How Coca-Cola is picking winners and killing off "zombie" brands in its portfolio

Coca-Cola, the beverage manufacturer, is streamlining its brand portfolio to focus on strategic priorities and the assets with greatest potential.

The Coca-Cola Co. is streamlining its unwieldy portfolio of 400 brands to ensure its largest assets and best new products thrive, while slow-moving “zombie” beverages are killed off.

In organizing its sprawling array of beverages, the Atlanta, Georgia-based enterprise utilizes a three-tier formula:

  • leaders, a group made up of its biggest offerings;
  • challengers, a category which could ultimately become leaders;
  • explorers, which are smaller, disruptive brands.

And James Quincey, Coca-Cola Co.’s CEO, revealed that making sure its top-tier brands – say, its eponymous cola, as well as carbonated drinks like Fanta and Sprite – are in a...

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