Coca-Cola bubbles up, Pepsi goes flat

March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

A series of cans showing Pepsi logos throughout time

It’s no secret that Coke has been beating Pepsi in the cola-wars for some time now, but Diet Coke now beats Pepsi too. As adage.com says, Pepsi abandoned it’s roots, while Coke recognized that their brand will always be building.

A brand lives for as long as it’s company, and consumers remember more than we think. While Pepsi is doing good stuff with their Refresh project, visibility is low. Sometimes a new direction is exactly what a brand needs, but I think Pepsi needs to remember what got them to a place where they can do the Refresh Project. Refresh is no longer big news, Pepsi isn’t getting free publicity via opting out of the Super Bowl anymore. They need more, more visibility more outreach to people connecting Pepsi products to Pepsi Refresh.

In the midst of all this, Diet Pepsi redesigned the can, which may seem cool, but I don’t get the connection to Pepsi. It’s confusing and somewhat sporadic—a marketing ploy that will die out when people realize the drink is still the same. Something that would make make sense is if Pepsi asked consumers to develop the most efficient can or container possible, where the drink stayed fresh and less aluminum was used with minimal waste, and it was completely recyclable. I would get that, a connection to Pepsi is doing good, not wasting money so their tall cans don’t fit in my refrigerator.

Coke continues to hold true to itself and have continuity throughout products, even Sprite has a Coke feel to it. A few years ago, I preferred Pepsi to Coke, but Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi, but now I’m Coca-Cola all the way. Does it have anything to do with the branding? Probably, but we’ll never know for sure.

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