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Seeing Red

by sadie • December 13

Last month, we highlighted the release of a new can from Coke. The largely white can with silver polar bears tied into a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to raise funds for polar bear conservation efforts.

But while we applauded Coke for taking such a bold step with their iconic red brand, Diet Coke drinkers disagreed. After complaints from diehard dieters that they accidentally picked up the white can instead of their usual silver Diet Coke can, this special edition design is being retired.

Perhaps the caffeinated complainers were just too busy rushing to the gym to inspect their beverage packaging carefully. Surely, Coke was expecting their customers to actually look at their packs, if not go to the trouble of reading the word “Diet” or lack thereof. However, color and shape are the two biggest visual distinguishers. With a choice between the red can and the white can, Diet Coke drinkers instinctively grabbed the lighter option.

How much is too much to ask from your customers? We often challenge ourselves with this question as we imagine the customer journey down the store aisle. It’s different for each category of course. Very few Lexus purchasers get home before realizing they mistakenly drove off in a Toyota. But is 5 seconds too much to expect in a grocery store aisle? According to Coke’s nearsighted naysayers, yes.