepsi), while nevertheless expressing interest in landing The Coca-Cola Company as a client of his new firm should it reintroduce the old formula.
(Sound familiar? *cough* NOST *cough* )

Some Coca-Cola executives had quietly been arguing for a reintroduction of the old formula as early as May. By June, when soft drink sales usually start to rise, the numbers showed the new formula was leveling among consumers. Executives feared social peer pressure was now affecting their bottom line. Some consumers began trying to obtain "old" Coke from overseas, where the new formula had not yet been introduced, as domestic stocks of the old drink were exhausted.

Coca-Cola executives announced the return of the original formula during the afternoon of July 11, less than three months after New Coke's introduction. ABC News' Peter Jennings interrupted General Hospital to share the news with viewers. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, David Pryor called the reintroduction "a meaningful moment in U.S. history". The company hotline received 31,600 calls in the two days after the announcement.

By the end of the year, Coca-Cola Classic was substantially outselling both New Coke and Pepsi. Six months after the rollout, Coke's sales had increased at more than twice the rate of Pepsi's. (Later studies suggested, and I say SUGGESTED, not proved, that cherry coke helped alot or was the game changer)

Coke spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out where it had made a mistake, ultimately concluding that it had underestimated the public reaction of the portion of the customer base that would be alienated by the switch. This would not emerge for several years afterward, however, and in the meantime the public simply concluded that the company had, as Keough suggested, failed to consider the public's attachment to the idea of what Coke's old formula represented.

In the late 1990s, Zyman summed up the New Coke experience thus:

Yes, it infuriated the public, cost us a ton of money and lasted for only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic. Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke.

In the short run, the reintroduction of old Coke saved Coke's sales numbers and brought it back in the good graces of many customers and bottlers. Phone calls and letters to the company were as joyful and thankful as they had been angry and depressed
blackadder22
Tester
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by gangstabitch » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:33 am

pls kill me I just read all of this

edit: good post OP
(ancient black lotus cry)
User avatar
gangstabitch
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by ElSlayer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:11 am

Wait, I didn't get it. So, the old formula was with VANILLA flavour, right? Riiight?
Mishelle - lvl 49 Human Warrior
User avatar
ElSlayer
Grunt
Grunt
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by Cardinalsin » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:58 am

1 There is no such thing as bad publicity
2 You still have to have a physical product to sell
3 Far more relevant comparison would be the craft beer industry as a comparative to vanilla servers
AKA Outstanding Opinions, threads and posts are my own
User avatar
Cardinalsin
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by pantsman27 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:38 pm

Off-topic
Last edited by Pottu on Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Insults
pantsman27
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by gangstabitch » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:21 pm

(ancient black lotus cry)
User avatar
gangstabitch
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by Blib » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:20 am

It is indeed creepy how you find these two things even remotely compareable.
Vanilla was 11 years ago, not 77 days. A large chunk of the current retail players never even "tasted" classic wow, so there is no product they can reattach to, which was kinda the main factor along with the massive media coverage the scenario probably got.
Blib
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by pantsman27 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:28 pm

Off-topic
Last edited by Pottu on Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spam, insults
pantsman27
Senior Sergeant
Senior Sergeant
 

Re: A creepy comparison

by Ayumi » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:21 am

I read all of this but those two aren't that easy to compare. Especially the timespan between the change of formula and Vanilla to Legion.
User avatar
Ayumi
Sergeant
Sergeant
 


Return to Off topic