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The Boston Globe reports that Coca-Cola, “faced with a nagging decline in North American sales,” plans to use its iconic contoured bottle “as a key way to set their products apart and try to generate fresh appeal … Consumers will see more sizes and bundles of Coke products at supermarkets and convenience stores. The iconic contour shape also will become even more prominent.”

A two-liter contoured bottle already is being tested in Alabama and Tennessee, and the company is planning to use its European packaging strategy – which uses more than a dozen different can or bottle sizes – as a way of creating for itself a differentiated advantage.

The Globe also notes that Pepsi is using packaging as a differentiator, with new logos and package sizes in the hopper.
KC's View:
In some ways this may make things more complicated in the supply chain, but it adheres to the MNB theory of modern marketing – in order to appeal to the consumers of 2009 and beyond, you have to give them what they want, when they want it, how they want it, where they want it, at a price they believe to be appropriate.

Diversity in the pursuit of differentiation seems like a good idea here.