The Coca-Cola Company first introduced Coke Zero to the world in 2005. The company wanted to introduce a no-calorie drink, however, some consumers were confused by its relation to Coke Light (formerly Diet Coke). While other countries renamed the drink to Coke Zero Sugar in 2017, South Africa is only now catching up.
I’ll admit that I was one of those confused consumers over a decade ago. I mean, why call it Zero when there was another version? Was it really zero sugar when the contents included caramel (as a colouring)? There was quite a bit of social media backlash and Hello Peter was littered with complaints about false advertising — who else remembers when Hello Peter was relevant?
It’s now Coke No Sugar
Coke’s new branding might be a little too on the nose. The company has dropped the Zero moniker in favour of No Sugar and according to the official product page: “New name, same great taste!” Thought, you’ll still be able to recognise it from the black label.
In doing so, Coke has still made some branding mistakes…
The branding is still off
Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Coke making a product more easily discernable to consumers. However, in this case, it’s one step forward and two steps back. The company also changed the name of Coke Light to Coke No Sugar, and Tab to Coke No Sugar. Yup, that’s three products called No Sugar. Each one does carry a differently coloured label and a sub-title. The standard version of Coke is now called Original Taste.
At no point did anyone think that this could confuse anyone? At least I’m not the only person who thinks this is weird. The company’s Facebook page has quite a few comments complaining about the new branding.
At least Coke SA seems to have gotten rid of Coke Life, which was just vile.