Who doesn’t love a little mudslinging between rivals? When businesses outdo and undercut one another in ways we haven’t seen since Game of Thrones, all we can do is sit back and enjoy. One such story that stands out is when Coke failed on purpose in its pursuit to screw Pepsi.
As any American is well aware, the rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi is legendary. Going back to “The Pepsi Challenge” of 1975, the two soft drink companies have been sniping and swiping at one another in the pursuit of winning.
There is one behind-the-scenes story that took the cola wars to a diabolical level. That was when Coke failed on purpose only to bring Pepsi down.
Sit down, folks. This one’s a doozy.
The Clear Craze
Our story of cutthroat corporate screwdom begins in the late 80’s with the resurgence of the “clear craze.” This marketing fad has its roots in the 1939 New York World’s Fair with the 193 Pontiac Deluxe Six.
I mean, just look at this ghostly puppy:
Who doesn’t wanna make that kitty purr?
The transparent product trend peaked in the early 1970s before falling out of popularity only to pick up steam again in the 1980s. It wasn’t until Ivory’s “99 and 44/100% Pure” campaign for bath soap that marketers began to latch onto the concept of clear products once again.
The idea is that transparency inspires faith and trust in the produce. “See? We have nothing to hide,” is the sentiment you feel when you can see the innerworkings of a product. Or so goes the theory.
This trend bled into the beverage industry with products like light beer and Zima. Naturally, Pepsi Co. wanted a piece of the action. And so they introduced Crystal Pepsi.
You’ve Never Seen A Taste Like This
Crystal Pepsi, the brainchild of former Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hutt) CEO David Novak, was a soda unlike any other.
“the best idea I may have ever had in my career.”
MMMMM sure, Jan.
In 1992, Novak became the COO of Pepsi Co. after a successful series of marketing projects. He spotted words like “pure” and “clear” across all sorts of products from soap to gasoline and clearly thought soda falls somewhere on that spectrum.
Inspired by the currently raging clear craze, Novak pitched Crystal Pepsi, a colorless cola that appears to be more refreshing and “good” for you (despite being loaded with high fructose corn syrup).
After positive responses in test markets in Denver, Sacramento, Dallas, Providence, and Grand Rapids, Pepsi decided to expand the fresh, new beverage nationwide. Pepsi’s future was crystal clear.
But Coke wasn’t about to let this happen without some kind of response…
A Diabolical Scheme
Coca-Cola Co.’s chief marketing officer, Sergio Zyman (aka “Aya-Cola” for his particularly aggressive management style), devised an ingenious plan to totally ruin Crystal Pepsi. For no other reason than to f**k with ‘em.
Zyman had to be strategic in his attack. After 1985’s disastrous New Coke launch, Coca-Cola couldn’t afford to risk its flagship cola less than ten years after the blunder. That’s when Zyman thought of Tab (styled “TaB”).
Tab, with its cute pink cans, was introduced in 1963 as an alternative for calorie-conscious consumers who just had to have a soda. The brand specifically targeted women concerned about their weight.
“be a shape he won’t forget … Tab can help you stay in his mind.”
Tab was not a super successful brand under the Coca-Cola umbrella. It had fallen from 4% of Coke’s market share to just 1%. Zyman accurately believed that Tab’s reputation as a “health” soda would lend credibility to his diabolical scheme.
Zyman was going to create a product that would intentionally fail and bring Pepsi down with it. Coke failed on purpose.
“It was a suicidal mission from day one.”
The “Born To Die” Strategy
If there were ever a kamikaze soda, Tab Clear was it. Zyman wanted to deliberately confuse consumers once Tab Clear hit the shelves. Tab Clear was a diet diet soda by its very nature. It contained no sugar, no calories, but was loaded with caffeine.
The theory was that simply sitting on the shelf beside each other would confuse consumers into believing that Crystal Pepsi was something it wasn’t.
“[Pepsi Co.] were going to basically say it was a mainstream drink. This is like a cola, but it doesn’t have any color. It has all this taste.
“And we said, ‘No, Crystal Pepsi is actually a diet drink.’ Even though it wasn’t.
“Because Tab had the attributes of diet, which was its demise. That was its problem. It was perceived to be a medicinal drink.”
By the end of 1992, Tab Clear was making its debut.
Millions And Millions To Fail
Pepsi Co. spent nearly $40 million on marketing for Crystal Pepsi. Including a coveted SuperBowl ad you can watch in the cringy-as-hell video above.
Not even SNL could parody that ad. It’s unparodyable. Nobody said Pepsi did nothing wrong here.
To begin their calculating takedown, Coke launched Tab Clear in 10 cities and spent minimally on marketing and advertisements. They made just enough noise to give Crystal Pepsi an identity crisis.
By the end of 1993, Crystal Pepsi grabbed just 0.5 of the market. Zyman’s plan had succeeded.
“Within three to five months, Tab Clear was dead.
“And so was Crystal Pepsi.”
Crystal Pepsi had spent millions in development, more in marketing, and totally flopped. Tab Clear had about two months of development and significantly less on marketing and succeeded in its mission. Coke failed on purpose and it worked.
On top of that, despite marketers’ best efforts, the clear craze never caught on. Different products from computers to GameBoys featured clear cases, but those faded out in the early 2000s. People just weren’t that into it.
Even though Crystal Pepsi was an embarrassment for Pepsi Co., the infamous clear soda still makes promotional comebacks. Just for giggles.
It just goes to show that no matter how certain you are in your concept and how much money you throw at it, there’s someone waiting in the wings to totally screw you over.
12 Best Manufacturing Software for Businesses in 2022
Small or mid-sized companies in the manufacturing sector acknowledge that manufacturing software helps them keep up with orders and production jobs. This software allows business owners to come up with accurate bills of materials as well as inventory management.
There is plenty of manufacturing software available in the market today. To help you find the right tool, we’ve compiled the best manufacturing software solutions rated well by real software users. We’ve listed twelve products that stood out among thousands of applications in manufacturing that deliver excellent value.
Odoo is an open-source business management tool that offers various applications to streamline every company’s needs or processes. Its features include enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), point of sale (POS) system, accounting, manufacturing, email marketing, and invoicing.
2. Genius ERP
Genius ERP is a manufacturing ERP software made for custom manufacturers. It assists manufacturers in reducing costs, increasing productivity, and improving business performance. Genius ERP’s key features are accounting, scheduling, product engineering, production planning, and job costing.
JobBOSS is a job shop management software for manufacturers and job shop owners. The answer can assist with quote processing, order processing, shop floor control, inventory control, shipping, estimates, and data visualization.
4. Epicor Kinetic
Epicor Kinetic is an ERP solution that helps manufacturing plans and manages its resources. The software has all the features you need to scale, compete, and attract top talent to your organization. These include CRM, advanced planning and scheduling, supply chain management, product lifecycle management, and a quality management system.
NetSuite is a business management solution that integrates various applications such as ERP, accounting, CRM, HCM, omnichannel commerce, reporting, and analytics. The solution offers real-time operational and financial performance insights while automating core processes.
6. DEAR Systems
DEAR Systems is an ERP software specifically created for small and medium businesses. The comprehensive solution has modules dedicated to manufacturing, purchasing, sales, inventory management, accounting, POS, and warehouse management.
7. Fishbowl Inventory
Fishbowl is a popular manufacturing and warehouse inventory management solution for small and medium enterprises. The software enables the user to generate work orders and track inventory. Likewise, it integrates with accounting software to scale your business.
8. Katana Manufacturing ERP
Katana Manufacturing ERP lets you gain clear visibility over inventory sales and order management. The solution also controls the total shop floor while tracking manufacturing costs based on product operations.
MRPeasy is a manufacturing software for small companies that integrates various modules in one solution, including procurement, supply chain management, and CRM. It also streamlines the purchasing process while managing every purchase order and organizing purchase cycles.
California-based Prodsmart is a manufacturing execution solution for portable and mobile devices. The floor supervisors and machine operators can use the software directly from their workstations rather than stepping away from the floor.
11. Sage 100cloud
Sage 100cloud is an ERP solution for discrete manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and professional service processes. It streamlines the manufacturing business to provide greater visibility into every item’s status and optimized inventory.
Statii is an ERP and MRP software created for small manufacturing firms. The solution helps create work orders, scheduling, inventory, purchase orders, invoicing, contact management, and reporting.
Adopting technologically advanced manufacturing software can give your business all the functionalities the tool offers to ensure maximum productivity. These solutions allow you to efficiently handle shop floor management, scheduling, time tracking, and accounting. Finding a platform that’s easy to use can be a great way to start your software-buying process.
The 8 Best Enterprise Accounting Software
For large companies that handle vast amounts of financial records, enterprise accounting software is a necessity. If you’re looking to get one, below are 8 of the best we found:
1. Oracle NetSuite ERP
A leading name in the business software industry, Oracle NetSuite ERP (enterprise resource planning) is a powerful choice. It takes care of everything accounting, from tax to cash management concerns, and many more in between. This accounting software integrates seamlessly with NetSuite’s other features to provide enterprise-sized businesses with a full-service suite.
Oracle helps you manage inventories, track finances, host e-commerce shops, and maintain your CRM (customer relationship management) systems.
2. Sage Intacct
Cloud-based platform Sage Intacct is another solid choice for enterprise accounting software. It provides the usual essential accounting tools such as general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, cash and tax management, among many others. Its users love the additional features Sage Intacct has to offer.
Its advanced accounting tools include dynamic allocations, project-based accounting, and AI-powered timesheets, to name a few. Its intelligent general ledger tool is AI-powered which is efficient and saves you time and money.
3. QuickBooks Enterprise
A popular enterprise accounting software, QuickBooks Enterprise has industry-specific solutions any entrepreneur will appreciate. It has built-in automation tools that include payroll, collection of customer payments, task management, recurring invoices, and many more.
It has robust reporting tools and more than 200 customizable reports for better financial visibility. QuickBooks Enterprise has built-in budgeting and forecasting tools and advanced inventory and order management capabilities.
Initially created for small businesses, Xero has the power and capabilities to handle enterprise accounting companies as well. It features tools to make accounting quick and easy, including cost capturing, invoicing, bank reconciliation, and payment processing.
With its Xero Workpapers feature, enterprise owners use the platform to automate compliance processes. Users of Xero enjoy its robust analytics and reporting capabilities that give them valuable information about client cash flows.
5. Acumatica Cloud ERP
For enterprises with multiple entities, Acumatica Cloud ERP is a highly recommended accounting software. Its users love how it can centralize their enterprise’s financial data and processes across different locations. It is capable of handling project-based accounting, managing billing, and budgeting, aside from its basic accounting capabilities.
You can customize workflows for accounting automation and many financial management processes. In addition to its multi-entity accounting, Acumatica helps with currency, tax, and payroll management.
If your enterprise deals with customers the world over, FinancialForce is the accounting software for you. Aside from the core tools for accounting, it also has global-grade solutions such as multi-currency and multi-language capabilities. It is built on the popular CRM platform Salesforce, so you’ll know you’re in good hands.
FinancialForce uses SalesForce’s Einstein, giving you insightful and intelligent financial data. It
also has built-in compliance reports and financial statement template features.
Providing enterprises with complete financial management, SAP is an industry leader in ERPs. Its SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management allows businesses to automate their billing and invoicing processes. Alongside its basic accounting tools, this software helps you with concerns about governance, risk, and compliance (GRC).
It has been proven excellent in simplifying financial closing through its automated workflows. It also provides support for subscription and usage-based billing and accounts receivable.
8. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance
Sporting a trusted name in the tech industry, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance is an excellent choice for an accounting software. It offers automated vendor invoice processing, financial reporting capabilities, built-in tax calculation tools for tax compliance, and many more.
It seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft platforms, including Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Commerce. It is a powerful tool that helps you monitor many financial operations.
The Best POS Systems for Small Businesses
There are many hurdles to running a small business. More often than not, you are working with meager resources and even more limited staffing. Because of this, you need an efficient set of tools to help you manage everyday operations.
And one of the most critical suites to any retail business is a point of sale (POS) system. This tool allows business owners to cater to various payment options, whether online or in-person. Another great thing about POS systems is that they come with practical business features, depending on your industry.
Here are the ten best POS system for small businesses today:
If you need a POS system for your small business right now, Clover can get it done for you. It has essential credit card processing tools and more. Users can link Clover with third-party apps for other functions like managing payroll. Clover Go, which works on Android and iOS tablets, is the best option for small business owners.
The suite’s virtual terminal allows owners to accept payments via a smart device. But the most appealing feature of Clover is its ease of use. Their terminals come pre-configured, so onboarding is mostly a smooth process.
Square has good overall features, making it a top option for general retailers. Users can get barcode printing tools, sales reports, and stock management. Apart from that, though, it also has specific features and tools designed for individual contractors and restaurants.
Another plus is that Square accounts come with a built-in e-commerce store. Finally, POS users can expect speedy payments and buy now, pay later charges via Afterpay.
On the other hand, Chase has various hardware and virtual solutions that accept payments from multiple platforms. Users can expect to get physical tablets and standalone terminals for brick-and-mortar shops. And users can even make contactless payments and wireless credit card payment processing with the Chase Smart Terminal.
Aside from that, Chase also has e-commerce integrations for online stores. Because of these features, Chase is ideal for e-commerce shops and general retailers.
Shopify is the best mobile POS system for small businesses because it makes it easier for owners to start and complete payments in the same place. It’s also the best POS system for retailers that are on multiple channels. It has easy to use interface that online businesses can easily use.
Plus, it has advanced tools that help with inventory and customer relations. Finally, Shopify lets users integrate with Apple and Facebook for better customer support.
Toast offers POS systems for small businesses free of charge. Apart from this, they also have a good starter POS promo that’s ideal for businesses just starting out. Otherwise, they have pay-as-you-go and standard plans that lock users in for two years.
The system is great for restaurants because of its many valuable features. These include QR code payments, delivery tools, a table check splitting tool, and more. Toast also has a staff and inventory management tool.
On the other hand, companies that need superb inventory tools can try Lightspeed. It has a matrix system to manage your stock and create smooth data visualization. Here, you can draw up matrixes of product variants to see which items need restocking.
Lightspeed works even when it’s offline. This POS system for small businesses is best if you are in the food and beverage industry, as well as physical retailers and restaurants.
7. Revel Systems
The best POS system for retail shops and restaurant is Revel Systems. Whether a general store or a busy retailer, you can count on Revel Systems’ hardware tools to finish payments.
Revel has iPad-based terminals that track stocks, orders, and deliveries for groceries and restaurants. In fact, its restaurant features include tracking tips, building menus, and managing tables. Meanwhile, its grocery tools include discount, loyalty, and gift card tools.
On the other hand, ITRetail is a POS system for small business that’s best for groceries and small markets. For one, it has strong and flexible checkout options. Customers can pay via debit, credit card, gift cards, or e-wallet. It also has a host of options should people need to self-checkout.
Apart from that, you can manage your stock via their mobile app. Users can customize CRM tools to monitor and track loyalty and rewards programs.
KORONA is a POS suite that is best for high-risk enterprises. This refers to liquor, vape, and even cannabis stores. However, KORONA can also support brick-and-mortar shops and ticketed venues. Most online reviews deem KORONA one of the most flexible POS because it links with major payment processors.
Aside from that, it’s also a top choice because of its stock tracking tools. It even has a ticketing function, making it a great event option.
Tips for picking a POS system
When you think about the qualities of a great POS system, it can seem like an unnecessary expense. However, a POS system can be a game-changer for a small business. Here are a few tips on picking a system to make sure that it will be a worthy investment.
Hardware and Software Compatibility
The first thing to look for when picking a POS system is whether it will be compatible with your hardware and software. Check if your POS system supports your computer operating system (like Windows or Mac). You also want to check if it works with your network and your printer or scanners. You don’t want to invest in a product that can’t work with your current systems. Keep in mind that POS systems come in various levels of functionality, so you can find one compatible with your existing technology.
Ease of Use
Another important thing to consider when picking a POS system for your small business is its easy use. The less time you spend on training your staff, the better. You want to find a POS system with an intuitive interface, making it easy for everyone from your office manager to your cashier.
Another important thing to consider when picking a POS system is its security features. You want a system that is protected against fraud and theft.
Lastly, don’t forget about the budget when picking a POS system. You don’t have to overspend to get a great product. A good rule of thumb is to look for a system in the middle of the price range for your industry.