Coca-Cola is switching gears with a new packaging strategy, according to AdAge. Their focus is going to be on variants of Coca-Cola rather than on separate brands depending on consumer desire.
Earlier this year, Mr. de Quinto told Ad Age that loyal consumers “always have loved the brand Coca-Cola.” But “there are moments when this consumer wants to reduce their sugar intake.” In those cases, Coke was forcing people to buy into a completely separate identify, he explained, referring to Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
He goes on to describe how this strategy implied that the product wasn’t really for everyone–that it wasn’t all inclusive–and that’s an intriguing notion.
Proposed product lineup. Photo from Coca-Cola, used at AdAge
Same family but no different–they’ve changed nothing about the product.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I love this strategy. Everything feels like a product family, the approach is clean, and the rationale surrounding it seems rather intriguing. By positioning these options as variants of Coke, rather than separate products, I wonder if it will create confusion in-store or if this will seem like a natural evolution for consumers?
Overall, I’m curious to see what it looks like when it is introduced later this year.
In principle, it is a great idea for designers to understand business principles, but I’m not certain that we should discourage the learning of one of the core disciplines of design and one of the toolsets needed in this world that we live in. Strategic thinking requires understanding the ebb and flow of business and how the consumer thinks and reacts. Design is as much a part of business as anything else is–the two are inherently inseparable–it’s just that good design is not always a part of the strategic thinking of the business world.
All of those things are good — mandatory even. But for us to truly understand the best way to help a business we have to start focusing on what makes the business successful. We must first understand business in general. Then we will better understand where craft is important (and where it is excessive).
Instead, designers are often seen as someone that needs to have the important business goals explained to them in the most basic of ways. I think our suggestions about design would carry a lot more weight if we were able to have insightful conversations, and offer valuable suggestions about core business principles.
I can’t argue with that thinking, but that’s why design has many moving parts. So that some can direct others with the larger business strategy in mind.
While I believe the post1 I got this information from is referencing only men, the advice is fairly solid and can apply to any adult. These are things that can be done better by me in my public and private life.
1. A man has public decorum. He opens doors for ladies and his elders as a sign of respect; likewise, he walks on the side of the curb and he offers his jacket. He minds his P’s and Q’s at all times, whether he is with the janitor or the CEO. A man never makes anyone wait for he is always on time. A man is never rude.
This one in particular is one that I find to be of the utmost importance (is never rude and minds manners), and any time I fail in following it, I am extremely disappointed in myself and my actions. I hope to get better every day and to be a better person tomorrow than I am today. I know as a human being I’m prone to failures, but I take each and every one of those failures personally and to heart.
When I mentor anyone that hasn’t done much work in anything other than print design, I always ask that they study and learn to code so that they can understand some of the constraints that exist in the medium. Erik Spiekermann adds another very compelling reason to my list. Communication.
You have to learn if not to code at least to appreciate code, to understand code. Because code is what nuts and bolts were a hundred years ago.
If you don’t know anything about mechanics, you can’t survive in this world. If you don’t know anything about how a computer works or code works, as a communicator, which is what a designer is — the interface between machines and man, that’s what we are. We are the interface, we interpret what the machine says into visible language. If you don’t understand how the machine works, you’re going to be laughed out of the room by the engineering guys, because you can’t communicate with them.
The other fun thing I enjoy is seeing these designers break the conventions commonly found in UI design. That to me is a way to move forward, and I love it.
I’m not going to be an apologist for the governor–or the government of Flint–in this case, but we’ve got to stop demonizing politicians we don’t agree with when things go wrong. It’s very, very easy to blame our political enemies for a crisis when the truth is closer to everyone being at fault. So blame them all accordingly.
I was reading an article today that discussed the situation in flint in a manner that reflects my thinking, in that while “observing the reporting taking place over the Flint Water Crisis…I’ve noticed a lot of things that are reported that are not helpful and in fact can make the situation in Flint worse.”1
I’m just tired of the divide in politics, sports, and life that online communication creates.
What most of the public is focused on–in terms of laying blame for what happened–is looking for that single individual that is responsible, rather than seeing multiple failure points and people as the cause. So, while public outcry is healthy, focusing public time and attention on trying to single out any one person as more culpable than others is energy poorly spent. What people seem to do more often than not is look for a villain to blame in situations like this. There is likely a name for this kind of psychological response to issues that are more complex and awful than we can properly process.
Now to Governor Snyder. It goes without saying that his legacy will forever be tarnished by what happened in Flint. And I will agree that he moved [too] slowly to deal with this crisis. But when people want to take a break from calling for Snyder to resign, they might want to look at what Snyder is doing now-which seems to be a lot.
Now you can probably sit back and say this is a politician trying to cover his own ass after the fact–and perhaps that is true–but again, he’s not the only one at fault, and his party wasn’t alone in creating the situation that got us here.
I’ll say this, people need a reason that can be neatly wrapped and understood when situations like this arise rather than acknowledging that these things happen for complex reasons that are not alway attributable to nefarious machinations. More likely than not it’s systemic incompetence. That’s not one single person, that’s a gaggle of incompetent folk at fault. How do we fix that? Not by trying to find a villain to blame. Expend the effort in rooting out the problem, not pinning it on one person–particularly when the problem runs much deeper than that.
This article isn’t giving sole credit to the governor for local successes, merely pointing out that he has taken on a lot of responsibility for what happened and at least appears to be doing something–after the fact. It’s giving another perspective on the situation that points out how complex the causes were.
The reason I even post something like this is because I see a lot of tirades in association with the governor on this issue without even registering that it’s not the type of problem that occurs during one or two terms in office–it’s one that’s run its course and come to this conclusion over the course of many decades.
This was expanded from multiple discussions I’ve had on social media over the past day.
- Flint Water Crisis Update. Dennis Sanders. Accessed 1/27/2016.