TaB drinkers, advertising help reveal that choice is king

(“TaB drinkers, advertising help reveal that choice is king,”, November 1, 2005, — by J.C. Smith)

I am proud to tell you that I claim membership in a special market segment. This is an elite group. I carry a membership card for the TaB Drinkers of America.

Many people are not familiar with TaB. Many poor souls may have thought that the Coca-Cola Co. no longer bottled, as I like to call it, “the nectar of the gods.”

TaB is sold in Mozambique, South Africa, Spain, Botswana, Iceland, Namibia and Swaziland, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Granted, TaB may not command the shelf space of other Coca-Cola products. Even with the introduction of Diet Coke in 1982, TaB has held its own over the years. First bottled in 1963, TaB was the company’s first sugar-free drink.

TaB drinkers are fiercely loyal to their drink. Recently, I saw a friend of mine, Mike, on the soft drink aisle at a local grocery store. Mike asked me if I had tried Minute Maid Light, another Coca-Cola product.

I said that I had not, but upon his recommendation I would try it. While Mike urged me to try the Lemonade, I opted for Minute Maid Light Raspberry Passion.

Alongside the Raspberry Passion was a 12-pack of TaB. I tried Raspberry Passion, but am addicted to TaB.

The point of this background is two-fold. Consumers are loyal to certain brands. No matter how many brands there are, new niche markets are tapped every day.

If you spend any time listening to or viewing advertising, you sometimes may wonder who the advertisers are trying to reach. Advertisers should understand that past a certain point in life, consumers are not going to change their buying habits.

Your children and grandchildren may be open to the suggestions offered in advertising. To a baby boomer, the advertisement may make no sense. However, for a generation-X or echo-boomer, the advertisement hits their buying interest.

Over the years, I have tried Nehi Grape, Fanta Orange, Diet Coke and Sioux City Creme Soda, but I always will be a TaB man.

As population numbers increase, so do niche markets. And for each of these markets, the options to purchase grow, too.

As long as we are on the soft drink aisle, let’s take a look at the chips because they are located here too. Chips are segmented depending upon the customer’s taste.

There are potato and tortilla chips. The potato chips may be ruffled, smooth or symmetrically round and in a tube. They can be seasoned with salt and vinegar, cream cheese and chives or garlic, and then baked or fried.

Remember, for your customers it’s all about choice.

J.C. Smith is a consultant for the Gainesville district office of the University of Georgia Business Outreach Services. Telephone: (770) 531-5681. E-mail: His column appears Tuesdays.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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