Coca-Cola and Pepsi are two well-known brands that immediately spring to mind when you think of soft drinks, and for good reason — both companies have worked really hard to gain their current reputations. But are you aware of how, over time, different brands competed with one another to become the best6 soft drink brand? In the marketing community, their rivalry is well-known, and we shall talk about it here.
The company Coca-Cola, sometimes known as Coke, was founded in 1886 in Atlanta by a pharmacist by name of Dr. John S. Pemberton. Twelve years after this, Caleb Bradham founded Pepsi, also known as Pepsi Cola, in North Carolina in 1898. It was at this point that the competition to outdo one another in marketing efforts started. Both of these companies put in a lot of effort and adopted a variety of strategies to dominate the soft drink market.
With hundreds of products marketed in markets throughout the world, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are two of the biggest and most known food and beverage brands in history. The firms’ influence is unrestricted, ranging from television and print advertisements to celebrity endorsements and famous product placement in motion pictures. However, despite their current global domination, both of these megabrands had modest origins, having started in American South pharmacies in the 19th century. They weren’t meant to be soft drinks. Bradham wanted Pepsi to become a coffee alternative, whereas Pemberton first intended for Coca-Cola to serve as a digestive aid.
Years of the battle between the brands were fought via distribution, pricing, and product, but never through communication. It’s also true that The Coca-Cola Company attempted to fully eliminate its nearest rival from the market on several occasions and by any means necessary (and really got very close). Its marketing strategy, when paired with the “It’s the genuine thing” promise, was nothing short of amazing. Its sales force destroyed the competition.
In terms of advertising, the year 1971 was a turning point. The McCann Erickson agency’s creative director, Bill Backer, created the brand’s most famous advertisement, equating it with the peaceful coexistence of many peoples. The famous “Hilltop” commercial was a huge hit (it even had an appearance in the Mad Men TV series) and nearly eliminated its most immediate rival, who was losing money and failing to meet its goals.
Difference In Flavor:
More than 200 countries market Coca-Cola and Pepsi goods, but Coke dominates Pepsi in terms of brand awareness. There are several other facets to this, one of which being that Coca-Cola has gained a certain level of customer trust, causing people to anticipate the same distinctive flavor of Coke each and every time. This flavor constancy lends credibility to the brand.
Whenever you will make a person drink either of two drinks the most common response will be that Pepsi is sweeter and which makes it more preferable for children but the people who like to drink soft drinks which have high gas will always love to drink coca-cola.
Contrary to Coke, which has a more raisin-vanilla flavor, Pepsi has a citrusy flavor explosion that is probably due to the citric acid in Pepsi. Others claim that Pepsi’s intensity sets it apart from Coke, while others mention Coke’s greater salt content and more violent fizz.
Pepsi sets its own product prices in accordance with consumer demand and sets industry prices. Pepsi offers numerous bottle sizes at different prices that are determined by the number of beverages delivered and consumed in a specific area. For instance, even if Doritos and Tostitos are similar items, Doritos is a more well-known brand worldwide and may command a higher premium due to this. PepsiCo prices are dependent on certain client demographics, just like Coca-Cola. Tropicana, a beverage with a focus on health, Lipton, a product with a narrow market appeal, and Pepsi, a product with a large market share, are all priced differently depending on the target demographic.
Coca-price Cola’s approach is known as “meet-the-competition pricing.” The business looks at how its rivals have set their prices, researches how much similar products have been sold for and attempts to establish its own prices at a level that is equal to those of its rivals. Pricing methods used by competitors frequently place a greater emphasis on superior production, superior customer service, or other marketing components that draw customers to their products (since pricing will be comparable to the competition).
The television ads for Coca-Cola have always been quite clever and original. Unlike Pepsi, they focused on all consumers, regardless of age, when they were a soft drink brand. Their well-known television commercials promote pleasant feelings of love and unity, such as the Coca-Cola “Simpsons” commercial or the one with the family of polar bears. Coca-Cola appears to be a brand that is suitable for families. The same reality is depicted in a variety of advertising under the Coca-Cola India banner.
Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi has marketed itself as a family-friendly brand, although its target demographic is predominantly teenagers and young adults. The smart advertising for Pepsi has mainly focused on youthful celebrities to appeal to their target market. Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and other such superstars come to mind. In order to promote their product, Pepsi has also used cricket stars Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh as well as Indian celebrities Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola both continue to see high market demand. Both have branched out into the steadily expanding market for energy drinks. Both companies’ operations, product offerings, and prices will be affected as Americans’ concerns about sugar, chemicals, and packaging sustainability grow. In terms of marketing, Pepsi was ranked #36 while Coca-Cola was ranked #6 in Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable brands in 2020. Both businesses attract customers by adding new flavors to their existing product lines or offering healthier alternatives to their products.
Both businesses are recovering from the COVID-19 epidemic, with effects on eateries, eating out, consumer preferences, and distribution capacities. PepsiCo Beverages North America’s operating profit improved by 26% between 2020 and 2021, demonstrating the recovery of the post-pandemic climate.
Coca-Cola also makes use of the famous design of its bottles to its advantage. If you’ve ever noticed, Coca-Cola bottles of every size, from small glass bottles to big plastic bottles, all have the same form. In fact, to commemorate the soft drink’s 100th anniversary and launch aluminum bottles in a similar design, they did just that in 2015. Additionally, some Coca-Cola commercials depict the bottle’s shape towards the conclusion.
However, Pepsi has also used innovative programs like the Pepsi Refresh Project, which began in 2010 and has been ongoing ever since, to great effect with customers. It turned out to be a very effective campaign for Pepsi and aided in raising brand recognition. With this program, Pepsi provides grants to people who have innovative ideas for enhancing their local area.
Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have put a lot of effort into developing their brands’ recognition among customers over the years. Both have distinct marketing approaches and target markets, but they have faced off against one another frequently in the “soft drinks” market. Coca-Cola may appear to be a more successful brand than Pepsi, but Pepsi has also been enhancing its brand over time to position itself as a serious rival to Coca-Cola.
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