“The hands of druggists and business men.“The hands of druggists and business men.

“The truth is that we are not that dumb, and we are not that smart.” (Keough)Reading through the case multiple times, highlighting new sentences and key words each time, it is that phrase that resonated with me the most everytime I read the case over. Resonate – a word that describes something that invokes a particular feeling, which is what Coca Cola has done, and still does to this day the best. Goizueta had forgotten that even though Coke is a tangible good in and of itself, the core value of Coca cola lies within the service it gives to the consumers, and to the United States of America. Before a Cuban man was the one running a company that represented the American culture to the world, Coca Cola found itself juggling between hands of druggists and business men. All this confusion of ownership translated in a confusion of what the company’s goal is. Ranging from A remedy for a headache A simple refresher for one to quench their thirst always within an arm’s reachA symbol, but not just any symbol but one that goes hand in hand with patriotism While we could go further into detail, this report is focused on the market research that occured in this case, or lack off market research. The reason as to why the company goal is so important towards market research is that you are essentially trying to analyze if the target market demographic aligns with this goal, and if not how can we either shift the consumer’s way of thinking, or our own goals to align with the consumer. Market research shows that not only has Coke been able to shift the perception of its products in the mind of the consumer, Coca Cola has been able to shift an entire way of perception of nations.This is proven through the effective advertising of a red Santa Claus depicted by Sundholm, not only has this changed the way we perceive Santa Claus for generations to come, Coca Cola has become synonymous with Christmas. Going back to the quote at the beginning of this report, where Keough stated neither brilliance or stupidity from Coca Cola, we will now see the pitfalls of Coca Cola’s marketing research team. Though some brilliant analysis were made, for example prior to the introduction of new coke the new sample testings results were staggering. The market research team had forgotten to account for the national identity of their product. The removal of classic Coke could be best described in modern terms as a 9/11 attack, it threatened the ideals of America, it was an attack on the people. And what makes this even worse is that it is from a company that fought hand in hand with America to keep spirits high, and also for the change in the classic Coke to be enforced by Goizueta, a cuban, an easy target for the public to blame.It is one thing to not even do any market research in the first place, but another to go through with conducting trials that yields a positive response, and still choosing to not follow through. This is exactly what Coke did around May 1979. “Results confirmed this assertion: trial and purchase intent rose 12% when Tab beverage was identified as Diet Coke vs Tab…approval was granted to ahead…though two months later the project was declared dead” (Fournier, Susan. “Introducing New Coke.” Introducing New Coke, 31 Oct. 2001, p. 5). In fact in the late 1970s it was said that there was less focus on marketing or the product itself, and a heavier focus on fighting legalities. The market responds to these shifts within the company management by responding with a loss of growth; going from a record high 15% growth a year, to a mere 2% as the company was being mismanaged. Market research indicates that Coke had the biggest share of the market for soda, but trailing behind was a sweeter Pepsi. Pepsi saw the weakness that Coke was presenting itself as, and took this opportunity to bring about Pepsi Generation. While Coke was busy fighting legalities, Pepsi prepared not just for the drinkers of today, but the generations to come. We learned there are two approaches a company can have:To wait for something to happen and then respondTo prepare early on and plan everything aheadWe have seen that the market favors companies that do the latter of the two – such as Apple. Pepsi planned on not only focusing on the product itself which proved to be superior in taste to Coke, but also planned on capturing the new generation before Coke could. Pepsi realized that it would be easier and cost efficient to not try and sway a generation that is stuck to Coke, but try and sway the new generation, the Pepsi Generation. An unexpected turn of events is what causes us to this day to be puzzled by the Introduction of New Coke. Though all the market research indicated that New Coke would be superior in taste to Old Coke, and it would even win over some die hard Pepsi fans, the outcome of the event was totally different. “The truth is that we are not that dumb, and we are not that smart.” (Keough).  Market research had forgotten the element of passion, they had forgotten that Coke was not just a product but it was a symbol, a way of life for some people.  Consumers were not buying just a product, they were buying a feeling. However all this points to the introduction of New Coke to be a bad thing, the reality is that it was the best move Coke could make. The way I see this, it’s like in a relationship when your partner leaves you, it’s in the moments shortly following you want that person back way more than ever. When classic Coke was taken away from the people, it was a reminder of how important Coke is to them, they had almost taken Coke for granted. The upset and uproar of anger just fueled even more passion towards the Classic Coke when it was released again in conjunction with New Coke.  Deliberate or not, Coke made the right decision when it came to the temporary removal of Classic Coke and the introduction of New Coke. At times market research pointed towards all the right things, and management failed to respond. While at others times market research had failed to include principles, patriotism, brand image, and all these non-tangible things as they focused heavily on a product based research.Exhibit 15 from “Introduction of New Coke” depicts the sales of Classic Coke vs New coke, and how the revival of classic Coke boosted sales to point where New coke became miniscule.Works CitedFournier, Susan. “Introducing New Coke.” Introducing New Coke, 31 Oct. 2001