- Coca-Cola's four-year winning streak as leader in non-diet soda brand loyalty has come to an end as PepsiCo took the top spot in Brand Keys' 21st annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.
- PepsiCo has benefited from sizable marketing investments and opportunities to increase visibility. This has included being the Super Bowl halftime sponsor and the North America food and beverage partner for the NBA, a partnership PepsiCo usurped from Coca-Cola last year.
- PepsiCo has the edge of diversification in its overall portfolio of both beverages and popular snack brands, whereas Coca-Cola is solely a beverages company. PepsiCo has also focused on innovation and responding to consumer demands, such as removing aspartame (though that saw consumer backlash) from Diet Pepsi and announcing a comeback for Crystal Pepsi.
Now that PepsiCo has reached this top ranking, the question is how long that reign will last. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola announced a one brand overhaul of its trademark products and a new campaign, "Taste the Feeling." This new campaign leaves behind loftier messages of the past that weren't directly connected to the brand in favor of a more product-centric approach.
By featuring the characteristics of its products, Coca-Cola may be able to invoke emotions and nostalgia for classic experiences had with Coke products and reconnect consumers with the brand. This campaign could be a way for Coca-Cola to better align with today's consumer values, especially as the company's main product, soda, has fallen out of alignment with consumer health preferences.
However, PepsiCo continues to make moves to hold onto its brand loyalty crown. PepsiCo recently announced its own new marketing campaign, "PepsiMojis," which resembles Coca-Cola's Share A Coke promotion from the past few years. Dozens of different emojis will appear on bottles, cans, and cups in over 100 global markets. This effort encourages social media and digital shares, especially among younger demographics, and connects retail and digital marketing through images rather than words.