Why 'New' Coke failed but 'New' Facebook won't
The funny aspect of 'change' is that, more often than not it ain't welcome, though its for the good. Resistance in such cases is more psychological than real. New Coke may have tasted better, but that taste ain't welcome. Its the nostalgia for the original that overrides the newer better formula.
Facebook's move to unveil a 'changed' redesigned website risks facing the same kind of backlash 'changed' brands in the past have. The good news for them is that, about 40 million users already have checked out the new design and about 30 million embraced it without reverting to the old look which facebook had provided through a link of the new site.
Is Facebook's dilemma in all manners similar to the one Coke faced? I don't think so. In the case of Facebook there are enough cues and features out there on the site than can in the end convince users that the new design is better than the old one. From a functional perspective, its possible to get users to 'experience' the difference. But that ain't the case with Coke. Who can in the end judge the taste of Cola to know whether one formula is better than the other? At least my taste buds can't. Remember I am talking about Colas. Did consumers really really know the difference between the original and New Coke? Or was it perceived? And were these perceptions more to do with the fact that they KNEW they were drinking a 'new' version? I bet, the answer is Yes!
Facebook can pull off the change by demonstrating and getting consumers to take in a 'real' bettered experience. For a Coke, that's not possible. Its always perceptions, and that is why I give Facebook a great chance of pulling this off, despite the fact that something like the 'New Coke' failed.