In their book Origin of Brands (2004), AL & LAURA RIES apply Darwin's theories of evolution to the branding process. Though the book has its share of idiosyncrasies as with most of the books written by the AL Ries earlier, it also has a load of good examples on branding initiatives and mistakes by major companies. One which I thought was worth sharing was on the mistakes done Coca-Cola, the number one brand in the interbrand 2007 rankings !!!!!!
- Coca-Cola missed the caffeinated, carbonated citrus category (pioneered by Mountain Dew), so they tried to get into the game with Mello Yello. That didn't work, so they tried Surge, which didn't work either.
- Coca-Cola missed the spicy cola category (pioneered by Dr Pepper), so they tried to get into the game with Mr Pibb. That didn't work either.
- Coca-Cola missed the natural beverages category (pioneered by Snapple), so they tried to get into the game with Fruitopia which never went anywhere.
- Coca-Cola missed the energy drink category (pioneered by Red Bull), so they tried to get into the game with KMX. Not only was KMX fourteen years too late, but it's also saddled with a weak name. (Red Bull connotes energy by conjuring up the image of waving a red flag in front of a charging bull, KMX sounds like an additive for a motor oil.)
- Coca-Cola missed the sports drink category (pioneered by Gatorade), so they tried to get into the game with Powerade, which hangs in there as a weak No.2 brand.
It shows the power of a brand once it is established, inspite of all these Coca-Cola is still the No. 1 brand in the world