MARKETING STRATEGIES USED BY PEPSI AND COCA-COLA
The global meaning of beverage industry is alienated towards the carbonated soft-drink class. Soft-drink holds approximately 51% of the total global beverage market is standing out to be the biggest market (Taylor et al., 2011). The industry further subdivides soft-drink category into carbonated beverages (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Thumbs up, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi.) and the non-carbonated drinks (Orange, Cloudy lime, Clear Lime and Mango). Pepsi and Coca-Cola belong to the carbonated beverages. Some example of non-carbonated drinks includes; Clear and cloudy lime, orange, mango among many others. The leading companies in the soft-drink market today are the two American companies, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, owning the entire North American markets. These companies have the largest spatial distribution (Taylor et al., 2011). They are also known as the world’s best brands in the beverage industry. They are dominant in world markets as well. These two brands products take up the largest space of any supermarket’s shelf compared to other brands. This paper will analyze the marketing strategies used by Pepsi and Coca-Cola to outcompete each other in the market. The paper will also cite the available opportunities and challenges that these two companies are likely to face in their struggle to be the market giants.
Coca-Cola versus Pepsi
Pepsi has focused on a specific group of audiences, as Pepsi Cola has dependably prioritized younger generation. Pepsi has their marketing strategies are settled to target the youth aged mostly between (14-21 years). Pepsi usually couples their advertisements with fun and music. This trend has been witnessed in the past years as the company (Pepsi) have had a preference for musical celebrities in their marketing and advertising. For example, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears in the recent past and today, we see Beyoncé (Keller et al., 2011). Coca-Cola, on the other hand, has marketing strategies that have targeted a broader audience. The company makes sure that their products meet the wants of both the young and the old generations. Coca-Cola has achieved this wider audience by developing new images on their advertisements or their product packages. In an attempt to get hold of the young generation, however, they have maintained the originality and novelty of their packages such as cans and bottles; they have also maintained the taste to remain relevant to the older people and maintain their loyalty as consumers. Besides, Coca-Cola also targets to diversify its audience of people through a wider geographical coverage hence they have put the cultural diversity in mind in their marketing. (Taylor et al., 2011). Coca-Cola additionally positions themselves as a drink fit for the whole family unlike Pepsi whose major focus is on the teens (Keller et al., 2011). Looking at branding as a marketing strategy, Coca-Cola brand, boasts of images of the red logo with the “Coca-Cola” writing. The brand is also associates itself with a red and white theme for advertisement and packaging. The logo characteristic enough to guide consumers in the identification of the brand.
The introduction of the six pack carriers by Coca-Cola which was then copied by Pepsi has been a huge success in encouraging consumers to carry home their drinks from the shops. Looking at the Coca-Cola website, they have used slogans and catchphrases like “The Coke Side of Life” in 1996 and “Taste The feeling” in 2016 to advertise and market. These slogans have changed with time to accommodate the changing market trends and demands (Taylor et al., 2011).
Apart from the brand, the company’s URL is very modest and easy to remember since it is just the brand name. It also stands a marketing tool. Equally, Pepsi brings an image of the mostly blue Pepsi logo with its red, white and blue background which stood out as a loyal approach by the company (Keller et al., 2011). Its brand name of this product originated from the ingredients used to produce it (Pepsin and Cola) hence, giving very useful information. In the past, the product name was Pepsi Cola, but this has gone through numerous facelifts and today, three colors (red blue and white) logo signify of the brand. Again in branding, the company has not diversified its audience. Instead, it has created a slogan “For those Feel Young” (Taylor et al., 2011).Their URL is not any different from that for the Coca-Cola. On the packaging, Pepsi lately has fashioned a bottle that secures good smell when the consumers open the bottles and cans in an attempt to make the drinking experience better. However, this could come with various implications. It may not be favorable for people with health problems, for example, those who are asthmatic (Keller et al., 2011).
Although the quantitative examinations already predict Coca-Cola brand as the obvious winner, a qualitative analysis would go further and look at the actual tweets from each brand customers. This will help by putting some human outlook and feeling on the graphical presentation of the surveys done. For the Coke-Pepsi Social Presence Showdown, what the qualitative analysis is actually keen on is the discussions looking at the two items. Hunting particularly down jabber specifying both “Coke” and “Pepsi” painted a photo considerably more inclined toward Coke. Looking through the discussions, a larger part of them express a reasonable inclination for Coke (an abrupt example evaluates around ten times the same number of tweets for Coke).
Besides, while Pepsi subscribers perceive that their product is a “disliked supposition,” Coke fans go as far as passionately regarding their Pepsi partners as “underhanded” or say they “don’t believe” them. This act portrays brand loyalty. Still, the most widely recognized type of tweet contrasting the two brands pointed out a familiar circumstance: Pepsi and Coke have been an unpredictable piece of world culture for quite a while. They have stacked their products picture with over-romanticizing and fun; a picture many individuals have appreciated profoundly. Pepsi and Coke are the amazingly noticeable brands, which is the best quality of them. Moreover there bottling framework is one of their most outstanding strengths (Taylor et al., 2011). This strength permits them to direct business on a worldwide scale and keep up both local and regional approaches. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are having the biggest global distribution network, which is additionally there one of the best quality. Shortcomings and weaknesses for any business should be both minimized and checked with a specific end goal to efficiently accomplish profitability and productivity in their commercial exercises. Even though the global sales for beverages are on the rise, there is evidence that the consumer preference for the cola drinks is unstable. The world anticipated a shift towards the healthy drink in the recent past and it is evident today the consumers prefer drinks with less sugar and few ingredients that they would deem toxic to their health (Keller et al., 2011).
Although Coca-cola has done a good job than Pepsi in capturing both the North and South American markets, there is still big opportunity in the international global market. Almost 94 percent of the world know about the Coca-Cola brand, some nations, particularly the developing countries still have very low per head use of the drinks. Therefore, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi must work on a strategy to improve their geographical coverage, especially Pepsi (Taylor et al., 2011).
In the world today, an emergence of a new brand- a competitor in the carbonated soft-drinks is not viable. The main completion in this industry is the substitute products such as coffee, tea, dairy products and fresh juice from fruits. The growing consciousness on health and what kind of food one eats developing from the market has fuelled this competition. .
It comes out clearly that Coca-Cola is the obvious winner in this contest of better strategies and execution. In a free and competitive market, it is crucial for a company to have a wider consumer target and geographical coverage. Variations between the two firms arise from product, geographical market coverage and promotion. Coca-Cola focuses majorly on value: the company believes that quality goes beyond the mere taste and appearance. Pepsi in contrast majors on the success it would attain by creating superior products. This company worries more about the standards and not the market performance.
- Keller, K. L., Parameswaran, M. G., & Jacob, I. (2011). Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity. Pearson Education India.
- Taylor, F. C., Satija, A., Khurana, S., Singh, G., & Ebrahim, S. (2011). Pepsi and Coca Cola in Delhi, India: availability, price and sales. Public health nutrition, 14(04), 653-660.