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Friday, March 26, 2010

Coke Zero: A brand promise meant to be broken?

The Brandgym blog recently discussed how hard it is to topple a leader brand in a specific segment. They compared the "men's" calorie-free cola category battle between leading brand Pepsi Max, and the runner up Coke Zero. As they describe, Pepsi Max certainly has a stronger name, great advertising, and clearly stands for the market of men's calorie free soft drinks. But there is one fatal flaw I believe makes a major difference.

Coke Zero makes the claim "Real Coke taste, zero calories." This is the central message in all of their advertising. Yet am I the only person who believes the two drinks taste nothing alike?

The brand promises to taste exactly like Coca-Cola, but one taste tells you otherwise. A brand cannot succeed if the brand promise is not met. The Coca-Cola Company would be wise to focus on Coke Zero as a unique product on its own, just like Pepsi does with Max.

With your brand, you must be what you are, or change the product to deliver that promise. Lying about your product leads to disappointment, and is not a road to success.

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