Rebranding Diet Coke Essay

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Product Struggles and Consumer Changes: Rebranding Ideas

In the 1950s, no one would bat and eyelash if a gentleman had three martinis at lunch during the week. Nowadays, such actions would be considered egregious: the person doing this might be viewed as having a drinking problem, not taking his job seriously, exposing his workplace to unprofessional behavior, and might even be grounds for dismissal. Society evolves and with it do the habits and trends of society members. This most notably includes consumers. has long noted that iconic brands that seemed to be timeless and seemed to be impenetrable to the whims of consumers, and shielded from the fickleness of the ages now seemed to struggling in ways they never expected. Brands that had always been above the struggles so common to many products and companies are now teetering in ways they’ve never experienced, many of them not knowing how to survive. For so many of these iconic brands, each quarter shows increasing losses in staggering numbers, as the leadership at the top just doesn’t know what to do, given that they’ve never had to deal with such obstacles before.

Experts in consumer behavior do attribute so many of these struggles to millenials, as millenials are a consumer group that have changed so much about shopping and spending and how we live. “But it’s not only millenials turning their backs on these brands. With the resources of social media, it’s easier to spread the message nationwide and globally if a product or business is unhealthy or otherwise outmoded” (Kane, 2015). This paper will examine the struggling consumer product that was previously an impenetrable titan, of Diet Coke. In the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, Diet Coke seemed to be the platinum product. Models, actresses, celebrities, teenagers, moms of teenagers, teacher, CEOs, mechanics—all drank Diet Coke. It was viewed as the “safe treat” of beverages. It was viewed as perfect for when you wanted something sweet, but didn’t want to consume the calories. However now, even something that was as perfect-seeming as Diet Coke is beginning to falter.

Soda sales in general have been down for a decade: the biggest connection to this is the connection between the sugary beverage and obesity (Kane, 2015). “The nation’s third most popular carbonated beverage, Diet Coke, has taken the worst dive of late. The beverage is being viewed by consumers as unhealthy due to its sweetener aspartame and possible associated health risks, in addition to studies suggesting diet sodas may actually contribute to weight gain” (Kane, 2015).
Recent studies have shown that there’s a strong connection between the consumption of soda and a host of health problems from tooth decay, to heart problems and depression (Dotinga, 2015). A more recent study found that people who drank diet soda every day had larger waistlines: the relationship was clear as the more diet soda one drank, the greater the belly fat (Dotinga, 2015). While Diet Coke has had some occasional increases in numbers and sales, each year it reports an annual decline.

The rebranding strategy of Diet Coke will capitalize on its current strategy. Diet Coke has attempted to engage in certain rebranding by using the slogan “Because I can” which is a play on the literal imagery of the product in a can. Diet Coke has also expanded its offerings to new flavors such as: feisty cherry, ginger lime, twisted mango, zesty blood orange. According to the official Diet Coke website, they decided to introduce these new flavors because, “…we wanted to try something totally new. and because why not? we took ordinary fruit flavors and dialed them to 11. we struck the perfect balance of crisp + refreshing. then we put them all in sleek new cans.” Even the lettering here is clearly trying to connect with millenials via the lack of adherence to strict capitalization rules and grammar. The new rebranding strategy will go even more aggressive with these attempts to connect with millenials.

The new rebranding strategy will keep the name Diet Coke, since it has such powerful brand recognition. Attempting to change that would be very short-sighted. However, the slogan should be adjusted to “Yes. We can.” This would be a strategic political move, as the slogan is evocative of the one used by candidate Barack Obama when he was running for President (Yes we can). This is such a bold political move and so necessary, because Trump has such a low approval rating with millenials. A study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2017 found that, “found that 76 percent of African American millenials disapprove of the president and his dealings in the White House and only 10 percent approve. Meanwhile, 55 percent of white millenials disapprove of his job performance and 29 percent….....

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References (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from

Dotinga, R. (2015, March 17). Diet sodas linked to increase in belly fat. Retrieved from

Kane, C. (2015, May 7). From McDonald's to Barbie, iconic brands are struggling. Retrieved from

Kerin, R. A., & Hartley, S. W. (2018). Marketing: The core.

Lewis, N. (2017, August 5). Analysis | Think all millennials hate Trump? Actually, #It’sComplicated. Retrieved from

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