This past week I picked up Sprite Zero from the grocery store and was surprised to find it was a blue can.
This is the Sprite Zero can I’m used to and the one that I found on the Sprite product page on the Coca-Cola Company website.
And this is the photo I took of the can I bought at the store.
I was surprised that I can’t find anything about this online. Maybe they are testing this in the Atlanta market for now, not sure. Regardless, I think there is a lot to learn from this move. Color strategy is a key component of brand identity development. Color for a brand is used to communicate emotions as well as solidify a brand position with comfortable distance from the competition.
This is a very smart move for the Sprite Zero. When Coke Zero moved from a white can to a black can, it proved that moving to a stronger, more masculine color can produce wonderful results for a diet drink targeted towards men (emotional use of color). Also, there isn’t any diet soda that uses a color close to that blue, which strengthens the brand position (positioning use of color). As we look further into this, it gets more interesting as we think about Diet Coke’s brand position. Diet Coke has long used silver as its main brand color, and with Sprite Zero moving away from that silver, it further solidifies Diet Coke’s ownership of its color.
Think about a tub full of ice at a party and inside that tub is scattered about 12 packs of Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke, Sprite and Sprite Zero. As you look down into it and get ready to grab a drink, you can’t see any specifics, you only see color. Before this change there would’ve been a good chance you would mistake Diet Coke for Sprite Zero and vice versa. But now they each have their very own clear color. You will clearly see the colors silver, black, red, green and blue. Brilliant!
Kudos to the folks at Coca-Cola who were behind this. You continue to make me proud to be a life-long Atlantan.