Coca Cola and Pepsi Companies Strategies’ Differences

Coca Cola is a multinational soft drink producing company headquartered in Georgia Atlanta (Dost, 2008). Its incorporation dates back to 1886 by a pharmacist named John Stith. Later in 1992, Asa Candler bought the company and expanded it to serve not only the Americans but other nations globally. Presently, the company operates in 200 countries. Basically, the company manufactures highly concentrated syrup which is sold to various bottlers in different nations (Isdell, 2011).

On the other hand, Pepsi is a renowned manufacturer of a carbonated drink popularly known as Pepsi. Historically, the drink was known as Brad’s Drink in the U.S.A after being introduced by Bradham Caleb in 1993 (Bachmeier, 2009). The drink changed names to Pepsi Cola and later Pepsi during the great depression era. Currently, the company is operating in different nations with multiple brands of non-alcoholic soft drinks forming a list of widening products (Blanding, 2010).

According to Kinyamu (2012), Coca Cola and Pepsi are the two leading non-alcoholic beverage producing bottlers in the world. Although the two have been giving stiff competition to each other, Coca Cola has stood to be the winning competitor in the market ever since its incorporation. There are several common strategies that have been used by both firms as well as others specific to each one of them (D’Altorio, 2012).

To highlight some,, Kinyamu (2012) explains that just like any business firms, Pepsi and Coca Cola have made good use of advertising strategy to attract as many consumers as possible. Both firms use well prepared and expensive adverts to entice consumers into consuming their products. Advertisements come in form of bill boards, social media, televisions, and the print media (Romanik, 2007).

On the other hand Hays (2004) explains that the digital media is an emerging strategy that is being used by both firms. This includes all the interactive web applications such as blogs, wikis, social networking sites, video sharing media, web applications, folksonomies, and hosted services. In particular, both Pepsi and Coca Cola have greatly invested in social media. For instance, reports indicate that Coca Cola reaches more the 800 million consumers via the social media.

On a different note, Blanding (2010) explains that Coca Cola has made use of experimental marketing while Pepsi is using experimental packaging as its unique strategy. In experimental marketing, customers are given an opportunity to interact with the different brands provided by the company. This strategy promotes individual experience, which helps consumers to identify themselves with their preferred brands. On the other hand, experimental packaging is a brand creation strategy that comes up with experimental brand designs that have several innovative characteristics. These brands are sent to the market and consumption trends are then observed. If the brands perform well in the market, they are initiated fully as permanent brands (Isdell, 2011).

Since the ‘Customer is the King’ in the beverage industry, both Pepsi and Coca Cola have made use of well-planned distribution strategies. The companies ensure that their drinks are as close as possible to their consumers (Thomas, 2008). This might be an explanation as to why Coca Cola has greatly invested in improving infrastructure in third world nations. In addition, both firms give preservative materials such as refrigerators to some of their customers who consume large amounts and are trustworthy in selling their brands (Charles & Jones, 2008).

It is interesting to note that Pepsi and Coca Cola have engaged in producing closely related products as a strategy (Bachmeier, 2009). For instance, when Pepsi came up with Pepsimax, which has very low level of sugar, Coca Cola invented Coke Zero, which has 0% sugar content. On the other hand, Coca Cola has been in the lead in sponsoring sports both locally and internationally. Pepsi has started making use of this strategy with an aim of expanding its popularity (Dost, 2008).


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Dost, C. (2008).International marketing strategies, example: Coca Cola. Seminar paper, 2(3). P.10-32

Hays, C. (2004). The real thing: truth and power at the coca-cola company. Random House.

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