For the first time in 16 years, Pepsi has unveiled a new single-serve bottle design for its trademark portfolio including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi MAX and Pepsi NEXT. The single-serve line is the most visible, tangible expression of the brand, and the closest touch point it has with its consumers.
The brand has its work cut out for it as the soft-drink industry continues to battle a war against sugary drinks, which has contributed to a volume decline in the carbonated soft drinks category for the eighth straight year, according to Beverage Digest. Last year, among the Big Three, both Coke and Dr Pepper Snapple saw volume declines but gained share, up +0.1. PepsiCo’s share was down on a -2.5% volume decline.
At Pepsi, a host of brand marketers participated in updating the bottle so a Pepsi spokesperson consolidated their thoughts to give CM readers a behind-the-scenes look at how the new bottle design—which begins to appear on store shelves next month—came to be and how this all-important package fits into Pepsi’s overall marketing plan.
CHIEF MARKETER: What went into the process of updating the bottle design?
PEPSI: The new design is the next step in our ‘Live for Now’ campaign, which launched in April 2012. It is a visual expression of our positioning and the first iteration of the redesign of the full portfolio currently underway under the stewardship of PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini.
CM: Did Pepsi consumers play a role in the development of the new design?
PEPSI: We conducted extensive consumer testing which provided valuable feedback for our design.
CM: Why redesign the bottle now?
PEPSI: The redesign is part of the ‘Live For Now’ campaign. Some elements of the campaign take longer to roll out—packaging being one of them.
CM: What risks are associated with changing package design?
PEPSI: It is in our DNA to be timely and we believe this package could help us break through on shelves.
CM: How will you determine consumers’ response to the new bottle?
PEPSI: Consumer testing has shown positive results, with our consumers finding that the new bottle design reflects Pepsi’s playful spirit while providing a grip-able bottom. We look forward to hearing from our consumers as the single-serve line rolls out in markets throughout the year.
CM: How are you marketing the bottle?
PEPSI: Since full conversion will take a few years, we are hoping to drum up excitement on a market-by-market basis. Our bottlers are hugely supportive and together we are pulling together locally relevant marketing campaigns that include the use of radio, social media and TV.
CM: What went into developing “Live for Now”?
PEPSI: Pepsi conducted extensive global research, connecting with thousands of fans, and ‘Live for Now’ reflects the insight. ‘Live for Now’ is considerably more than a positioning statement or a single ad creative—it is the central governing idea for the brand globally.
CM: What is the marketing message for “Live for Now”?
PEPSI: Pepsi has always inspired people to embrace the ‘now’ by being at the epicenter of, and helping to define, pop-culture. ‘Live for Now’ embodies a mind-set that is true of Pepsi loyalists around the world, while still connecting with a large and growing number of consumers who share the same values. It will enable the brand to deepen its global equity in a relevant and authentic way, and has already inspired a differentiated way of thinking about brand behavior across the entire Pepsi global marketing system.
CM: What will you be watching as the new bottle design hits the marketplace?
PEPSI: We’re eager to hear feedback from our consumers and to continue rolling out engaging ways for them to connect with our brand.