Innovation @ Coke

From the Fast Company Blog :

So if you were Coca-Cola, it doesn't seem like you would have to be a marketing genius to put two fundamental trends together: we're drinking more and more bottled water, and we're looking for quick shots of healthy living that create the illusion of righteousness (off-setting all the other horrible stuff we do to ourselves).

That low-wattage confluence would have led you to create Vitamin Water. But the light bulb didn't glow in Atlanta. Instead, a guy named J. Darius Bikoff had the idea, and his insight was rewarded when Coca-Cola paid $4.1 billion for his company, Glaceau.

What accounts for this big-company failure to innovate? It's a variety of factors. Innovation outside the core acknowledges that your model is flawed. That's tough to handle. There's an over-reliance on research; but focus-group testing at best produces incremental innovation. And there's always the default of "we can buy it."


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