Coca Cola and Pepsi: Brand Mantra, POP and POD.

Since the competition between the two brands has become increasingly stronger, we decided to use one of the brand positioning techniques to progress in our research about this field and to gather more material in order to make a better analysis of the situation.

Brand Mantra is a step of this study, it will allow us to collect some information about how are seen Pepsi and Coca Cola by the consumers.

So we asked people to tell us through 3 to 5 independant words, what the two brands inspires to them.

The most repeted and relevant words for Coca Cola are :




For pepsi it was :





The point of parity is that they are two very famous fresh soft drinks.

The point of difference is the image that they reflect : pepsi is more trendy and cool with an image of young people and celebrities while coca cola is an emotional brand. This is due to the advertising campaigns they both spread.


Posted by Alya M

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To follow the post regarding the addiction, let’s show some figures !

Although the movie “Super Size Me” in 2004 has shown the 3L Coca-Cola bucket that McDonald’s used to sell few years ago, US is not the N°1 country of consumption per inhabitant. The most famous soda is drinking all around the world and sometimes too much.


Find below the 2010 Consumption Snapshot:



Per Capita Consumption (Based on U.S. 8 fluid ounces of a finished beverage)





























South Africa








Mexico as NUMBER 1?

Actually not a surprise! Any COINCIDENCE with the highest percentage of obese people in the world? LOVELY SUGAR…

OPEN HAPPINESS with moderation…


Quentin F.


Coca-Cola Company: Key Figures 2010

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PORTER FORCES for Coke and Pepsi


Industry Rivalry:

It is obvious that rivalry speaking, Coke and Pepsi are the main French competitors on the Cola market but, because their portfolio is not only composed by Colas, we can tell Sodas companies are competitors as well. Then, the main French competitor is Orangina Schweppes, which is a member of the huge Japanese company since 2009: Suntory.

Regarding figures, the non-alcohol beverages market in France represents around 3 billion euros and is mainly detained by Coke, followed by Orangina and PepsiCo is well behind.

 Bargaining power of suppliers/distributors:

In this part, we have to mix suppliers with distributors because the two companies are producing their own products and using just a few suppliers regarding raw materials.

Then, as far as I know, PepsiCo and Coke are working on 3 distributions channels: “Alimentaire – Hors-Foyer and Clients chainés”. It means they are differentiating Hyper/Supermarket, nomad consumption and companies selling their products such as fast food and cinemas. Speaking about their bargaining power, all those distributors don’t really have the choice. Indeed, regarding the added value those products represent, all these distributors need to possess at least one reference but most of the time they can propose both of them.

So, we can tell their bargaining power is quite low regarding the huge demand they have to face.

Bargaining power of Consumers:

What power does have the final consumer regarding Colas’ companies? Well: NO POWER. Indeed, the consumer just has the choice consuming or not consuming this kind of product. What can say that the average customer can boycott Colas and there is an anecdotal experience we can use regarding boycott and the Coca-Cola Company. In January 2013, a France Television Journalist did a TV show about the Coca-Cola Company and explained how dangerous it is to drink this kind of beverage. Then, this TV show became viral on Internet and we can imagine the Soda’s volume consumption could have suffered for a while.

 Threat of substitutes:

The Soda market is really threatened by a lot of other products. Indeed, in term of beverages, we can all imagine how many different products consumers can drink: water, sparkling water, fruit juices, alcohol, energy drinks, milk, coffees, teas and so on…

This non-exhaustive list still remains the main threat for Soda’s companies.


Threats of new entrants:

Speaking about new entrants, we can observe in France a strong trend: identity colas. The first one that I really do like because we are coming from the same region: Brittany, is Breizh Cola. This Cola is now representing 15% of market share in its own region and Pepsi is today well behind. Then, the French market has seen a lot of new identity colas appeared for the past few years: Chti Colas (North of France), Elsass Cola (Alsace), Fada Cola (Marseille), Vendée Cola (Vendée), Bougnat Cola and Auvergnat Cola (Auvergne), Meuh Cola (Normandie) and last but not least: Corsica Cola (Corse).

We can observe this new identity trend is really well spread in France and maybe this is due to a kind of anti-Americanism or a willingness to show that people are fed up about monopolies. 


Political force:

A last force, which is not represented on the scheme above, is the political one. As a matter of fact, in January 2012, the government, represented by Mr. Fillon, has settle down a new law about sweeties products: the sugar tax. The main objective of this regulation was to promote less sugar products compare to sugar-based ones in order to reduce the obesity issue that is increasing in the country.

Alexandre QUEMERE


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SODAS Addiction? Why? And Consequences!

Following the article of Alya and the obesity, let’s talk about the addiction of coke and what could be the consequences.

Even if the Coca-Cola and the Pepsi Cola are classified as “soft drinks”, the chemical make up composition of those drinks are toxic to the human body. Energy drinks as Red Bull can be added to this group of dangers.

Photo 1

We all know that the body needs only water to sustain itself. But most of the time, soft drinks are introduced early in our life by parents, friends, or in school. Because it’s fun, cool, fresh or with a non-common taste, it’s sold like a product that you need and that can be the start of the addiction. Plus, if your entourage is an addict, sodas damage you faster as you could imagine.


The real and serious problems with the Coca-Cola or the Pepsi are the combination of acids (caffeine) and sugar (artificial sweeteners) and the fact that a body have to work extra hard to expel toxins from the beverage. The digestive tract, teeth, heart or other parts of the body can suffer with an overconsumption and everyone should be very carefull about sodas. An addiction can lead big damages, even if nothing is medically demonstrated to 100%.

Trues stories of damages where Coca-Cola and Pepsi could play a main role

1) New Zealand 2010: a 30 years old woman died following a heart attack (8 to 10L of Coke per day).

Article linked:

2) UK 2010: A 45 years old woman kicked the habit after decades where she used to drink 24 cans of Pepsi per day.  Before that, results to her body were:

  • Lank hair
  • Flaky skin
  • Severe dehydration

Article linked:


3) Australia 2013: a 25 years old man lost all his teeth because of overconsumption of Coca-Cola (6 to 8L per day).

Article linked:

Quentin F.


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Obesity, the new angle for Coca cola








During the last year, Pepsi chose to use a classic strategy of hiring the famous american singer Beyoncé to represent their brand and to stimulate their sales.

While Pepsi continues to promote its products conventionally, Coca Cola is in the progress of reversing the trend.


Indeed, for years, Coca Cola has made colossal campaigns about hapiness (positive attitude) and sports events … (etc). But starting from 2013 the brand has made a major change in its marketing strategy. Coca Cola followed the current wave and made a whole campaign based on the growing obesity rate to show people its implication.

This way, Coca Cola wanted to be a part of the awareness against obesity. The campaign encouraged people to take care of their nutritional diets and to practice physical activities.

Coca Cola projected awareness videos to show that it supports programs like »boys and girls clubs of America » that enable young people to get active and to start healthy habits early. The American firm also planned to reduce sugar and started promoting the other Coca Cola products which are more healthy.


33% of adults are obese in America and soft drinks are stigmatised. There was a law in New York that banned the sale of XXL size in some stores.

Although, Coca Cola made a good impression through this campaign, opinions remain reserved. Some people still blame the brand and accuse it of being partly responsible for obesity. People suspects the brand to only aim to promote the products and to save its image facing the current situation.

It was a nice try for Coca Cola to take advantage of the situation and to adapt its strategy.



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… While PepsiCo is having fun

Thanks to Charlotte, we have just seen that PepsiCo is making fun of Coke (When Pepsi tackles Coke for Halloween). This funny strategy is not only about the main competitor; it is really part of the Global strategy.  Instead of being a Lovemark, PepsiCo seems to be a funny brand using exaggerated advertising campaigns and thus, be perceived as the comic of the band: the Jester.

Below, you can observe old printed advertising campaigns illustrating how old the “Funny” strategy of Pepsi is:


“Jovial, Joy, Enjoy, Enjoyment” are recurrent words used all over the world by PepsiCo in order to win market shares and to build a strong identity. Below, you can observe this strategy is still running in current printed advertising campaigns:


More than using humour, the Pepsi Company is also enjoying famous partnership in order to increase their popularity and establish a strong relationship regarding its community.

We can strongly illustrate his strategy thanks to the Uncle Drew advertising campaign released in 2012 and still running today.

A famous NBA Basket-Ball player, Kyrie Irving, is disguised as an old guy and pretending not to know how to play Basket Ball. After few exchanges, he gets better and better until the final demonstration.

First video – creating a viral interrogation about this campaign (February 2012 – 1 million views)

Uncle Drew – Chapter 1 (May 2012 – around 30 million views)

Uncle Drew – Chapter 2 (October 2012 – around 10 million views)

Uncle Drew – Chapter 3 (October 2013 – around 5.5 million views) 

Successful, this well thought campaign illustrates how a brand can be creative, long-term thinking and able to use media tools. Indeed, the company took advantages of the viral effect but knew how to do it. Becoming viral is today vital for companies with such a big reputation and partnership extension (Dime Magazine), media interviews (ESPN) or playing with current news (Halloween) are tools that can be used:

Uncle Drew – Dime Magazine

Uncle Drew – Halloween

Uncle Drew joins the debate – ESPN

PepsiCo also drives car with Jeff Gordon (famous US Nascar pilot), sings with Elton John or dances with Beyonce. Even if one of these campaigns has been judged as a fake, we still can tell PepsiCo wants to make fun creating unforgettable moment during which people are sharing joy. Talking about the campaign, making some noise and trying to overshadow competitors are desired objectives.

Once in a while, PepsiCo tries to share happiness like its main competitor: The Like Machine.


Hugging a machine or give a “like” on Facebook… Let’s say PepsiCo is not good sharing happiness… but better having fun of Coke.

Alexandre QUEMERE


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Pepsi in France, new real challenger ?

Before 2013, we thought that the battle was over for Pepsi in France. With more than 60% of market share with its classic Coke followed by its two lights versions (Light and Zero), Coca- Cola was on the top position.

From 2000, Pepsi lost lot of ground compare to Coca-Cola. With a share market of 12% fifteen years ago, they get around 5% today with its Pepsi Classic and Pepsi Max. We could think that Pepsi was lost, especially when another competitive brand, Virgin Cola, is almost dead.  The market is moving and Coca-Cola did bad sales in 2012 because of a bad weather, a new sodas tax and the crisis where people are consuming more tap water than sodas.

On the beginning of the year, Pepsi was looking for taking advantage of the situation to gain new market share. By launching a new product, Pepsi Next, with 30% less of sugar and without granulated, the brand did a big commercial bet. New in the market with this product containing « stevia », a sugar substitute, Pepsi is trying to satisfy French people attentive to limit sugar and chemical ingredient.

pepsi next with stevia

Pepsi Next is a huge attack against Coca-Cola. Firstly because the taste is pretty good and secondly because Pepsi is the only brand offering a natural product.  In the current situation of obesity where brands have to take care of the world health, Pepsi is taking advantage.


Coca-Cola had one step ahead with the “stevia” including in some drinks of the group as Nestea, Sprite or Fanta but never integrated in the cola. Too dangerous for the taste where the sales issues are big.

Pepsi as a « new » challenger tried something without taking any risk for sales. The Pepsi Next could become the new fashionable recipe and the singer Beyonce as new world ambassador for the brand could be the good bet to explode sales.


Quentin F.


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