I’m a big Coke fan. I don’t drink it all that much, though I had a couple of swigs of my wife’s Diet Coke last night, but I certainly follow it as a marketer. Coke is an amazing brand. Having worked at McCann-Erickson the ad agency that did Coke’s best work, I saw first hand the brand at work and the hold it had on its drinkers.
But Coke marketing has become watered down. Not the formula, God forbid, but the marketing. Coke has too many brand extensions, too many internal competing products (waters, juices, energy drinks) and an overall loss of brand commitment. But Coke is still Coke and after consumers have tried all that other stuff, they still come back. So why does Coke continue to compete with itself. It’s silly. It used to be the world’s most recognized brand. Now it lies fallow.
Were I the head of Coke I’d get rid of all the waters, juices and energy drinks. I’d get McCann back and rekindle the “thirst” of Americans and those in need of refreshment the world over. I’d take the money from all the sold off non-Coke properties and put it with the legions of displaced marketing executives on something new. How about a healthy fast food restaurant chain? Or a new sport? (That’s right, a new sport.)