ROKCin’ Coke


Well thank you very much Alessandro,

You know, it is most pleasing studying with you. It reminds me my UNI times when I walked into office of my teacher, asked such question after which he looked at like at a fool, bashed his publication on the table (his whole work was usually copy of another authors given his name on the title), stated “chapter xx, page yy” and then nonchalantly suggested not to waste any more of his time… Yeah, sweet study times…

Anyway I think I am starting to understand it now, basically what you invented is to unravel term business into 5 key steps mentioned in your presentation, slide 13, and then thoroughly analyze and describe in a way even a fool could understand it because “if you understand it well you can explain in a simple way”. In some regards you remind me methods of scientists…

Anyway, I have one issue that roots in name itself: Return on Key Componen-t and not -ts. Let’s use it on example:

Imagine you want to determine benefit of competitive advantage or a reduction in uncertainty or as Kotler would say Customer Value and ask typical American “Why do you drink Coca Cola Zero”

I can imagine 3 likely answers:

a) Coca Cola itself is a symbol of US. I drink it because I am American – providing identification with his nationality by consuming their product
b) Coca Cola Zero has 0 point calories and I am watching my shape – (nonsense but) awareness of one’s health and therefore providing tasty yet diet product
c) I simply like Coca Cola. It’s sweet, it’s fizzy, cost less than gas nowadays and it’s good-looking (black liquor makes it glamorous) – the product itself: taste, look, and probably price

It reminds me one story from Kotler’s book where Coca Cola company made experiment: they created PERFECT product – after hundreds of tests when they mixed different flavors they let their customers to taste it without knowing what is it so they chose the best one. I don’t remember its name. They withdrew original Cola from shelves most visible shelves of supermarkets and replaced it with this new one. On their most surprise sales of whole Cola product rapidly fell, not only new one but also of other products, such as original Coca Cola. Analysis showed that they made one major mistake: they underestimated point a) above and forgot that Cola is not only tasty (well…for some people maybe) fizzy drink but also symbol of US. And that symbol has RED color but new Cola had BLUE cover therefore was not American enough. As a result people were so enraged that they stop buying even original red ones. So you could say that ROKC point 3) slide 13. of your presentation IS national identification. On the other hand Coca Cola is widely spread in EU as well and I can ensure you very few people drink it because of a).
So what is the answer? Why do we look at every star itself instead of observing whole night sky? You probably say that “yeah, sure, once we know exactly what Key Components are and how strong are in the chain of processes we will observe at it as one aggregate and describe ROKC comprehensively”. But I ask: is this the best procedure? What about market segmentation? Shouldn’t we start there? Shouldn’t we start by understanding what market wants and then working on ROKC? Now this might seem trivial and you will ask “why the hell you want to launch some product or service when you are unsure about your customers themselves?” Well as you see few years ago you could ask the same question century old giant as Coca Cola company and they ultimately failed :D.



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