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James Watt College.

School of the Creative Industries DR14 35 Music Industry Marketing 2

Activity 1
To give you a flavour, if you pardon the pun, of what you are going to be studying, let us look first of all at a very famous study in consumer behaviour. Consider the following experiment and, afterwards, you will have the chance to start a small investigation of your own. Coke and Pepsi have dominated the carbonated soft drinks market worldwide now for over a hundred years and they both spend millions of pounds and dollars to protect their share of the market. Someone once said that if you see a Coke bottle in a country then it is a sign of civilisation! The Coke challenge is a very famous experiment and here it is. Here we will log the results of the class when asked to state whether they preferred the taste of Coke or Pepsi: Coke ALIX BEN MIA MICHAEL H MICHAEL C SHELLY EWAN CRAIG MEGAN VINCENT STUART AMANDA Pepsi

Gavin Simpson

Page 1

James Watt College 2009

James Watt College. School of the Creative Industries DR14 35 Music Industry Marketing 2

Here are the results of the second study when the same people were blindfolded and asked to taste both drinks to identify their preferred choice: Coke ALIX BEN MIA MICHAEL H MICHAEL C SHELLY EWAN CRAIG MEGAN VINCENT STUART AMANDA Pepsi

Gavin Simpson

Page 2

James Watt College 2009

James Watt College. School of the Creative Industries DR14 35 Music Industry Marketing 2

Compare the results of the Coke challenge and you will see that they do not match. In fact, (fill in result) people did not identify their preferred flavour when blindfolded. Why should this happen? Can you think of any reasons? Jot them down now:

Comment on Activity 1 You may have mentioned things such as the image of the brand, the advertising, the shape of the bottle or perhaps a celebrity that the advertising campaign uses. They would all be correct because what the Coke challenge proves is that consumers do not always select a product based on the obvious reason for selection, in this case taste. Other factors can be just as, if not more, important and this was demonstrated in this challenge. Consumer behaviour tries to pin down these factors so that manufacturers can identify what shapes decision making and how it can be influenced. The Coke challenge became headline news in 1985 when there was a huge outcry when Coca Cola announced a change in the formula of its flagship brand. Taste tests showed that a majority of consumers preferred the new Coke to the regular brand. But loyal consumers were committed to more than the physical ingredients of the brand. They had an emotional association with the brand based on past experiences that transcended the physical product. It is this association which consumer behaviour tries to understand and the idea of association is where we are going to start. Gavin Simpson Page 3 James Watt College 2009