Coke vs. Pepsi: Battle of the Brands
Posted Apr 10th 2007 4:40PM by Eric Buscemi
Filed under: Products and services, Consumer experience, Competitive strategy, Coca-Cola (KO), PepsiCo (PEP), Marketing and advertising, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Battle of the Brands
This post is part of our Battle of the Brands feature. Let us know which brand you prefer, and watch out for more Battle of the Brands posts.
Some people drink Pepsi, some people drink Coke,
The wacky morning DJ says democracy's a joke.
-- Cake, Comfort Eagle
Unless you are a rare RC Cola drinker, your carbonated beverage decision in the supermarket comes down to the two heavyweights: the flagship products from the ...view middle of the document...
There is, however, one social stigma I noticed back when I was a bartender. A Jack Daniels drinker, for example, that likes his whiskey mixed with cola is much more apt to demand Coca-Cola -- the drink is called a Jack and Coke, after all, and some drinkers take that very literally and very seriously.
I also discovered yesterday that everybody in my office, except Kevin, was able to differentiate between the two colas. So there is at least a recognizable, although not overpowering, difference in taste. Is it enough to make one company a clear cut winner? Not likely, and that is where the marketing comes into play.
Coca-Cola used to have a much wider lead over Pepsi. It was the clear leader -- the standard. But thanks to an infamous branding disaster known as Coke II (which is why Coca-Cola added "Classic" to its name), and a strong push by Pepsi to market to the next generation of cola-chugging children, that gap has narrowed significantly.
While Coke had been playing it safe with ads featuring cute polar bears, Pepsi stole away Generation X with the appropriately titled "The Choice of a New Generation" and "GeneratioNext" marketing campaigns. They had the hottest celebrities drinking Pepsi -- the Spice Girls, Pink, Beyonce, and Puff Daddy. Pepsi continues the celebrity trend to date -- current endorsers include Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blidge, and The All-American Rejects.