Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

How Coke and Pepsi’s rivalry shaped marketing — and where it goes next

Competition between brands is natural, but few rivalries are as ingrained in culture as the long-standing battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Even people who have sworn off soda may hold an opinion on which label they align with. “Are you Coke or Pepsi?” is a question that frequently appears on personality quizzes, underpinning the significance ascribed to beverages that, in form and function, are largely similar.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is competition?
  2. What is the difference between direct and indirect competition?
  3. What is brand loyalty?
  4. Why is brand loyalty important?
  5. Do you think Pepsi and Coke enjoy higher levels of brand loyalty that most other consumer brands? Why or why not?
  6. What is positioning?
  7. How would you describe Coca-Cola’s positioning strategy?
  8. How would you describe Pepsi’s positioning strategy?
  9. Based on what you learned from this news story, how does Pepsi approach advertising differently from Coca-Cola?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.