Posted by: sanourra | February 2, 2011

Pepsi Goes Viral, with a Refreshing Twist

A story published Sunday, January 30 in the New York Times explains how PepsiCo used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach its customers and grow its brand.

“So what?”, you may ask. The difference is that Pepsi used these tools, along with its ginormous advertising budget, to increase brand awareness through grants given to community groups in its Pepsi Refresh campaign. The head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages America, Shiv Singh, stated that the effort was not philanthropic, but an effort to build more brand awareness through community involvement. Singh explained, “This was using brand dollars with the belief that when you use these brand dollars to have consumers share ideas to change the world, the consumers will win, the brand will win, and the community will win. That was a big bet. No one has done it on this scale before.”

Did the effort work for Pepsi? The company’s sales fell by six percent last year, a larger decline from the previous year. However, Singh says that the campaign was more about building brand health, learning more about its target audiences, and strengthening Pepsi’s relationship with its consumers. If these are the metrics Pepsi is using to measure its success, Singh says it worked: “We look at brand equity, brand health and sales — and we have seen movement in all of them.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we saw more corporate movement towards these ideas? I think so.


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