[OneNewsNow] 20 oct 2008--As John McCain tries to salvage his presidential campaign over the few weeks he has left, he ought to think about the Coca Cola Company in 1985.
That was the year that Coca Cola, based on what the company thought was good internal market research, introduced a new, sweeter formula to replace the taste that American consumers had always associated with Coke.
The result was disaster. Consumers were unhappy with the new flavor that replaced a product that was more than a drink. It was a time-tested American tradition. In short order, Coca Cola brought the old traditional Coke back to market, and in a real feat of marketing gymnastics, was selling both New Coke and Coca Cola Classic.
Sales of Coca Cola Classic swamped sales of New Coke, and shortly thereafter, New Coke was gone.
Today John McCain heads the ticket of a Republican Party that many Americans have fallen out of love with. It's a Republican Party that Americans once knew but now, like New Coke, has confused its customers, the voting public.
Restoring a brand that has been damaged might be an even greater challenge than introducing a new product. You've got the added complexities of confusion. But this is what John McCain has got to do. And he doesn't have a lot of time to do it.