Consumer Swaying in the Breeze

Change isn’t something that I’m usually all that keen about. You’d think that living internationally, I would not only accept but I would celebrate change, such is the fabric of my life. However, that assumption would be incorrect. When something happens that affects a personal schedule, I have to mentally walk myself through some checklists and do some breathing exercises in order to fully embrace the new change. This last week, though, I went to the store for another of my many trips to the grocery store – another swatch in the life quilt. I meandered my way down the drink aisle, looking for our vice and was immediately met with change. They have, without preemptive warning or consultation, changed the cans of all Coca Cola products, my favourite included.  I did stand there for a moment, breathing through this newness. In. Out. In. Out. “It’s taller.” In. Out. In. Out. “It’s thinner.” In. Out. In. Out. “I’m not sure how I feel about it.” In.Out. In. Out.

“Oh! I get a free can with purchase!” *piles cart high with new, sleek cans*

Opening the paper this morning, I realised that I’m not the only one that noticed the change.  This person, however didn’t let their opinion be so cheaply swayed as mine had:

In the grand scheme of things I understand my following whinge maybe deemed trivial. However, here it is: Why oh why oh why have Coca Cola introduced tall thin cans across their brands? Both at home and work these cans do not fit into our fridges and cupboards. At work, we provide drinks to a large client base in three separate fridges all of which now no longer have Coca Cola in them as they don’t fit. Please bring back the old cans, Dubai

I love the response that they got:

Rotate the can 90 degrees until its longest side is horizontal , slide it into the fridge

So practical.  Thank you, Mark.

There is something psychological, though, with the new cans. Side by side, I want to choose the taller, skinnier cans because I too feel taller and skinnier. Sleeker and sexier. Now when I look at the old cans, they look short, fat, and dumpy. That’s not me! I’m not that! Why would I want to be associated with such a product? No! I’m elongated in my extremities! I am svelte and desirable! Free can or no free can, I’ve embraced this new image completely, grafting its qualities and message into my personal identity.

Coca Cola, “Product integration complete.”