by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In 1985, Coca-Cola executives opted to alter the company’s product to satisfy what they believed to be the progressive tastes of Americans. In the end, it was Americans’ loyalty to the company’s corporate brand that saved them from its executives’ decision to make sweeping changes to its product for the sake of perceived “progress.”
There’s still a clear leader in the space of sugary soft drinks, and it remains Coca-Cola. But as Daniel Greenfield observes at FrontPage Magazine, Coke currently owns “a majority share of a declining market.” To address this crisis, Coca-Cola’s current executives have opted to alter the corporate brand in order to satisfy what they believe to be the progressive political desires of Americans, and it doesn’t appear that there is even a remote possibility that Americans’ loyalty to the product alone could ever save Coke from this stupid decision.
North America may be the biggest soft drink market in the world, but consumption of the sugary stuff has been on a steady decline in recent decades, and none are drinking less of it than the demographic that Coke is desperately trying to reach with its recent political posturing.
As anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to American culture should easily recognize, it’s not effete, health-conscious, coastal leftists that have been bolstering Coke’s market capitalization these past decades. But somehow, is it possible that internal corporate research has suggested to a few poor decision-makers at Coca-Cola that its embarrassing prostrations toward effete coastal leftists are the path to more people drinking Coke?
I have difficulty believing that. More likely, as Daniel Greenfield observes, Coke is destroying the pro-America brand association that it had been building for over a century because “it’s afraid” of the political forces aligning against it.