MillerCoors MGD 64 Lemonade – A valid innovation effort

Having worked in new product development, I know how challenging it is to launch either a new brand or a line extension on a current brand.  The Chicago Tribune on July 26th, 2011, reported, “Miller Coors drops MGD 64 Lemonade.”  With MGD 64, MillerCoors had been doing some great work in getting females interested in its low calorie beer.  The lemonade variant was used to get women interested in a flavored version.

Some great career lessons can be learned here.  MillerCoors went out, took a risk, and tried something new with its current customer.  The current customer did not fully embrace the new product. MillerCoors realized it was not working and pulled the product from the shelves.  Finally, MillerCoors publicly said that while it did not work this time, they are committed to new product development and will continue to innovate.

How often in your own career, do you go out and take a chance/try something new/put yourself out there, based on what you knew to be true, and for whatever reason it did it not work with the intended audience? Equally important, it is essential to have the self-awareness to recognize that this risk did not work and to “cut your losses.” Most importantly, you pick yourself up and give it another shot, learning key lessons from mistakes made.

I look forward to seeing what MillerCoors comes up with next on its MGD 64 brand.