Creeping Santayana-ism — or A Cheap (Free) Easy Way to Tell the Future.

“Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Thus spake Santayana, the philosopher, not the awesome electric guitarist. Had he not passed away about 50 years ago, I suspect he might have been a “Maker’s Mark” bourbon fan too. I’ll tell you why. In two simple words. New Coke. Yes, in a marketing debacle for the ages, the Coca-Cola company, in trying to match the super sugary syrupy sweet flavor of its arch competitor Pepsi (of the Pepsi Challenge) changed Coke, renamed it, the whole kit ‘n kaboodle. And almost lost the farm in the processes. Loyal users, users who had deep MEANING bonds with the black sugar water in the red can that Santa drinks, lost faith. FAITH. (Btw — this happened almost 20 years ago now I believe.) So, the makers of “Maker’s Mark,” obliviously do the same thing to their BELOVED brand — “we’re going to water it down” they literally said to their fanatical followers. Cue the debacle. Who is running the show up there in Deerfield? Well, they quickly rejiggered the stills and MM is back to its full proof. And I’m sure the spin-meisters are working overtime saying it’s just what they wanted. But I’m also equally sure some resumes are on the street. How could this have been prevented? How could the future have been predicted? You do the math. (And check out both Santayana and Santana while you’re at it.)


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