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An Example of Brand Marketing Pitfalls

If you’ve been following the news lately, and there has been a lot of news, then you’ve probably notice the negative press that some of the world’s largest soda brands are getting – particularly Coca-Cola. The most recent negative press that Coca-Cola has been getting revolves around its Diet Coke line of Cola. As news sources put it, it seems that Americans are falling out-of-love with the soda. Statistics show that sales have dropped 15 percent in the last two years, which is close to a third since 2005.

As every brand knows, when one item falls out of popularity, it is important to find a way to recoup. This time, Coca-Cola is recouping its losses, or attempting to, in a large-scale and different kind of way than expected. Rather than trying to infiltrate the market with a new soda product, it is adding a whole new industry to its brand – milk.

This kind of milk isn’t any kind of good ole’ milk, but it’s the premium kind. Not only are consumers seemingly interested in this new marketing move, but so are marketing analysts everywhere. This ultimately begs the question of whether Coca-Cola is walking the line to a marketing pitfall. Below is an overview of the issue analyzed.

Not Going At It Alone

The first thing that needs to be realized by both consumers and marketing analysts alike is that Coca-Cola is not getting into the premium milk industry on its own. It is one thing for a brand to try something new free from help, but it is another thing for a brand to do it with another brand that is aware of the industry and that has experience in the field.

Clearly, Coca-Cola falls into the latter category. Coca-Cola’s move into the dairy industry is being done with the help of a dairy co-op, whose name has not been disclosed to media sources. As a result, Coca-Cola can have the guidance that it needs in the industry, thus decreasing its chances of failure. In addition, the brand that Coca-Cola is teaming up with also has experience in the premium marketing, ensuring it gets the product right.

The Rise of Luxury Products

The surest way to determine whether or not the economy is truly performing well is to look at consumer behavior, particular the purchase of luxury goods. These days, it seems that American’s are more inclined to purchase luxury and premium goods, including items as petty as dog food and toilet paper.  If Americans are willing to spend more on purchases such as dog food and toilet paper, it isn’t reasonable to assume that they are also willing to pay a pretty penny for premium milk.

With that, it isn’t difficult to reason that maybe Coca-Cola’s market analysts have it right. Premium milk could very well be the next big hit. However, to fully put this statement into fact, there are other important factors that need to be looked at. One of those factors is that the milk that Coca-Cola is putting on the market is actually a premium product.

To truly analyze the issue posed above, it is important to put into perspective what makes Coca-Cola’s milk “premium.” In this case, it really does seem like Coca-Cola’s premium milk really is better than the regular stuff. For example, to make the milk, it goes through a patented cold-filtered system.

This system causes the product to be lactose free. In addition, it contains 50% more protein and 30% more calcium. To add to that, it also less than half the amount of sugar than regular milk. A final difference is the price point of course. The premium milk is going to cost consumers twice the price of regular milk.

The Savvy Marketing

Another way to determine the success of a new product on the market is how the brand handle’s the marketing. As you can imagine, Coca-Cola most likely has some of the savviest and most prominent marketers in the country working on the success of its new brand. This means that whatever Coca-Cola puts out, it is going to be good. There are a number of features of Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign that work to enhance the product and point it in a successful direction.

Targeting the Right Audience

With the new ads for its new product, Coca-Cola clearly is focusing on a female audience. This is clear by the types of ads it uses. For example, the advertisements feature slender and beautiful women cloaked in milk. Above the pictures, phrases like “Drink what she’s wearing,” “Better milk looks good on you,” and “Milk with flair” are displayed. This are truly savvy moves by Coca-Cola, as it implicitly promises the female consumer that drinking premium milk is nothing but great for the body and for a woman’s health.

The Bottle

While it may not seem obvious, the way a product is displayed is highly relevant to whether or not a consumer purchases a product. The better the packaging and display, the more likely a consumer is going to purchase the product. In terms of the new milk brand, Coca-Cola has done a stellar job. The milk is featured in a tall and slim bottle, which mimics a woman’s body. The lower portion of the body resembles a waste, while the top of the bottle looks like a strong and reliable body. As a result, the female consumer is instantly going to be attracted to the drink.


Finally, there is the feature of variety. When marketing a product and putting it on the market, variety is also extremely important. While you do not want to have too much variety because it takes away from the value of the brand, you also do not want to have no variety because it reduces the number of consumers. In this case, Coca-Cola has created three different types of premium milk – 2%, skim milk, and 2% chocolate milk. This means that everyone can have something they are interested in.

There are many ways that brands can fall into marketing pitfalls. This is particularly achieved by a lack of strong market analysis and by a misunderstanding on behalf of the brand regarding the target market. In this case, it seems that Coca-Cola has made all of the right moves. The only thing left to look at how its first quarter sales are going to be – which is something that is yet to come.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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