As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unfortunately, companies like Netflix and Instagram had to learn this lesson the hard way when they made major changes to their offerings that didn’t go over well with consumers. As a response to the backlash, some companies have backtracked and restored their previous models while others have stuck to their guns and moved forward in a new (less popular) direction. Take a look at some of the most infamous company overhauls of all time.
Coca-Cola’s New Coke
In an attempt to compete with Pepsi, Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” in April 1985, which company execs claimed had a better taste than the original.
Consumers didn’t react positively to news of the change, which has been dubbed the “marketing blunder of the century.”
“There were protests in the streets, people would flood our telephone lines,” Phil Mooney, archivist for the Coca-Cola Co., told Matzav.com. “We got thousands and thousands of letters from consumers demanding that we bring back the original formula.”
The company did just that. In July 1985, Coca-Cola brought back its classic formula and original branding. Although it might not have been the best way to beat Pepsi, the return to Coca-Cola Classic drove Coke to a 39% market share — 15 points higher than a couple of years earlier — while Pepsi had only a 28% share, Matzav.com reported.