business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that, despite the fact that line extensions such as Vanilla Coke and Mountain Dew Code Red seemed to achieve broad acceptance when they were first released, maintaining that level of consumer support is a lot more difficult.

In fact, in a nonscientific poll of its readers, the paper found that half of respondents said that while they had tried a Vanilla Coke they never would have another one; 46 percent of respondents said that they'd never even had a Code Red.

Rather than reversing the decline in soft drink consumption, according to analysts, the new drinks really only seem successful at slowing it down.
KC's View:
Still, we're not likely to see any deceleration in new product introductions anytime soon, if only because it is one of the main ways that manufacturers have of keeping the category appearing relevant.

The question is, if you add enough short-term fixes together, do they add up to a long-term fix?

While these kinds of brand extensions do generate enthusiasm, the short-term nature of the hype is one of the best rationales for retailers to do a better job of building their own brand equity, rather than just focusing on building a better vehicle in which to carry other people's brands.