Coke Zero Case Study

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1. Why was it important for Coke to reposition the brand away from being a "diet" brand and towards a mainstream "aspirational" perception? Pepsi Max, Coke Zero’s biggest competitor, was heavily discounted and as a result Coke Zero was up to 58% more expensive. Considering that 75% of cola is sold on price promotions, Coke Zero needed something to justify the price premium to be able to successfully compete. Coke Zero’s communication strategy was taste-led in a category which was already suffering from the stigma of perceived bad taste. Pepsi Max was successfully battling this stigma, surpassing Coke Zero in penetration among young adults. Furthermore, the diet cola category was in -2.3% decline, and 60% of young adults polled had never tried a Coke Zero. With category volume and penetration both in decline, it was obvious that something about Coke Zero needed to change. Brand positioning was seen as its best leverage as Coke Zero competes in a category where factors such as price, costs, competition and distribution are relatively unchanging. A Needscope assessment revealed that the Needstate ‘Vibrancy’ was indicated the largest segment of ‘Needs’ opportunity for beverages. However, diet colas are sold in the ‘Control’, ‘Composure’ and ‘Tranquillity’ space, which are less brand desirable and represent less ‘Needs’ opportunity in the beverages sphere. Furthermore, Coke Zero’s target audience was young adults 16-29, for whom the notion ‘living life’ wielded a greater influence than ‘exercising self-control’, a notion synonymous with ‘diet’. Thus, it was necessary to reposition Coke Zero to recapture the attention of their target audience and successfully compete with Pepsi Max. 2. What was the importance of Coke Zero as the chosen name to the broader brand strategy? What other examples of successful brand names can you reference? The name Coke Zero was

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