I think it's pretty clear now that the Vatican has studied the marketing strategies of the Coca-Cola company in order to accomplish the Pope changeover.  I think the Vatican has learned from the Coca-Cola experience, and up to this point it's worked o.k.  It also appears this strategy includes a "Plan B" taken directly from Coke that can be rolled out if necessary.

I think it's appropriate to understand why the Coca-Cola model can work for the Vatican because of the similarities in their situations:

Both have been around for a long time;

Both have a product that has developed a strong, almost cult-like following over time;

The full details about this product are secret, and known only to a select few individuals;

Both initially marketed a product as "good for you," although subsequent events and knowledge have revealed that it isn't really;

Both have had to come to grips with some negative attitudes about their product, and both seem to have felt compelled to do something about changing those attitudes without alienating the loyal followers who don't think anything is wrong; and

Both have massive resources capable of withstanding a setback if a new product doesn't work out.

So, taking their cue from Coca-Cola, the Vatican, rather than waiting for the  natural course of events to take place, instead decided to roll out NEW POPE.

So far, things seem to be working out all right for the Vatican on this one.  However, there is still the chance that those forces within the organization who aren't thrilled with the trend towards less opulence and ostentation and don't think that child molesters should be reported to the police will reassert their dominance.  That's often difficult in an organization where the leader is presumed to be infallible and all-powerful.  However, this time, since the old Pope is still around, the Vatican can again look to Coca-Cola for inspiration.

In 6 months, if the new Pope isn't working out, then Benedict can come back as "POPE CLASSIC."

Who says that organizations like the Catholic Church can't evolve?  Oh wait - they do.  Well, at least they can adapt and learn a little sometimes.

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