The Change Diffusion Process: Why New Coke Was No Replacement

Essay by kfehrUniversity, Master's March 2005

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Running head: Why New Coke Was No Replacement

Why New Coke Was No Replacement

February 21, 2003

I was in the fourth grade when I made my first public appeal. I remember taking my allowance up to the Convenience store, just outside of our neighborhood, in hopes of purchasing two of my favorite things - A Hershey Bar and a Coke. After I picked up my candy bar I headed to the cooler to select a cold refreshing Coke. I looked and I looked, but could not find the red can with the white letters I was so familiar with...after a few minutes I asked the clerk for some help. I was completely surprised when he said, "The New Coke is in the center cooler - top shelf." What? New Coke? Coke had been around for centuries as far as I knew. I went back to take a look for myself.

There it was, exactly where he said, New Coke. Not seeing the kind of Coke I had come for, I grabbed one of the new ones and headed home.

Upon reaching my house I immediately found my mom and told her what had occurred. She said that it must be "new and improved". I remember thinking that was hardly possible, yet I retreated to the kitchen table to try it out. I took a sip, then another, and finally another before I threw it away and declared that this imposter was not Coke at all. How could this happen? Why would they do this? No one asked me if I was unhappy or wanted a change. As one of Coca-Cola's most loyal customers, I decided to write a letter to voice my concern.

In hindsight I am pretty certain it was not just my letter that resulted...