Coke Classic goes bye bye… finally!

After almost 25 years, Coca-Cola has decided to drop the “Classic” label from its Coke cans. See the Wall Street Journal article here.

newcokeThis is a perfect example of one of my favorite quotes about building brands, from’s Jeff Bezos:

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. People notice that over time. I don’t think there are any shortcuts.” – BusinessWeek, August, 2004

In 1985, Coca-Cola made one of the most famous brand “mistakes” of all time, introducing New Coke to replace their classic formula. It took them 25 years to make the conversion back to where they started.

Now I’m not saying you need this much time to make any brand transition, but it does make you think. Are you moving too quickly with a branding change? Do you risk throwing some of your existing brand equity away? Or could you harvest that equity and move it with you if you just took some more time?

After all, there are no short cuts. Might as well take the time to do it right.

About Chris Grams

Chris Grams is Head of Marketing at Tidelift. He is also the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World.


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