New Coke. The Greatest Product Failure and why it was a HUGE Winner!

Morning Folks!!

One of the epic product failures in my lifetime was when Coke introduced "New Coke" back in 1985. That was a few years after the digital watch was brought to market by Pulsar. That watch kept better time than anything on the market and was supposed to replace all those expensive watches and make them obsolete. Tell that to Christy's when they sell those multi million dollar Patek's at auction today.


But getting back to the big flop "New Coke". The public embraced it at first and then rejected it. At first people accepted it. Then there was a backlash. Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original. They did not like it, they did not buy it. Coke was forced to introduce "Coke Classic" to shore things up.

And the supermarkets had to go along with it because that was what the consumer wanted. Of course there are always some on the fringe that wanted New Coke. So they kept making it until it was renamed and  then eventually discontinued.

So when Coca-Cola goes into those supermarkets who only have a certain amount of room devoted to soda. What to do? Well if you are Coca-Cola, you might try to just move some of your competitors right off the shelf and out the door. Coca-Cola now had more shelf space. And as New Coke came to market, it changed things.

The point is nobody can speak for the consumer except the consumer. He is judge and jury and everything else you hear is wishful thinking and hot air. That's the true BS. Nobody knows what will happen but those with skin in the game only focus on one side of the equation and ignore the other side. It is my firm belief that anyone ignoring important information on either side lessens their chance of success by a large degree. Folks that look at both sides and are more prepared increase their chance of success. But neither group trumps the consumer.

And as you can see in the case of "New Coke", the revolt took 3 weeks to materialize.

2014 marks the year that domains get more shelf space. No question about that. I think the classic domain will expand. I think the new domains will come out with great fanfare and when reality hits, then the things shift in a very big and noticeable way.

The only real question for me is who will be the likely winners and let me eliminate the losers. And just like I was not the first in domaining, I came into the game years after, I think the best play is years after. Let's see who remains on that shelf.

As for time frame to see how it all shakes out. Could be 1-3 months or 1-3 years because end users will all likely have to go down Overstock Blvd. When they see the amount extra that their ad dollars are costing them, that my friends will be the true moment of decision. And the registry will not be at the table when that decision is made. Ben Franklin and a lot of bean counters will.

Now the following was posted at as a comment. Again, empirical evidence vs wishful and hopeful thinking. They are not the same.

"Here is a partial list of corporations that built free-standing websites on .Mobi. Some probably have been abandoned by now."

See how many of these companies you have heard of: (Weather Channel) (World Wildlife Fund)

You don't see a common thread here? When it comes to .brands I see a path forward. But .brand as I have also started may be internal. So if .Apple were to use it externally, what word would they use left of the dot that would be meaningful and have a really nice ring to it? Do any really sound better than Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple? But what is the homepage?? The main entrance? Odds are it is going to be regardless if they have .apple or even use .apple. Whoever was in charge had a duty to secure .apple. But that is his one and only duty. Secure it. Whether it will ever be used will not be up to whoever secured it.

Look, bitcoin is a huge success. But if you bought it 2 weeks ago you may have lost 50% of your value. So that's the danger on a huge success. What is the danger on a huge failure?

Look, I am very open-minded but I am not BLIND! I am not STUPID! And I am keenly aware of the great loss a failure would look like. Why??? Because that is still the most likely outcome based on the evidence we already have and many would like you to ignore. You would have to be the singles biggest moron in  town to ignore evidence in lieu of a second-rate sales pitch.

And yeah, that angers a section of the industry. There will be a lot of domainers feeding at that trough. For now. But I have always said TIME is my best ally. My posts will stand or fall on their own.  But navigating this requires certain skepticism because of the past and current failures.

I am not sure how a gTLD with limited strings left of the dot can mount any type of meaningful success. I just can't wrap my head around that. I can't even see anyone taking them over when they fail. Why would they? It would be a liability not an asset.

I come at all this from so many different angles and then when you add that this new "Interstate Highway System" has no pre-planning. No zoning. No traffic lights. No speed limits. Some may have few or no exits.  Overpasses?? WTF is that?? Oh yeah, that is when the lawyers get involved and these lawyers won't be in the They will be doing their proper jobs for the companies they represent and they are going to be busy little bees. Confusion will be the keyword in their filings.

WIPO itself would likely not be able to take on the added cases in the size and form that it is today. However I do believe many will just go right to Federal Court.  Isn't this 100% forseeable from where you sit? If not, why not? To me it is a guarantee. It is as guaranteed the way I look at things as the green light will turn red in a minute or two. It's not an "If" it is a "When". It is a "How many". It is a "How Much". But not to assume this is coming? That would be what I would call sticking your head in the sand.

And as I have also said, it is the CONTENT or lack of it that will also be in play. There still needs to be a reason to go somewhere before you go. That is going to be several years away at best.

As for the premium pricing. I love it! I am not a sucker so I won't buy into any, but I love it. Some have already set themselves up for failure. Their own values are likely to go down not up. They want to duplicate .com but have ignored almost every play in the .com playbook. To me that is a red flag.  Many are trying to duplicate .co but I think .co has its own unique circumstance. That said the aftermarket is loaded with very low-priced .co's.  We all know you can't even GIVE a .mobi away. But the likely winner may be no gTLD at all. Could be .Net, .TV, .Info, .Me, which are now all on the radar. Is it possible that the new ones push the old ones to the top? You bet it is.

But today if you want REAL Coca-Cola in the USA you have to go to Costco or some supermarkets and make sure you get the ones marked "Bottled in Mexico".  See in Mexico they can still use sugar. Not in the USA. High Corn Fructose.

So if you want the "Real Thing"..........

All I can really say is it has to be meaningful, easy to communicate, logical, sound good, look good, and capture large and targeted audiences if they really intend to create need, want and desire outside of those looking for the second coming. I can't wait for general availability just to see what it looks like. What it looks like as the flippers go into action. 2014 won't be boring. It will take the first half year to ramp up, but after that, just enjoy the show.

Rick Schwartz

27 thoughts on “New Coke. The Greatest Product Failure and why it was a HUGE Winner!

  1. michael

    Most of the mobi site just redirect to there .com now, cell phones are powerful enough now to display .com sites. I am guessing .hot will be a winner!

  2. UFO

    I think people need to think outside the box a bit more. .brand will resolve to .brand

    Browsers are not technologically tied to presentation conventions.

    Just type in http://www.brand and that will be enough or simply .brand, the ‘.’ signifies a URL rather than a search criteria in SE’s.. etc etc..

    The likes of KPMG will migrate to .brand because its a proof of concept and enables them to take consultancy work for other .brand adoptions.

    The NUMBER 1 question that will be asked in all the large corporates will be ‘for all this huge migration outlay exactly what will be the benefits?’. And thats where it will all fall over.

    Online trading / gambling / gaming will possibly better on .brand as the root offers speed enhancements (Although I think there are other factors that would reduce this substantially). Strong brands may work well on .brand because invariably their reliance on a URL is less necessary.

    All the SMEs will stay on .com, at least 50% of major corporates will stay with their .com, another 25% will wait to see how it all unfolds, hence limited adoption will mean that most will never migrate. (Cost is a major issue).

  3. aaron strong

    Great post! Rick, you have explained your position extremely well on many occasions. Agreed!….. .. The content on the “New G’s” will be comparable to the taste of “New Coke”. Once people try it there will be a bad taste left. People will want to stick to what already works and “tastes” good……………. .

  4. Billy

    Quote: “So if .Apple were to use it externally, what word would they use left of the dot that would be meaningful and have a really nice ring to it? Do any really sound better than Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple? But what is the homepage?? The main entrance? Odds are it is going to be regardless if they have .apple or even use .apple. ”

    Your comment above, specifically about what will be the “Main Entrance”, is just crazy good. I had not even thought about that. I think this one is so powerful it may be a death knell for many of the new TLDs. It’s simultaneously funny and sad if you think about it. You know the companies that will buy these, and the registries that will be selling them still have not come around to thinking about that notion of what will be the “Main Entrance”.

  5. JBS

    “Do any really sound better than Buy.Apple? Home.Apple? Sweet.Apple? iPhone.Apple?, Mac.Apple?”

    That is a great point! And, of course they will always use for their main website. As will most others who even acquire their .brand. And, those that acquire their .brand are only a fraction of major brands. So, 5 years from now, it is safe to assume 99.99% of major companies will still be using their .com domains for their main website and there will not have been a major shift to either .brand or new keyword or generic gTLDs. And of course, small companies emulate major companies to remain on equal footing. The gTLD pioneers will be on their own.

  6. Patrick Hipskind

    I like as a domain name. The pre-registration fee is $399.99 and the renewal fee is also $399.99

    As a domain name investor, I think the level of risk is too high for me to pre-register this domain name. I could sit on it for quite awhile, maybe up to three years before I sell it if I ever do. That would be $1,200 dollars.

    That would be cash flow for the registry and loss of cash flow for me. And .gallery will be competing with .art for registrations, and I think .art is a better gTLD extension than .gallery. So what should the average Joe domain name investor to do? Part of my investment strategy includes paying the renewal fee on all domains I register for three years. I think it may take up to three years to be able to sell any of the new gTLDs for a decent ROI. On this particular domain name, my investment strategy requires that I pass on this investment.

  7. JBS

    “I like as a domain name. The pre-registration fee is $399.99 and the renewal fee is also $399.99″ “On this particular domain name, my investment strategy requires that I pass on this investment.”

    The funny thing is, that is one of only about 10 domains on that new gTLD that won’t be instant pigeon sh*t. And still not a good investment at $399.99 – ouch! Of course, I agree.

    How many good .gallery domains can you think of?

  8. Toronto Domainer

    Dot Com is the only Domain Name Investment Choice, dotWhatever domain names will only boost Dot Com Values! 2014 will be a great year for Dot Com Domain Names! Great Post!

  9. Leonard Britt

    I believe there probably are a select number of keyword.NewTLD combinations that make sense and if you could pick them up for max $50 and renew them for max $25 per year perhaps ten years down the road it might turn out to have been an OK ROI. But it appears the registrars aren’t going to allow that. Those more logical combinations are going to sell for several hundred to thousands of dollars and renewals might even be hundreds of dollars annually. The best keywords have probably already been preserved and I don’t care to waste my time to find still available combinations in what appears to be very remote odds of a decent payoff. I already have enough .Net & .TV to know that even with long-existing extensions end users generally want .COM.

  10. UFO as an example.

    Its been mentioned its 399 to register and 399 renewal. This is at the same time that the .com is up for sale.

    If we take estibot value then it comes in at 3700.

    Using my metrics discussed a number of topics back would infer that is worth a NEGATIVE $4252

    Given that new gTLD has a relative price to .com if the .com holder drops their price then the new gTLD has to go even lower.

    To actually make these new TLDs work as say with FineArt.Gallery I would want to be buying it for $37 with $10 renewal fees. Which means that some of these new gTLDs have insufficient valuable inventory to make them wash their faces.

  11. John Poole

    Good points Rick, as always. I also look at it this way: the “legal name” of Apple is “Apple Inc.” because the law requires that “the name of the corporation must contain the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” or “limited” or an abbreviation of one of such words.” The “domain name” of Apple is Simple and consistent with the corporate legal name regime, using the extension “.com” which was established for commercial purposes (business) and which the vast majority of global commercial enterprises have adopted and use. Now ICANN, or someone, wants Apple to adopt ”” as its main domain address and landing page? Why? How many corporations put their brand name last? That’s like asking Apple to change its legal name to “Corporation Apple.” I want a MacBook, all I have to do is open ANY browser on ANY device and enter “” and I am “there.” Why try to “fix” something that isn’t broken?

  12. Kassey

    UFO has a good point on .brand. It is not easy to migrate a complex system built over years to a new extension. It costs money, time, and may result in disruption to business during transition, not to mention the risk of losing traffic from search engines.

  13. Kassey

    I’ll watch to see if browsers will start to support .brand (e.g. .apple) in its address/search bar, and resolve it automatically to a standard URL.

  14. Rich

    Only two days ago i was talking with my wife of how bad for your body that corn sweetener on the American Coke is…Then we went and bought the real thing”Mexican Coke” isn’t that sad?

    Patrick@ it’s available for $8.
    I rather by a .net which has 16 mil. registrations then wait another 25 years to see if the .gallery will make it.

    What strikes me the most is,why in 25 years of .NET existence companies have not advertise their business on .net on tv?

    Why would they do it now on the new G’s?

    I for one,start to invest in .net I will have a much better chance then in the new G’s

  15. NEIL

    Good morning, has chosen COM. Efficiency. Prosperity.
    China has COM, ORG, COM.CN, ORG.CN, and CN. Efficiency. Prosperity.
    The KlingonICANNs should be all fired for destroying the e-business, and doing a brutal real-time study case with their pervert pre-registration.
    Just my opinion.

  16. UFO

    I know one thing, having done some background search on kpmg they seriously want to get their own SE listings sorted out. The large MNCs will look at their digitial media management and laugh really. Take a look at their careers listing ‘

    Careers Home

    We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.’

    And they want to advise CIOs of top corporations? They will be cut to pieces.

  17. Tom Twitty

    Rick, I enjoy the drama and education you have created with your blog.
    So I guess our portfolio of “’s could be replaced by “.howtobuy” ? And registering our Trademark “LovedOnes” is recommended by ICANN (Trademark Clearinghouse) to re-register at at a cost of what? This is to protect something we have already protected with .com .net .mobi .org.and a Fed Word Trademark…Crazy stuff! — So I will just hold on to my seat and wait for the next crash. Looks to me like ICANN has been taken over by Wallstreet’s MBA’s doing their “greed deals”. I hold a small collection of .com’s since early 90′s which I consider to have some serious upside potential. Damn, we might all die before any profits are reaped with this dilution taking place. My wife wants me to dump them but I would rather leave them to my estate than walk away or sell them cheap. Now educating our grand-kids as to cyber real estate value is our mission.

  18. Tom Twitty

    Come to think of it I bought a Pulsar when it first came out from Gordon’s Jewelers in St. Petersburg FL. It puked several times after about 6 months and they offered me full price back or credit toward a new Rolex. Kind of back up your analogy. The Rolex Chronograph Stainless was about $800.00. I gave it to my son on graduation from UF and today it worth a ton of money in mid 5 figures and the Plusar if worth $175.00 on E-bay and most likely does not work. .

  19. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,

    We are firmly aware of the shilling game coming up in Las Vegas, we welcome all gamblers to attend 2014s Amercian Hustle edition. We are sure there will be lots of Kool-Aid to go around and when you see the hollowness of their game, you will stop selling your .COM Franchises and start buying them on the secondary market from those spooked holders, who will not only drink the Kool-Aid but actually BUY it. ” A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted “

  20. UFO

    @Jeff S

    Yes, I noticed that certain domaining conferences seem to be shillfests, participants pay to be forced fed new gTLDs.

    Impartial voices are few and far between because there are so many domainers on this gravy train. A certain domainers blog says it doesn’t whore itself but it sells tickets with a guaranteed happy ending, well for the registry anyway.

  21. JBS

    “We are firmly aware of the shilling game coming up in Las Vegas…”

    Jeff, not everyone that is attending NamesCon is planning on investing in the new gTLDs and most are staunch dot com advocates. That doesn’t mean they would not appreciate hearing Frank Schilling give a keynote speech. Geez. I don’t share his vision on the ultimate public adaption of keyword gTLDs but there is a lot to learn from the guy. He is arguably the top dot com investor of all time! Do you really have to demean his character by comparing him to Jim Jones. My views are aligned with Rick’s on the new gTLDs as well but your conspiracy theories are completely ridiculous.

  22. Jeff Schneider

    @ JBS

    Excuse me , you may have misspelled Shilling with Schilling, Frank Schilling is absolutely respected and revered in our Industry. No pun intended.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  23. Jeff Schneider

    R. E. = ” Yes, I noticed that certain domaining conferences seem to be shillfests, participants pay to be forced fed new gTLDs. ”

    NamesCon has all the spontaneity of a staged entrapment.
    Seriously??who do they think they are fooling? How many seasoned users of gTLDs are there? To warrant this kind of promotional billing its recieving? This is Media Hype at its highest level.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  24. ianccc

    I think the reaction by Pepsi was the most memorable, when Roger Enrico gave all the employees the day of to celebrate the fact that “coke blinked”

  25. john zhou

    1, com 2, 3, .cn 4, .de 5, ,, country gtld up to the country’s market size and English speaking population, except these, I really do not know why need to register others?



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