Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi companies have occupied a secure place within the American and worldwide market of soft drinks, making their brands a natural fast-food staple around the globe. This considerable success may be explained by the attention of these companies to multiple aspects of marketing, from innovation tactics and advertising campaigns to leveraging of public opinion in various and effective ways. Coincidentally, the current contrast between the mass recognition achieved by Coca-Cola and the success of Pepsi’s sales could also link to those commercial facets. Recognizing the differences in business approaches of Coca-Cola and Pepsi permits analyzing their strengths and limitations as companies, which may give a deeper understanding of how each organization can better themselves.
Innovation could be a deciding factor when answering a company’s needs to continue attracting a wide variety of customers and, therefore, maintain the growth of a diverse client base. In this aspect, Coca-Cola is outlined to be one of the more exemplary age-old companies that managed to upkeep a steady grip on product modernization (Gehani 2016). Pepsi, which in 1984 posed a “fast creeping market threat,” soon ceased to be a serious competitor in this prospect, which may be linked to CEOs who did not give enough attention to retail experience (Gehani 2016, p. 14). Therefore, if the two companies had to be compared indiscriminately by adherence to the principles of product innovation, then Coca-Cola may be considered a more outstanding example of successful and, more importantly, regular change.
The next feature that one should consider when weighing a company’s achievements is advertisement tactics, their commitment to communicating with customers and receiving feedback linked with responses to their commercials. An important modern-day technique is internet presence that may often help “increase the exposure and awareness of a brand and create more buzz on social media sites,” which is a tactic mastered by Coca-Cola (Liu & Lopez 2014, p. 11). Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” and “Make the world a better place” advertisement campaigns have covered both traditional and modernized commercialization methods (Liu & Lopez 2014; Suliman, Al-Khatib & Thomas 2017). Pepsi, on the other hand, lost a portion of their market to Coca-Cola in 2011 and could still be working to reduce this gap, which, however, does not mean that the latter is inherently worse (Freudenberg 2014). Pepsi still maintains a strong commercial presence while recognizing its competing position with Coca-Cola, which permits them to make humorous and resonating advertisements, possibly making up for other drawbacks.
When considering purchasing a product, a more knowledgeable customer may prefer to buy from a company which resonates with their core moral values and which has not compromised itself in any possible way. Swaying rational people with the results of studies could be a viable marketing route, which Coca-Cola has wholly taken note of by sponsoring research projects and affecting the results to benefit them (Serodio, McKee & Stuckler 2017). Additionally, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have used celebrity influence to sway public opinion, hiring Lebron James and Beyonce respectively to market their products (Freudenberg 2014). Therefore, while Coca-Cola may excel at influencing the seemingly more logical aspects of community sentiment, the two companies achieve a draw when considering the popularity of their chosen celebrities.
Coca-Cola may seem to be a reliable company that should remain unaffected by the attempts of competitors to encroach on their share of the market, but Pepsi’s growing influence and capabilities could pose serious competition. The value of modernization tactics for Coca-Cola, therefore, retains the utmost importance, as in all other marketing spheres, such as advertisement and public opinion, Pepsi has attained a sufficient degree of success and growth. However, the consequent necessity of Pepsi to continue vigorous work on commercialization and community influence is what could allow it to continue to grow as a company and a possible successor of Coca-Cola.
Freudenberg, N 2014, Lethal but legal: corporations, consumption, and protecting public health, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
Gehani, RR 2016, ‘Corporate brand value shifting from identity to innovation capability: from Coca-Cola to Apple’, Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 11-20.
Liu, Y & Lopez, RA 2014, ‘The impact of social media conversations on consumer brand choices’, Marketing Letters, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 1-13.
Serodio, PM, McKee, M & Stuckler, D 2017, ‘Coca-Cola – a model of transparency in research partnerships? A network analysis of Coca-Cola’s research funding (2008-2016)’, Public Health Nutrition, vol. 21, no. 9, pp. 1594–1607.
Suliman, AM, Al-Khatib, HT & Thomas, SE 2017, ‘Corporate social responsibility: the evolution, theories, and critics’, in A. Stachowicz-Stanusch (ed), Corporate social performance: reflecting on the past and investing in the future, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, pp. 15-32.