Don't Let Premiumisation Of Milk Rain On Your Parade

Coca-Cola have got a panning this past week.

I remember their pr disaster in England when they tried to sell re-packaged tap water.

Now they’re trying the same with milk.

Mistakes abound around this launch.

Let’s first take their omnipresent phrase on this;

“the premiumisation of milk”

That’s what they are quoted as saying this product (Fairlife) is all about.

Did they let someone on work experience shape their core marketing message?

One fatal problem with this is that it seems to speak from their viewpoint. Not the customer’s.

It smacks of them making a fast one off us dippy drinkers.

Worse still, this feeling is hammered home by the incredible notion tied to this phrase. They boast a product so wonderful that for them;

‘money will rain down’.

Wow. Eye-watering arrogance.

Just as with their failed water ideas, they take from then add to the original.

From remixing minerals for ‘new improved” H2O, they’ve now removed lactose and 30% of the sugar post-teat, and added half as much again calcium and protein.

The lactose-intolerant and sugar-is-poison avoiders would surely lap this up.

So product innovation-wise, they could have been on to a winner.

But it’s that word, isn’t it. Premiumisation. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

An ugly, clumsy word.

When combined with the construct that this new option costs double the price of ordinary milk, it sounds crackers. How on earth is such a hefty premium justified?

Then there’s the money-storm. The precise quote appears to be from the N American boss:

“We’re going to be investing in the milk business for a while to build the brand so it won’t rain money in the early couple of years. But like Simply [orange juice], when you do it well it rains money later.”

Whoa. Yes, I realise this was uttered on a finance tub-thumping conference call. But still.

There are clear lessons from this debacle for our b2b new product ambitions.

Surely your product ‘premiums’ an older one. That is, it offers more. It builds on something. It goes to sunnier climes.

In which case, what’s your more appropriate synonym for ‘premiumisation’?

Improved? Remixed? Developed? Enhanced? Extended? Topped? Turvied?

At least Coke knows where they’ve gone beyond Mother Nature. And so should you. Without their gobbledegook language and sneer towards customers.

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