Hello, OptiMIST People!
Back at it again with KaMIST! Your weekly dose of insights into the latest marketing trends. In this week’s KaMIST we’ll dive into Coke And Pepsi’s rivalry heading to an unknown battleground.
Known for their persistent and never-ending rivalry, Coke and Pepsi enters a new stage in their marketing era, with high sustainability standards, continuous technology development, and the ever-changing customer preference means they’ve got their work cut out for them.
Coke and Pepsi, whose relationship predates the 20th century, have been instrumental in forming the outlines of modern advertising and defining what it means to be a brand. Similarly, Coke and Pepsi’s marketing spats have often mirrored broader social change and disruption, reflecting the cutthroat tactics of early packaged goods industrial expansion, the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, and in today’s world, the concept of brand purpose, in which a company pursues a deeper set of values than merely selling goods.
Looking back to the early days, Coke, which was first sold in 1886, has secured its leadership position in the market, using marketing strategies such as iconic ads with artists like Norman Rockwell with slogans that capture a clean and healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, Pepsi was more flashy and value-oriented. They were also more innovative in terms of marketing. In the late 30s, they introduced radio jingles on how consumers could get more drinks at lower prices, revolutionizing radio advertising at the time. Although those kinds of marketing tactics aren’t relevant to today’s standards, it lays the foundation for Pepsi’s identity in an important way that still resonates today, especially through its close relationship with music.
For Coke and Pepsi, the future may demand a more cooperative rather than competitive approach. As the struggle for consumer attention continues to expand, leaping to new channels like gaming and the Metaverse, where advertisers are executing another land grab, this is going to be a tricky needle to thread. Coke plans to introduce a limited-edition soda that is aimed at tasting like computer pixels, in favor of the growing traction of the Metaverse and was touted in the online game Fortnite (Gen Z’s favorite). Pepsi is trying to find its place in the Metaverse through a format like Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Their first NFT drop in December was related to the rich history and relation Pepsi has with music. Both companies also face a new challenge with more and more people turning away from carbonated sweet drinks because of concerns with obesity and other health problems. Not only that, brands now must also contend with sustainability issues, an area where food and beverage companies generate huge amounts of waste.
With that being said, it’s safe to say that Coke and Pepsi are heading in an unknown battleground, with the world they used to know, is changing evidently. Continuous marketing innovation could help them maintain momentum in the future. What do you think? Do you think Coke and Pepsi can survive in today’s world of modern marketing?
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