Pepsi Portrayal

The world continues to be split over which cola is better, Pepsi? or Coke? While the two brands couldn’t be any different in terms of identity they still occupy the same category and strive for consumer love and acceptance. While Pepsi stakes its claim to the pop-culture, Coke keeps it real with the throwback logo and simplistic brand message. One would be quick to say these brands are polar opposites, however if you think about how their identities are structured you’ll be quick to find that both have pop-culture appeal through different portrayals. Jay-Z said “thirty is the new twenty,” and Coke rolls on with the throwback mentality, keeping it classic, just like the Nike kicks you see hitting the pavement under young individuals and just like the sports jersey’s you see King James and KG in each night. Coke’s choice to maintain the classic appeal has granted them honors into pop-culture like a classic car sitting on 20’s, but the decision to remain traditional still makes it the cola of choice when Grandpa comes in for lunch.

Pepsi approaches the “appeal to pop-culture” through a different technique. They organize the advertising and marketing around trend culture. Back when Brit was flashing her v-card you could she her sippin Pepsi on prime time. Pepsi takes the approach of constant re-branding and staying current. While it is probably a more expensive method of capturing consumers it creates a new segment in a limited product category, offering those non-traditionalists a choice besides the classic.

The investment into staying fresh comes at a costly price. The small fortune spent to constantly face-lift the brand leads to no guarantee of increased sales or brand loyalty. The tools provided through social media allow companies such as Pepsi to listen to consumers and address feedback accordingly, but still the ultimate decision is up to the company. I noticed that Pepsi even went through the process of targeting online influencers to gather feedback and promote the new identity. Unfortunately you can find portrayals such as the one below that have the ability to totally dismantle the logo for everyone:

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Utilizing the online community certainly has advantages, but also demands a higher quality of product, branding, and consumer relations due to the accessible tools. While this one negative portrayal may seem insignificant it has the capability of spreading like wildfire across the internet and tainting the brand identity of Pepsi. Essentially it should be the taste of the product that people base their opinions on, but in the current age of marketing a significant amount of consumer perception is based on the element of branding and how a company can position and differentiate itself within a category.

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Filed under Branding, Pepsi

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