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Coca-Cola Loses Fizz To Microsoft 122

Kinlan writes: "This article at the BBC mentions that while Coca-Cola still has the most valuable brand name, Microsoft is a close second. Another interesting thing is how many other tech stocks are increasing their brand values, even with the recent slump in tech stocks." You know, when you're dragging a corporation's name around through the news and the court systems, it's free advertising. I wonder how this would have compared with an 'O.J. Simpson' brand a few years back.
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Coca-Cola Loses Fizz To Microsoft

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  • I don't get it either. People who have never seen a computer are still likely to have seen a Coke, and everywhere Microsoft is, so is Coke. How can Microsoft's brand be only 3-4% less valuable's than Coke's. Heh. Consulting firms. Do they ever produce anything of value?
  • When I was working at Microport Systems [] back in the 80's, we were in version 1.something of System V/AT for the 286.

    Version 2 was expected sometime soon so imagine how perplexed us tech support engineers were when the customers started calling us and asking us about the upcoming version 3.5.

    We told the customers there must be some mistake because we were only just about to release version 2.

    The calls got so frequent that finally we asked a customer where they'd heard about this 3.5 (not sure if that was the exact number but that's approximately correct). He'd seen it in our full-page magazine ad in a major Unix magazine.

    I asked our ad guy what that version number was. He told me that they'd decided to go with version 3.5 because the Santa Cruz Operation [] was on version 3.4.

    Of course we were all pretty pissed off, not just that the company was being dishonest but that they didn't tell the people who took the phone calls - those of us on tech support - and the customers must have thought it was hilarious when the ads kept appearing even though they'd heard it straight from the company that they were misinformed!

    And, BTW, look at the reason why Slackware jumped from version 4 to 7 []

  • No, Linux should ideally do a 'Free Beer.'

    Unfortunately, Linux is still really only ready to sponsor a canned malted barley extract (beer 'mix'). Not for free, either.
  • I'd heard that about Slackware (now tamed down again and at a well-behaved 7.1 release, after that giant jump from 4.0 to 7.0) but I've never heard such a story about TurboLinux. Pat at Slack can just decide to do something like that, no suits stand in his way.

    That's part of why Slack is my favorite flavor of Linux, going back now to 1994 when I switched over from Yggdrasil.
  • Let's add to the list ... :-)

    Pentium Moment (quote []) "''It was our Pentium moment,'' comparing the eBay incident to the lesson Intel Corp. (INTC) learned in 1994 after the chip giant angered customers by initially trying to downplay a bug in its new Pentium chip."

    BenchCrafting (mention? [] (do a string search!)) after that MindCraft Fiasco

    FUD-EEE - The Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt tactic as part of a concerted Embrace, Extend and Extinguish strategy to disrupt competitors

    Although we're still too close to the action, I'm sure other people can come up with memorial moments of the GNU Revolution given enough thinking perspective.


  • Sorry to say, but the only news source for many Americans is the tabloid rack next to a grocery store's checkout counter.

    Well, that and the fact that the entire media is now one big tabloid....
  • And that is the reason why smart companies are fleeing to the perceived rewards of the dotcon sector. If you assume that people are smart and once burnt (or 2+ times depending on #PHBs), then they change their tactices. Bsaically with the dominance of a market gorilla with the declared intention of being #1 in every market niche with > 1 MegaUnit sales, the playing ground becomes a lottery. Technology comes in waves (mainly dependent on the capabilities to deploy and matching need) and if 5-6 startups storm a market, each expecting to get a fair slice but only one gets swallowed in a trade-sale, then disproportinate returns are due. It is a very very smart strategy, letting others take the risk of creating new markets, then overtaking them and cresting it at the inflection point (when R&D costs are paid off). Very profitable but it shifts the reward-risk ratio for the independents and ultimately, they drop out leading to an overall decline in innovation. The problem that escapes most people's notice is that MS is not a software firm, they are in the distribution and IP licensing business (think information bundle/unbundling). Now that the ASPs are charging into this business, MS is preparing to reengineer themselves via the .bet ... sorry .net initiative. And with all gambling systems, you look for who's got the vig (always makes a profit regardless of success or failure). Linux will never beat it because its adherents are in the stability and interoperability business, not technology gambling. Hence, from a marketing POV, you'd want to emphasise industrial-strenght computing, used by professionals at home and not toys or froth eye-candy. Hence the fact that it is not-bleeding edge technology is a hidden strength (as OpenBSD shows), because it uses tried and well-tested techniques. A truck/bus has different operating constraints/reliability issues from bicycles and it is a serious mistake confusing the two just because they share the same road.

    As for MS, they are very smart, buying up undervalued IP goods and repacking them for greater resale value. However, IMHO they are not intelligent because they are poisoning their own well in the process. Time will tell whether an alternative system will prove superior.

  • So does that mean we will soon see Microsoft 'embrace and extend' the popular image of Santa Claus?

    (For those who don't know, the popular image of Santa Claus we enjoy today was created by the marketing folks at the Coca Cola Corporation. That's why he is dressed in red and white)
  • What do you mean? the GAP is Old Navy! and Bananna Republic, et al.

    Kevin Fox
  • If it weren't for the whole anti-trust thing Microsoft would have had to start sponser more to get the same name brand recognition as Coke. Can you imagine the likes of Microsoft Field instead of Fed-Ex Field or instead of the Visa Triple Crown Challenge the Microsoft Challenge. I don't see the likes of Geeks being that involved in that sort of thing.
    Perhaps a Linux group could sponser a Beowolf Challenge or something;)

  • Quite enough has been said about sitting idly by while... so just insert all that here... :)

    Quite a few anti-Microsoft people (We arn't talking Linux here... a good amount of Mac, OS/2 and Unix people fit in this catagory) see Microsoft as nessisary as the black pleage.

    Many antiMicrosoft types DO NOT wish government intervention seeing the track record.

    Many Linux advocates are FAR more intrested in premoting Linux than caring about Microsoft.

    The Linux vs Microsoft war is really just.. a bunch of people want to see Microsoft go away and a lot of people want to see Linux in mainstream use. It only overlaps becouse of how many there are.
    Example.... so many drink sodas and so many drive cars you are bound to find a lot of people who drink sodas and drive cars. One dosn't lead to the other.

    Quite a few want to see Microsoft go away they just don't want a government agentcy to do the durty work. Thats not good. Government agentcys have a bad habbit of running amuck.
  • Coca-Cola was foolish enough several years ago to change a Good Thing

    One word you have to add to that -- radically. Coke has changed the "secret formula" more than half-a-dozen times in the last 50 years, but always with some effort to keep the taste pretty similar. But the Coke you drink today is not the same formula as the Coke you drank in 1980, and neither is the same as the Coke you drank in 1960.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • by Kimble ( 17437 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @09:08PM (#923313) Homepage
    (For those who don't know, the popular image of Santa Claus we enjoy today was created by the marketing folks at the Coca Cola Corporation. That's why he is dressed in red and white)

    That would be an urban legend [].


  • Microsoft employees? Morons? Is this really a common perception? I know, first-hand, that Microsoft employees are generally some of the smartest people you'll meet, and believe it or not, they all (well, all the ones I know) have faith in their company and its products. So their vision differs from yours. That doesn't make them stupid.
  • Top 75 list here []. Duracell is 41st but Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Harley-Davidson are not on the list, surprised?
  • It's a Jewish religious holiday.
  • Sorry, but $10 is WAY over shooting it for most clothes...

  • microsft will probably buy coca cola, and come out with Microsoft Cola Millenium Edition, the carbonated water based OS for the home. buy in packs of 12 or 24. of course, Linux OpenPepsi would be better, if I could get my video card to work with it
  • Top 75 Survey methodology []:

    Interbrand starts with the economic profit generated by the brand to the underlying business, a similar concept to economic value added (EVA). The valuation process examines three areas: the future economic earnings the branded business is expected to generate, the role of the brand in generating those earnings, and the risk profile of the brand's expected earnings....There must be sufficient marketing and financial data publicly available for preparing a reasonable valuation (since no internal company data could be used).

    Notice, brand recognition is not a factor here. Companies like Ferrari [] probably don't have enough publicly available information.

    Not sure how well you can decouple a business model from a brand. Whereas there's stiff competition in the cola wars, the mainstream Operating System/Application markets are dominated by Microsoft. So, how can one distinguish between brand value and the value created through business practices and market position, using publicly available marketing and financial data?

    Unfortunately, I don't think that answer is possible without more detailed information.

  • Methodology Link [].

    Lo siento mucho.

  • 2010 AC, location: PizzaHut:
    Me: Waitress there's a bug in my soda..
    Waitress: That's not a bug, it a..
    Me: Lemmi guess.. Feature!
    Waitress: But we also have an enhanced version..
    Me: Yeah with 65,000 PowerBugs, never mind,
    I'm off to Burger King..

  • While I won't object to the first three, I think Kodak is less often used in place of picture than the other three are always used.

    And as for Microsoft, in my three years of working technical support for a college I've only heard that term used once in the context you state. And it was used like this:

    "I see you guys updated my Microsoft to eight." (Referring to updating her Power Mac from 7.5.5 to OS 8.)

    The woman was not a technical person, and we (the other support person and I) just threw it off as something that didn't need to be corrected.

    Now that I think about it though, it probably would have been a good idea to mention that it was Apple's "OS 8" and had nothing to do with Microsoft.

    The only problem is, educating people on simple matters like this is:

    1. Useless - They'll most likely forget it in a week anyway
    2. Time consuming - Especially in an English Department where they always ask follow-up questions
    3. Unproductive - When it comes down to it, they think I'm just spouting off my geek talk and trying to appear uber-human
    4. Dangerous - If everyone in the world knew Microsoft was a company and not an "OS", there'd be more geeks in the world. My job requires that I be more of a geek than the rest of faculty where I work. If I'm not, there is no need for me.

    Still, I could have probably mentioned something.

  • Are they talking about peoples recognition of the name or the value of that specific name in the marketplace?

    Microsoft create a myriad of different software packages and operating systems that all have one thing in common, they're badged 'Microsoft'.

    Coca-cola manufacture a myriad of different soft drinks and they all have one thing in common, none of them are badged coca-cola. (excpet one)

    Microsoft, the name, is associated with the company and everything the company associates its name with.

    Coca-Cola, the name, is associated with a particular thing - a can of coke. You don't buy Sprite or Fanta or any other product of Coca-Cola because its made by Coca-Cola, nor do the use the name heavily in the marketing of these products...

    The value of the name Microsoft is, to me, a very
    grey area as it is applied and marketed in a very large number of different industries and pushing a very large number of products and technologies.

    Coca-Cola's value, however, is very specific - how many cans of Coke did we sell this year?

    I don't see how the two can be compared....

  • When I worked for TurboLinux, we jumped from version 4 to version 6? Why? Cool features, better product? Well, yeah, I was the build engineer....

    But the real reason is that we kept getting calls like this:

    CUSTOMER: "What version is TurboLinux?"
    TL: "The current version is 4."
    CUSTOMER: "Oh, well, then I'll go get Red Hat; it's version 5 and therefore newer."
    TL: "No, wait! Ours just came out and is...."

  • (Not off-topic, just bringing two together..)

    "This article at the BBC mentions that while Coca-Cola still has the most valuable brand name, Microsoft is a close second."

    Branding and corporate identity are really joined at the hip into inseparable twins in modern global consumerist marketing.

    One of the most common additions to video and audio advertising is the URL.

    This is why I think the entire issue of establishing any new tld's is missing a major problem: no corporate conglomerate is going to let anything that's even close-sounding to it's precious brand name appear in any form in the new tld's, so much of the current scarcity will be replicated immediately, and mere mortals (and domain-name scalpers) will still be fighting over what's left.

    As others have pointed out, most people don't type in url's as they surf, they click links or use their bookmarks. So the corporations aren't concerned with the url per se; the corporations really want to control what's just one more aspect of their carefully-crafted brand identity.

    Is Coca-Cola gonna let *anybody* register anything even vaguely like "coca-cola" even though the tld is different?


    Is Micro$oft gonna let anybody register anything Micro$oft-ish?


    Brand name is king. That's the core issue in a lot of the current domain name quarrels. And it'll just be the same deal, no matter how many new tld's you create.

    I think not; therefore I ain't®

  • How about some chocolate covered espresso beans? Man, those things are addictive.
  • I recall a situation back during the Lewinsky scandal where a guy when around New York asking people if they thought the President should be impeached by Congress for lying to the country. The majority of course said "No", as you can all recall.

    However, this guy didn't stop there, he went on to ask a few other questions, some a little bit more interesting:

    "Do you think Linda Tripp should have recorded her friend's conversations over the phone?"

    "No", was the majority opinion.

    "Do you think that the Republican leaders should back off of Clinton?"

    "Yes", was the majority opinon.

    "Who is the current United States Vice-President?"

    50% didn't know the answer.

    I wonder if anyone has done a poll of this type in recent days, I'd like to see how many people know who the current Speaker of the House is, or better yet, the Senate Minority Leader.

    Do you know?
  • i think it's a question of working for a company that uses the kind of tactics that M$ uses. I used to know a couple of people that worked for Microsoft. And to be honest, they weren't greedy assholes who just counted dollars all day. They were normal people, just like you and I.

    But the question is....would you work for a company that has the reputation and policies that Microsoft does? - In addition, would you work for a company that makes a poor product like Microsoft does?

    Personally, If my company bullied the competition because of its status, altered industry standards to make sure they "broke" on other operating systems and was, in general, looked down upon by the whole of the american public (everyone i know seems to want to scream "windows sucks!")....I would have to say that i would have a hard time justifying my employment at a company like that.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Which is the most hated and feared? Though Coca-Cola may have what some may consider to be the most annoying commercials and jingles in the whole of the United States... can they rival the loathing that Microsoft and their villanous transferring of user's hard drives, registry scans, and future licensing measures? I think not.
  • The value of a brand name is measured by the deceptively simple formula:

    Vpc = ns * csp / nc

    Where Vpc is the value per character, ns is the number of stocks issued, csp is the current stock price and nc is the number of characters in the name of the brand.

    For coke,

    Vpc = 8,730,000 * 42 / 8 = 45,832,500

    (Note that I'm using the brand name Coca-Cola in this calculation, and am not counting the hyphen)

    For Microsoft,

    Vpc = 5,600,000,000 * 78 / 9 = 48,533,333,333.

    Contrary to the article, the Microsoft brand name is already much more valuable. I can only assume that the author must have been using the the Coke/Microsoft Corporation comparison.

    All joking aside, they probably use market research in conjunction with statistical methods such as confidence intervals to form one huge SWAG. I wouldn't take it too seriously.

  • When I first read this article, the little blurb at the bottom read:

    As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong?

    *sigh* I felt the same way.

    On another note, I had some suggestions for branding/brainwashing the public:

    Coca-Cola == Caffeinated motor oil

    Microsoft == Daily systems crash

    Mountain Dew == Caffeinated urine

    Gap == Clothing I paid $50 too much to obtain

    Old Navy == Clothing the Gap deemed not worthy for their store, for which I still paid $50 too much to obtain

    Nike == Michael Jordan

    AOL == Misrouted email

    Napster == Metallica

    Open Source == Was, is, or soon will be proprietary

    Use these in your daily conversations!

    "Hey, I was listening to that new Napster album while I lost some AOL and my computer Microsofted the other day when I installed some Open Source software. Then, while watching TV I saw Nike drinking this cool new motor oil!"

  • This reminds me of a time when I was working at my old company and one of my coworkers asked me if there was any computer (hardware or software) company that I liked. I answered, "No." (Though I admit that I didn't think very hard -- the only companies which came to mind were Sun, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft, so I answered "no"). Then he asked me, "Do you like the company you're working for?"

    I had to think about it. I eventually answered "yes," and I told him that I think it's a good idea to evaluate your company on a routine basis and ask yourself, "Is this the kind of company I want to work for?"

    In the case of Microsoft, I would demand one billion dollars for every second that I work for them. That's really the only way I could feel justified working for them (demanding a salary which would bankrupt them), for they stand against everything I love about computing. It's time to re-read the Halloween documents and remind ourselves of exactly why and how Microsoft is so evil.

  • It's interesting to note that Amazon's brand value has managed to rise - in spite of haemorraging money left right and center ever since its inception..

    I'd have to say that Amazon's entire value is in the brand - there's just too many companies that follow the same business model for it to be considered unique anymore. It shows just how much a couple of billion dollars in adverts and specials can buy.


  • I wonder if anyone has done a poll of this type in recent days, I'd like to see how many people know who the current Speaker of the House is

    Speaker Dennis Hastur! Hastur! The Goat with a Thousand Young!


    The preceding was paid for by the Cthulhu 2000 Committee


    "In spite of everything, I still believe that people
    are really good at heart." - Anne Frank
  • Nope.

    Strong coffee. All the way. If you need something sweet, a good stiff Mocha.
  • For more discussion of the above topic, I refer you to The Cluetrain Manifesto []

    The basic thesis of the cluetrain manifesto is that carefully controlled corporate communications are basically hopeless in the age of the internet, because information is readily available to anyone and anyone can publish it.

    For an example of this, see my own cluetraining on the subject of high-tech headhunters at GoingWare's Policy on Recruiters and Headhunters [].

    Another (old) example is an ironically named one about why I chose not to develop macintosh software anymore after being dicked around too many times by Apple Computer: []

    I'm worried about my future. That's why I'm a Be developer. []

    (For those of you who don't know, Be's history has been to screw its developers even harder than Apple.)

    Vast numbers of people have their own web pages where they speak out about companies and business practices that they don't like. Do you have any examples? (let's not forget Mr. Sorehands).

    Tilting at Windmills for a Better Tomorrow
  • Looked at the Interbrand site [] to find clues on the brand valuation methodology, and found some reference [] to balance sheets increasingly confirm that brands are a corproation's most valuable asset. Couldn't account for the $70.5 billion on Microsoft's Balance sheet [].

    But in the article, the Interbrand consultants say that for many companies, their brands are their most important asset, estimated at more than half their total stock market value.

    Maybe there's a relationship between stock market valuation and total tangible assets? But Microsoft lost over $100bn in market cap recently, while Microsoft's brand value increased by 24%.

    Hmmm. Maybe the only way to learn about their brand valuation methodology, is to spend $10K on a presentation ;)

  • I think not. If you're going to cut a good bourbon with anything other than water...Pepsi won't do the job. That's what Co-Cola's made for, if nothing else.
  • Exactly. Coke is a brand name I see surviving essentially forever. A few more law suits and changes in the PC industry, and Microsoft could be gone before this century is over.

  • "choice of a new generation"? Interesting take on this. Just for kicks consider this scenario :Linux as Coca-Cola and M$ as Pepsi. Now this isn't because of any slogan but more of similar business practices. CocaCola is a big company with many products in its line but Pepsi as a real corporate monster (ala MS). So much so that in the 70's and 80's the major fast food chains were flipping back and forth on the Pepsi/Coke as beverage lines because Pepsi was buying up TacoBell and other companies. The thinking was that Pepsi on thier menus meant a threat to them in the sense of giving money to a direct competitor.inmho Coke is better anyway... 'Linux adds Life' rolls off the tongue more eleganly than 'choice of a new generation'
  • Coca-Cola sold out when they replaced cane sugar with corn syrup. The only time you can get real Coca-Cola is during Passover, when they switch back to cane sugar.
  • How many calories do raw coffee beans have?
  • by drix ( 4602 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @07:52PM (#923343) Homepage
    I read a study once where something like 50+% of people said the first thing that popped into their mind when they saw a combination of red and white in correct proportions was the words "Coca-Cola" - and that was spanning a whole bunch of different ethnicities. Microsoft may be a common phrase amongst stock-laden Gen-Xers (and Yers, I guess), and anyone else American who hasn't been living in a cave for the last few years, but it's nothing compared to the incredible brand recognition that Coke has built in literally every single country in the civilized world. It's cheesy, but Coke's entire theme of it being a common denominator of all humanity is kind of true - they sell it everywhere.

    Funny enough, they also sell it for whatever they can get it for. I'll never forget being in Indonesia during the height of a civil war and acquiring glass bottles of Coke (the big ones, not the little 8 oz'rs) for the equivalent of like 4 or 5 US cents.

    Anyways, those are my little, offtopics Coke tidbits :) Coke's reach and recognition is staggering, and far supercedes anything Microsoft will probably ever have to offer, unless they start making shoes...

  • A simple perusal of Interbrand [], including their summary of the survey [] in the BBC article, demonstrates one thing:

    These guys are hardly impartial.

    It's clearly a conflict of interest to produce a brand survey, obstensibly to fairly and accurately gauge the strength of well-known brands, and to promote oneself as a Brand Name Developer. I mean, these are the guys that came up with Prozac []!

    The above notwithstanding, it's also somewhat ludicrous to rank the Top Brands(tm) across all products and industries. How can anyone compare Coke to MS, or Intel to General Mills (the maker of Cheerios, which doesn't seem to appear in the top 10)? This list really needs to broken out into industry sectors.

    I suppose that if we accept that the American (or global, perhaps) consumer is dumb enough to be swayed by the power of a brand, rather than the quality of a product, then the American manufacturer's Marketing department will be dumb enough to buy this report.

    - Richie

  • In a few years, high school history books will write about "discrimination based on operating system/internet provider" in the 00's.
  • Some would say that having faith in Microsoft products would make you a moron.
  • Whats a passover?

  • A few months ago, having seen about 3 irritating Coke ads with annoying music in about 15 minutes on TV, I vowed to never purchase a coke product again. So a huge brand isn't always good. Or maybe i'm unusual.
  • Isn't it more like US's most valuable brands?
    Budweiser, for example? Who else would think of it as the american version than an american? (and if a european tastes it, he wouldn't call it beer, either :-) )

  • What relevance does this article have to anything at all? Has Slashdot mistaken itself for a marketing magazine? - ah wait a minute - yes, of course, it's that magic word Microsoft again: I guess that makes it relevant after all.

    Come on now, Slashdot, give us a break.
  • Nah, Linux should have GNUt Beer - an archive of beer recipies, with FAQs on brewing equipment and similar. You're free to download the recipie and brew your own, as long as you note on each bottle that it's brewed from a GNUt Beer recipie and don't try to pass it off as your own.

    If you find a way to improve the beer, you can't copyright your own brand, but have to submit your new recipie back to the GNUt Beer project.

  • This just shows what the Geeks have known for some time - we really are taking over the world. Okay, so Microsoft aren't every Geek's favorite company, but it does show how important hi-tech has become outside of the Geek community.

    Of course, we won't know we've really won until its Linux that has a greater brand recognition than Coke, right?

  • Coca-Cola has been around so long and they sponser every event they could of course they have the valuable brand name. I would think other companies wold have beat out Microsoft. All well I thought wrong lik enever happen before :)
  • I think the problem with pepsi adds is that they are too memorable. Coke adds appeal to people on a more submlinal level.

    For example there is the color of the coke cans and bottles. Coke bottles look cool while i'm not even sure if I've ever seen a pepsi bottle. In general coke products outwardly appear to be smoother, darker and richer than pepsi.

    The girl singing add was quite cute/funny for a while but I don't drink stuff because it's funny.

    I think the new adds about the pepsi challenge may be partitially based on fact. In the first few seconds Pepsi tastes lighter and crisper than Coke and people like that at first. I believe that what the "New Coke" was meant to counter?

  • Coca-Cola is drunk by people all over the world. Microsoft is used where people have computers. So they were able to have 70 billion in brand value for a market that's not even world wide. So I would probably Microsoft's might be a little more valuable (in dollars/person).
  • Top 75 list here. Duracell is 41st but Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Harley-Davidson are not on the list, surprised?

    Mercedes is #12. Ferraris and Harleys are unlikely to mean much in the non-industrialized world, whereas every dictator worth his corruption and kickbacks is driven around in a large black Mercedes...


  • Does anyone have name recognitition stats about Linux?

  • Just curious...anyone know just how exactly analysts measure the value of a brand name? Is there a formula of some sort?

  • Jack Daniels, at 69 just edged past Armani at 70.
    ( at least there are some things you can count on in this wacky world.

  • I'm sure it wouldn't have something to do with the fact that they sell the best-selling OS and they have the greatest marketing department on the face of the earth ...
  • Didn't CmdrTaco tell us that we should all be drinking Pepsi. Paraphrased from GIS:

    I just finished a nice, cold, Pepsi; Pepsi, the drink of a GNU Generation!

    PS: I'm a Coke guy myself, Pepsi is too weak

  • When I was wandering around the Bargohil area last year [] (on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a good two days walk from the nearest roadhead), there was no Coke to be found. But one of my fellow travellers brought a laptop with him, running guess what?


  • And I bet the name "Adolf Hitler" is recognizable by a huge number of people, too. But I'm not about to name my kid after him.
  • Pepsi sucks and I'll tell you why.

    Forget the taste difference, because it is impossible to 'prove' that one thing tastes better than another. (Even though Coke does taste about 1000x better than Pepsi)

    Pepsi is a company that stole the idea of cola from Coke and went on to make an inferior product. Pepsi's secret ingredient was pepsin, the stuff you took for upset stomachs that also made for a nice laxative. Coke was chic enough to slip us some cocaine. Jolt has nothing on the original formula. It was the only soft drink in history that actually made you lose weight. Think of how many svelt coders would be running around if we had that stuff now.

    Then take into account Pepsi's advertising campaign. I can sum it up in two words: COKE SUCKS

    They never tell you to drink Pepsi because it's good. They tell you to drink it because Coke sucks. EVERY Pepsi commercial mentions Coke at least once. Coke, on the other hand, makes very clever/hip/catchy commercials that sometimes really make you want to drink a Coke. Anyone else see the one with the really cute girl with the short brown hair and gorgeous mouth drinking Coke out of a tall, cool, ice-filled glass? It made me want to drink Coke. And find where that chick lives...

    I hate Pepsi so much that I no longer can eat at KFC, Pizza Hut or Taco bell, which *seriously* cuts into my restaurant choices. Luckily Wendy's stays open late these days.

    At least RC and Jolt and other Coke competitors don't try to insult the originator of the cola drink. They know their role, and it's under Coke's feet.

    I'll finish this semi-offtopic rant with an interesting factoid. A factoidette, even. Only 12 people in history have even seen the complete formula to Coke. I probably shouldn't have mentioned that. Now this post will be moderated down because Coke doesn't open source their recipe.


  • 'I don't care what you write about me, just spell my name right.'

    This sort of attitude may have worked once, but these days, there's a big difference between brand awareness and brand trust.

    While Microsoft may be getting more 'brandwidth' as a result of all the news coverage, they are going to find it harder and harder to atract and retain top talent. They are probably running into problems of that sort already.

    While it is probably better to be despised than to be unknown, Microsoft was hardly unknown. and it's getting to be more despised as time goes by.

    Consumers are becoming more savvy, and usually don't let you pull the same trick on them twice.

    Microsoft is running out of people to fool.
  • What's this linux thingie? A new camera? Better TP, perhaps?

    I'm sure it couldn't be an operating system since according to this Wired article [] we have the Honorable Justice Jackson and various industry pundits salivating at the chance to destroy Microsoft for, among other reasons, there being no other choices for a PC operating system other than Microsoft products.

  • Bah. If you want a real caffeine fix have a Jolt [], and use it to wash down some Energy mints [].

    Hey, are we wired [] yet? :)
  • It's already reached the point the Gap is at. Remember the commercial campaign showing how "down home folks" use MS products to manage their farms, schools, etc.?

    Glad I'm not a redneck.
  • You post something nonsensical but guaranteed to get +2 so that gets some attention reguardless of wether your post was good or bad.

    Thank you for the example.
  • fuck that original guy in his kitchen for making a headache cure in the late 1890's!
  • I just hope MS doesn't tamper with one of my favorite soda drinks! Sooner or later, we'll start seeing Windows logos on Coca Cola cans. :(

    Maybe Linux should do Pepsi. Or Dew [grin].

  • The Gap makes shitty clothes

    What's wrong with The Gap? I mean, it's not Ralph Lauren or anything, but they have decent stuff at reasonable prices.


  • Also, I've always wondered why Coca-Cola has had such high brand name recognition? I mean, think of all the ads you can remember that Coke has made. Now count anything done by Pepsi. I don't know about you, but Pepsi has that annoying little girl, the "Pepsi Challenge", and if you count Mountain Dew, a whole line of memorable commercials.
    "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." That was classic for years. And I think most people can recall the polar bear series they've done. But that begs a bigger issue:

    Perhaps the poster has the causal sequence reversed. Perhaps Pepsi has had such a diverse range of commericials precisely because they haven't figured out how to achieve Coke's recognition...

    Anyway, the best salvo in the cola wars, IMHO, was the RC Cola commericial toward the end of the Cold War, when they show a "unification" between the two big brands (from the colors, obviously Coke and Pepsi) and say, "But somewhere, freedom of choice still lives" (paraphrased). They cut to some sort of vibrant village festival where everyone is drinking RC ... and then the Cola Nazi break down the doors. I can't remember the tagline but it was hilarious.

  • Pepsi had the "Pepsi People" campaign. People playing volleyball on the beach, etc.

  • I can assure you, he'd never answer my questions. And I can assure you I wouldn't be alone on that.
  • At my old company, secretaries actually referred to MS Office as "Microsoft." Yes, folks, there are really people who haven't got a clue what an OS is, or if they even have one!!
  • Careful there, now.

    You don't want the DOJ's whole case to crumble.

  • by tylerh ( 137246 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @08:01PM (#923378)
    From the BBC article:

    Interbrand's survey looks at the future earnings potential of the companies concerned and tries to assess how much of that can be attributed to the brands they own.

    If I recall correctly, this process boils down to "brand equity = Market cap - everything we can attach a value to" So companies with enormous market capitalization (GE, Microsoft, Cisco) but few tangible assets (software companies) yield large brand equities.
  • Anyone can form sentences using those first couple product names as generic nouns/verbs:

    "Do you want a coke?"
    "Do you have any kleenex?"
    "Would you go xerox these?"

    But how do you use Microsoft in a sentence like that?

    "My car was in the shop for a week the last time it Microsofted!"

    "Do you think NASA's going to Microsoft their next Mars probe, too?"

    I've only seen someone use "Microsoft" as a synonym for "Operating System" once, and the sentence was, "Would you help me get this Microsoft off my hard drive?"
  • Microsoft does buy/clone an awful lot of stuff, but they have developed some concepts in-house, too (here's a partial list):

    Internet Explorer (originally bought from Spyglass)

    MS Mouse
    Media Player
    Streets Plus

    Excel (probably their best single original achievment)

    Actually, one thing I give Microsoft credit for is not sticking to the NIH model. If someone else has a good idea, they are willing to buy it. Some companies will just ignore anything they didn't create in-house.

    When it comes to integrating their purchases, though, I'd put Microsoft somewhere in the middle of the continuum, with Cisco the best example of hiw to integrate a company, and Computer Associates by far the worst.

    To shift gears here, cola brands in general have valuable brand names because that's the only thing most can differentiate themselves on. I'd give you odds that most of the Coke drinkers are there for the image, not the taste. Same with Pepsi and the rest. I think most folks wouldn't recognize their cola in a taste test (except for Moxie drinkers - yecch!). It's all branding.

    (Steve Jobs, to John Sculley: "Do you want to sell sugared water, or do you want to change the world?")

    - -Josh Turiel
  • Coke is actually planning to reduce advertising in hopes to reduce a little market share. They feel that they are overextended and are not maximizing profits. They think that they have figured out exactly how much Coke they want to distribute and in what forms (can/2 Liter or syrup) to maximize earnings.

    Quite an interesting situation for a company. They don't feel a need to compete with Pepsi and they think that the marketing competition is actually hurting them. So, they are still going to have cool, catchy ads, but they aren't going to just cram it down your throat.

    Maybe that will make Pepsi take that obnoxious little girl out of commercials. I *hate* that damn girl, and the dumb things they make her say.

    One other thing: does anyone find it unsettling that a company (Pepsi) would use the likeness of a well respected (dead) famous person (Einstein) to hawk their product? I do. I find that really disrespectful.
  • That doesn't make them stupid.

    You're right. It makes them evil.

  • Gap == Clothing I paid $50 too much to obtain

    Old Navy == Clothing the Gap deemed not worthy for their store, for which I still paid $50 too much to obtain

    OK, you've obviously never stepped into an Old Navy. Their prices are much lower than the Gap, and the merchandise is targetted at a younger age group. (Nevermind that I see 70 year olds running around in those fscking Old Navy flag t-shirts which are now omnipresent.)

    While they're part of the same company, they don't necessarily operate the same way. And both stores provide quality goods. I won't get into the whole WTO/workers/whatnot discussion.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, brand value is a part of a company's set of assets termed "Goodwill". Say you've got a company that's worth $1.4 billion (according to the accountants). If someone buys your company for $1.6 billion, then there's $200 million of 'perceived value' that goes into the Goodwill account and is amortized over X years (forget the exact number, think it's 5). Part of that $200 million of Goodwill (most of it, probably), is the value of the brand.

    Traditionally, ask any marketer or advertiser, one of the world's best product brands is Marlboro. That survey, however, was based on brand recognition. (Litte surprise that Marlboro is #1 in that regard, since Joe Camel and Mickey Mouse were somewhat equal in recognition as well... Sorry, no links available).

    Here is how Interbrand calculated brand value:

    Interbrand's survey looks at the future earnings potential of the companies concerned and tries to assess how much of that can be attributed to the brands they own.

    This is really shoddy reporting for 'brand value'. It's objective at best... Companies like Coca-Cola and Disney have bonds set out for 100 years, and people buy them, knowing that these are companies that are likely to last decades. If I worked for Coca-Cola, I wouldn't be too worried about it.

    As for Microsoft, no one is sure in what form, or if, it will exist in 5 years. An interesting article, but not too important if I was a brand manager.

    Disclaimer (for the 1st paragraph): IANACPA

  • by MillMan ( 85400 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:21PM (#923385)
    People might think microsoft is evil, but I think the media portrays them as a kind of necessary evil. The same thing goes for anything else the media covers, like corporations, the government, taxes, or whatever.

    So it shouldn't be suprising. People aren't calling for microsoft to be removed from existance, I don't think people that frequent this site would go even that far.

    Our society is business and money oriented. I think most people believe microsoft has a right to pursue profit. Believing they should be broken up in some fashion doesn't go against that, either.
  • by purefizz ( 114470 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:21PM (#923387) Homepage
    I'm sorry but brand valuations are HIGHLY subjective. It is difficult to truly place a value on the impact of brand. Usually they look at how much money has been put into marketing and protecting that mark. There is a point when there is a serious name recognition, but, is a brand really worth hundreds of millions or a billion dollars?! Really, it would be better to look at what that brand could possibly sell for on the open market. In other words, how much would Ross Perot pay for that brand.

    kick some CAD []
  • If we're willing to consider Windows as a clone, then Excel, Word and Access are also clones, of Lotus 1-2-3 (which cloned VisiCalc), WordPerfect and DBase respectively. These were the original applications to fill those niches, and there have been other options in these areas. Quatro Pro, Ami Pro and Paradox come to mind readily.

    However there is one thing I am willing to give Microsoft full credit for: They know how to manipulate the computer industry. They figured out a new and original way of making money, licensing to the end-user, and only recently did the others really catch up. The backlash they're suffering comes mainly, IMO from the fact that people do not like being manipulated, even if they do make billions as a result.

    Microsoft is a successful business because they understand their priorities. They are in business to make money, and the product is secondary. They're not idealists in the EFF/OSS sense, but they are good at what they do.
  • by KFury ( 19522 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:22PM (#923389) Homepage
    The Gap, which used to imply 'the generation gap' now plays of the 'sociological gap.' Folks in hicksville flock to the Gap because they think it's what all the cool urbanites wear. Cityfolk like the gap because (aside from the 'tech-vest debacle') in general it typifies a laid-back, more rural feel.

    Coca-Cola gets its brand recognition by reaching into every crevice (figurativly) and not letting any child in an impoverished nation grow to the age of 6 without recognizing the logo. What's more, since we first-worlders are so saturated by the logo, Coca-Cola resorts to showing us impoverished third-world children experiencing Coke for the first time, so that we can get that otherwise unattainable vicarious thrill of our first Coke.

    I wonder if Microsoft will adopt this strategy. A hotmail linkup in every village, a 'newbie of the week' using one of Hotmail's many security holes to let users read a Laotian girl's first emails to the world-at-large? Will they have the audacity to brand MicrosoftOps as the "choice of a new generation"?

    It can't be long until the commercial where we see the Berber family in their adobe room touch a button, hear the chime of Win2K booting and sigh, for they can feel all their troubles slip away, for now they have a night light...

    Kevin Fox
  • Interbrand's survey looks at the future earnings potential of the companies concerned and tries to assess how much of that can be attributed to the brands they own.

    The whole survey wasn't based on what brands people recognize, contrary to popular belief. It only has to do with earning potential, thus meaning that "Open Source" software, such as Linux, will not be recognized by the survey. It is too bad really, because I'd like to see more info than just the top two or three companies.

    Also, I've always wondered why Coca-Cola has had such high brand name recognition? I mean, think of all the ads you can remember that Coke has made. Now count anything done by Pepsi. I don't know about you, but Pepsi has that annoying little girl, the "Pepsi Challenge", and if you count Mountain Dew, a whole line of memorable commercials.

    Maybe brand recognition doesn't have to do with soley commercials, but I'd think that it would be a large part of it.

  • by Jim Tyre ( 100017 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:24PM (#923392) Homepage
    I wonder how this would have compared with an 'OJ Simpson' brand a few years back.

    Dunno, but if you really care, you could Ask OJ [].

  • by The Salamander ( 56587 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:27PM (#923395)
    PS: I'm a Coke guy myself, Pepsi is too weak

    So true! Diet Coke seems to be the high-caffine, no calorie drink for me!

    Go here to check out caffine content [] of your favorite drinks!

  • There are alot more similarities than you think:

    Microsoft makes shitty software

    The Gap makes shitty clothes

    Microsoft forces their product down people's throats

    The Gap makes shitty clothes

    Microsoft employs soulless morons with the lure of free software and stock options

    The Gap employs soulless teenagers with the lure of free shitty clothes.

    It's really kinda eerie, don't you think?

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • by pen ( 7191 )
    Linux? You mean that Red Hat stuff?


  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @06:28PM (#923399) Homepage
    There is a very significant difference between Microsoft and Coca-Cola at this point. Coca-Cola still produces it's product, while Microsoft only buys/licenses other, lesser brands, and repackages them as it's own. In this respect, Microsoft is more like Tommy Hilfiger than Coca-Cola.

    Coca-Cola was foolish enough several years ago to change a Good Thing. The population unanimously (or as close at this is possible) vetoed the New Coke, and Coca-Cola bent to consumer pressure and reverted to what people wanted. When was the last time Microsoft did anything even remotely in response to customer wishes?

    Microsoft has NEVER created an original product. Even if you go back as far as you can, to Bill Gates and Paul Allen coding BASIC for the Altair, what they did was port someone elses product to another machine - this was respectable, but here is where the Innovation(tm) ended. DOS was bought, and each new feature that was added to it was included to squeeze an add-on or competitor out of the market. Windows was clearly a work-alike of MacOS, which itself was a work-alike of Xerox PARC research. NT is really DEC Prism in disguise (Dave Cutler left DEC in disgust when the Prism project was killed, and took the OS design with him), and was supposed to be OS/2 until Gates' ego swelled a bit too much for Big Blue to handle. IE was another DOS-feature-levarage maneuver like EMS/XMS management (QuarterDeck's QUEMM386 died for that one) and DoubleSpace (Stacker anyone?), but this time aimed at Netscape... The only MS product whose history I am unclear on is their development tools, but I know for a fact that Borland did it first and better; and don't even start on Java...

    Hilfiger does the same thing. He buys other manufacturer's products, sans labels, and has a facility where they sow on his name. That's all. He's not a designer, he's not an innovator. He's a poseur and a brand-pirate. Just like Gates.

    Microsoft tactics are even worse than this. They don't actually buy another product to propagate their brand. They license it. Then they output version 1.0; and they study what they've licensed. By the time version 2.0 is ready, it's a reverse-engineered clone of the original. The license dies and soon after, so does the licensor.

    Coca-Cola has brand loyalty, it has a pedigree and a reputation. This means something in the market. Microsoft has Gestapo/strongarm tactics that got it a monopolistic market-share. Microsoft brand 'loyalty' stems not from it's reputation and pedigree but from the fact that all/most available alternatives have been killed, and the brand has been burned into 95% of all PC's sold in the last decade. People choose to drink Coca-Cola; people do not really have a choice about running Microsoft software.

    Average people do not have a choice because Linux takes experience to get off the ground, and most people have real work to do instead of reading HOWTO's. Mac software isn't really available to the general public - you have to own a Mac to get to those resources in the first place, and that's a huge leap of faith for the under-informed. The under-informed are that way due to Microsoft's propaganda engine. Not even geeky people have much choice, since we have to talk to other systems, and those use Microsoft-brand file formats.

    Well, there it is. Microsoft is a brand by force, they're rustlers and pirates; they're the Jay Gatsby of Silicon Valley, all flash and poise standing on shaky and shady foundations.

    "Where do you want to go today?" To the kitchen, to get myself a Coke.
  • Nah, some Excedrin Migraines (100mg+ each) and a Lipton Brisk/Snapple (as much as Jolt (70mg)) or two will do better than your Jolt+Mints, but being wired is cool, until you take the above caffeine combination and stay up until the sun rises even if you *want* to sleep.
  • Damn, OJ and Microsoft. That's an ugly picture.

    With OJ, one byatch got screwed and eventually murdered.

    With Gates...all the world is a byatch...
  • >> I wonder if Microsoft will adopt this strategy.

    They already do. They refer to China and other 2nd and 3rd world nations as "one-CD" nations, where someone buys the first CD and distributes it to his fellow countrymen. Or something like that. Their plan is to let everyone get hooked on Windows and then go in and start playing software cop.

  • Coke=caffeinated dark soda Kleenex=tissue Xerox=paper copy Kodak=picture (a kodak moment, if you will) Microsoft=Operating system/software Now that's branding, having your product recognized as "the" product. It just makes me think of how far linux has to go in terms of the PR war.
  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <> on Tuesday July 18, 2000 @05:36PM (#923419) Journal
    You know, when you're dragging a corporation's name around through the news and the court systems, it's free advertising.

    That's how it always is! What, do you think hackers like to hack just because it gives them an excuse to destroy their vision by staring at a computer screen for eight hours straight? That Monika had a few nights on the town with Bill Clinton just to be able to brag to her friends that the president offered her a cigar? That Darva decided to marry Rick just because she was having a great time in Vegas? It's all for publicity. Americans are ravageous pitbulls when it comes to dirt. We crave it. So, when someone's involved in something dirty, everyone hears about it.

    There was an interesting poll I read a while back that showed percentages of people who knew who the current president of the United States was. Suddenly, after the Lewinsky affair, 8% more Americans knew who their president was. Sorry to say, but the only news source for many Americans is the tabloid rack next to a grocery store's checkout counter.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984