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Sergio Zyman is a world renowned marketer, although, he was made notorious as a result of his idea for New Coke which was arguably the worst marketing disaster of all-time.

Before Zyman launched New Coke, Pepsi had effectively launched its Generation Next ad campaign which positioned its brand as being:

  • Modern
  • New
  • Young
  • Energetic
  • Trendy

while inadvertently positioning Coca-Cola as:

  • Old fashioned
  • Outdated
  • Older
  • Tired
  • Played out

As a result, Coca-Cole sought to build a new brand around a "better flavored" beverage, thus abandoning the 99-year old classic formula people around the world had come to enjoy, and adore.

Coca-Cole hosted a series of National "taste tests" that proved with empirical evidence that New Coke tasted better than Coke itself, and Pepsi.

On April 23, 1985, New Coke was released to a confused and bewildered public. While the Coca-Cola company praised the new flavor of New Coke, many people began boycotting the brand, and even Bill Cosby refused to continue being featured in Coca-Cola ads as he said it would "harm his credibility." My how things have changed since then...

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After only 3 months, the company scratched the entire idea, and the original formula was re-introduced. Peter Jennings interrupted General Hospital to bring the news to the nation. As a result, sales for the original Coca-Cola surged, restoring it as the dominant leader in the nation's competitive soda market.

Don't compete — DOMINATE.

 

Matt Steffen

"Don't compete -- DOMINATE!"

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In 1984, McDonald's wished to piggyback their promotions off of the enormously popular Olympics which was being hosted in Los Angeles, California that year. The promotion was coined, "When the U.S. Wins, You Win." The idea...

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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.

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