Change is a comin’

What happens when you go from being picked first, to picked last? What do you do when you once stood on top of the mountain looking down, and are now standing on a hill peering up? Time for a change.

Pepsi, for the last few years has been pitching the idea of their Pepsi-Cola brand to be rainbows and sunshine, straying away from the sugary, carbonated sweetness that made the brand the soda giant that it is today … or wait. Is not? Last year, Pepsi sank to number three, behind Coke and Diet Coke. For the past three years, Pepsi has been focusing on positioning itself as a natural, health-conscious brand, detouring from its celebrity child, Pepsi-Cola.

Last year, the company spent 153 million on advertising (about a third of what it was spending from 2005). This year change is a comin’. The company not only has decided to shift back to its prized product, Pepsi-Cola, as the focal point of its advertising, but has also increased proposed tv advertising expenditures by 30%.

Pepsi’s new campaign is geared around the concept of “Summer Time Is Pepsi Time”, working in conjunction with large amounts of tv advertising and a sponsorship deal with X Factor. The change they have made has allowed for North America beverage sales to increase 2% in the first quarter of 2011 (WSJ).

This brings me to a book I read during my undergraduate career – The Dip by Seth Godin. If you haven’t read it yet, do so. When things are no longer producing desired outcomes and what was once thriving is no longer – a change is necessary. Most products go through a “dip”, a change in likability or favorability. As a company, a product or a service – a choice has to be made. Do you succumb to the thought, the action of not being the first choice, or do you change to get back where you want to be? Building your brand or becoming, being or maintaining the crème of the crop position is about being able to adapt and change. If something is not working – change it.

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