The August 7th Business Week has a great profile of Mary Minnick, Coca Cola’s head of marketing, strategy, and innovation. Aside from giving historical detail of some of Coke’s missed opportunities during Minnick’s tenure at Coke, it provides some great insight into one person’s crusade to save Coke from being “irrelevant”.
Her goal, according to the article, is “to transform Coke from a soda-centric organization that was long content to offer ‘me-too’ products in emerging categories to one on the cutting edge of consumer trends.” These intentions sound great — just what Coke needs — but the article doesn’t reveal much about how this will be executed and I personally find it worrisome that Coca-Cola Zero and Coke Blak are referenced as examples of the transformation.
Surprisingly, the article lacks any mention of acquisition. Realistically, the change that Minnick is hoping to achieve is so fundamental that it’s difficult to believe that it can happen organically. Coke — and Minnick, if she wishes to last in such a position — needs to find brands or companies that can bring outside innovation to an organization that has struggled to come up with fresh ideas of its own. Whether it ends up being in the form of something the size of Glaceau or several smaller companies in emerging categories, Minnick needs to help Coke learn what it means to be an innovator.
Read the full article: