best of 2011

I do it every year … [2005] [2006] [2007] [2008] [2009] [2010] … so I can’t stop now. For new readers or people who are just discovering my content, I always do a list of my favorite / top / best blog posts from the previous year so here’s 2011’s list:

I truly thank you for being a reader of the Shotgun Marketing Blog. I hope to continue to provide you with useful and entertaining content in 2012. Don’t miss any of the upcoming posts by either subscribing to the RSS feed (through a reader or by email) or following me on Twitter or on Facebook.

white (flag) coke

It’s something I say a lot…
You don’t own your brand.
You can (and should) develop a brand strategy to guide the message, but ultimately the attributes of the brand rest in the hands of the market.

coca cola white holiday cans 2011Coca-Cola is getting pushback on their white holiday cans.

Coke drinkers are mad about everything from the fact that the white cans are too similar to silver Diet Coke cans to furthering the global warming polar bear hoax. And to prove the theories of product sensation, some drinkers think Coke tastes different in the white cans. The whole incident harkens back to the Tropicana or Gap logo disasters.

Coca-Cola seemingly didn’t learn the lesson of their 1985 New Coke disaster and messed with another core attribute of their brand.

Coke is red. That simple sentence should be in their brand book as something to never mess with.

I assume their white can strategy was another subtle step to back away from Christmas messaging to more generic PC polar bear ‘holiday’ ads. But Coke can’t easily shed Christmas symbols they helped create like the iconic image of Santa Claus.

For over 100 years, Coke has become a part of the American cultural zeitgeist. They have done a good job making people have an emotional attachment to their sugar water. They need to be careful not to disturb those emotions.