Page 7: Developing the range
The company's Business Intelligence and Planning Department is responsible for collecting the research and presenting it to the Consumer Marketing Department. The following examples illustrate ways in which Coca-Cola GB has developed its product range.
1. Coca-Cola Vanilla
There had not been flavour innovation involving Coca-Cola since 1986 when Coca-Cola Cherry was launched. However, recently Coca-Cola Vanilla had a successful launch in the USA, so it was decided to test its potential in Great Britain.
Product evaluation involved carrying out taste testing to identify the best formula/flavour for consumers' palates in Great Britain. At the same time, considerable effort was put into graphic development. It was important for the pack design to incorporate the Coca-Cola trade mark, thus remaining true to the Coca-Cola family, but also to differentiate the new flavour. Consumer focus groups were used to identify the preferred design.
In addition a simulated test market was carried out. On the basis of the background market research it was possible to forecast likely sales volumes. This calculation was based on the type and level of support the brand flavour launch would receive (e.g. advertising, sampling, promotions, price and distribution), consumer perceptions and claimed behaviour (what the consumers said they would do). The results were favourable and supported the launch of this flavour in Great Britain.
2. Fanta Icy Lemon
The development of this new flavour stemmed from listening directly to consumers who called the Company's careline to enquire about the availability of a lemon Fanta based on their experience on holidays abroad.
As a result, the Company undertook a series of quantified product taste tests and once the preferred flavour was identified, Fanta Icy Lemon was launched in 2001. The launch was a great success and the brand has subsequently been complemented by a range of other flavours.
3. Coca-Cola Share Size 1.25 litre Bottle
Desk research showed a growth in the number of smaller households, plus a change in the way we shop. The research identified a need for a bottle size that was ideal for top-up shoppers or 1-2 person households to share over dinner.
This was followed up by qualitative research to confirm consumer appeal in relation to alternative pack formats. Quantitative in-store test marketing was also carried out to measure rates of sale. This was supported by the scrutiny of retailer loyalty card data to identify types of households purchasing the new bottle size.
Desk research identified an opportunity for a new brand within the sports drink segment. Research was used to identify target consumers and desirable product positioning.
Qualitative research using focus groups was carried out to assess the 'Powerade' proposition and the most suitable creative advertising. Quantitative product taste testing was also carried out to make comparisons with other products, already in the market place.