Coca-Cola's recipe doesn't matter one bit!
They're saying Coca-Cola's secret recipe isn't anymore a secret. Its there for everyone to see. I am saying it doesn't matter one bit.
In fact Coca-Cola could taste like sour grape juice (sure, that's an exaggeration) and it still wouldn't matter. Because the secret to Coca-Cola isn't in its taste. Its in the brand. Its in what the brand does to consumers in their heads. How much ever the company would like to tell you their concentrate is a secret, it isn't so much about guarding a taste, its more about building and maintaining a perception.
When people drink Coke, they aren't ingesting a taste, they are experiencing a brand that does something to their heads, not tongues. Sure, the product can't like dishwater. But it isn't the product that drives consumption experience. Its the brand. Its the sum total of what the brand stands for. Remember the New Coke story? A better product failed! Also know blind tests prove people can't tell Coke from Pepsi!
Post consumption experiences many a times aren't driven by product performance. Instead what the consumer takes in is a sum total of what the brand stands for. As much as there could be a 'real' component to the experience, there's one that 'perceptual'. For Coca-Cola I believe the latter outscores the former! And that means its recipe doesn't matter one bit!