When Coke were noticing the rise of a new player in the market – Pepsi – they decided to take a data-driven approach to taking them on.
They invested heavily in a new brand of Coke – New Coke – that won out in all the taste tests and they thought they were onto a winner.
When they went to market, it failed disastrously. Consumers couldn’t handle the sweetness in the whole can, but more importantly, they were attached to the old taste of Coke, which they grew up with as children. They had an emotional pull to a familiar taste and didn’t want to let go.
Sometimes it’s important to realise how influential an emotional attachment can be, and how you can tell a story to still capture that emotion in a new context. New Coke could’ve won out, but the story was wrong.