The Power Of Innovation…

The best way to attract new customers is to innovate in the direction of your existing customers.

Witness Coca-Cola Freestyle – the 100-flavour, self-service beverage dispenser, launched earlier this year. And that’s what it does: gives the customer access to whole stack of Coca-Cola goodness from waters and juices to teas and the traditional carbonated fizzy stuff.

For Coca-Cola, the benefit comes from the reporting technology inside the machine itself. If a certain flavour sells well, it gets increased stock. Conversely, if a flavour fails to sell, it gets pulled. So the customers get more of they want and less of what they don’t.

The trials will begin soon in Atlanta and California with the  roll-out  across the USA scheduled for early next year. Sadly, there’s no word of a global roll-out as yet.

Innovate in the direction of your existing customers. Common sense, right? You’d be amazed at how many brands fail to see this one. Some brands choose to waste money on new positioning, new logos and new campaigns.. all the things that mean more to them than their customers. And then they wind up with something like this:

Image: Coke logo vs Pepsi logo

Image: Coke logo vs Pepsi logo

So, for those of you who missed it the first time: the best way to attract customers is to innovate in the direction of your existing customers. Thank you for thinking of us.

PS: In case you missed how Pepsi got to that last logo (and you’re in need of a good laugh) click here.

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5 thoughts on “The Power Of Innovation…

  1. You’re takin the piss right? Pepsi is bigger selling internationally than Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola claim to be huge because they own 85% of all water bottling production on the planet. Pepsi was forced to change their logo a few times due TM infringement.

    Also, if coke are claiming new innovation IRO their vending hardware then WTF were they up to previously? If the coke rack is empty and the fanta rack still full at time of refilling, surely anyone with a modicum of a capacity for logic would deduce that the one product is more popular than the other and therefore stock more of the popular type. Now they need a machine to pick up on that? Oh wait a minute, I forgot to take into account the mentality of the bloke refilling the machine. Then again he also has a boss, and so does the boss.

    And after all those brand redevelopment costs have been covered by the pepsi boys n gals, they’re still cheaper and more widely accepted across the globe than Coca-cola… So do coca-cola just spend more protecting their secret blend of herbs and spices or what? Or is it spent in development of arbitrary, unnecessary, cr4p then sold off as a marketable gimmick?

    Brand-slam ROCKS!

    • Some valid points there. I can’t argue the market-share thing because I don’t have the facts at hand.

      With regard your other point about the machine: this machine is localised and accurate market information on the drinking trends of different areas. Think about it: this is streamlining the supply/demand channel exponentially. Also, with this machine they’re exposing the American market to all their brands of drinks from around the world.

      I agree that the question must be raised: what the hell were they doing before? I guess it’s a technology thing. The premise is still very cool: give the people what they want (not what you think they want) and they’ll come back for more…

      • You said “The premise is still very cool: give the people what they want (not what you think they want) and they’ll come back for more…” … That’s marketing 101 dude. So it goes back to my gripe re sales vs marketing. Again I ask, what were they doing then if not marketing the 1st time around. Mr Coca-cola sure would be pretty steamed to know he was wasting his marketing budget if he ever found out.

        This brings about the next question, if there’s been no marketing but forced selling rather, why do people still go back? If we know that poor marketing leads to unsustainable business, then does this not prove otherwise? Or does it just tie in with one of my other comments re market ignorance vs market apathy?

      • You said it: marketing 101. And you’d be amazed at how many companies get it wrong…or just dont’ care. Up until recently, it’s been the latter for 2 reasons: 1) Consumers haven’t had an effective platform to voice the fact that they’re sick of crap products and services and 2) consumers were never able to connect with and educate each other the way they are now.

        The latter is fuelling the former and now companies who have until now been coasting, need to buck up and show some real value in order to keep those profits rolling in.

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