They continue to battle, but which one will be #1: Coke or Pepsi? Taste tests prove that many of us cannot even taste the difference between the two brands! But I will be the first one to ask the waiter/waitress, “Do you serve Coke or Pepsi products?” Then change my choice of beverage based on the server’s answer. I am a die-hard Coke fan, Diet Coke to be exact. The cool bubbles and refreshing taste, the pick me up in the middle of the day…. My mouth will actually water as I pop the top off!
Why do many of us have such a strong preference? When it comes to soft drinks it truly the taste? Is it the perceived status of wearing one brand of jeans over another? How about cars, colleges, sports teams? Is the connection the people who also drink, wear, attend or cheer for your brand of choice? Brands somehow affect us at our very core.
It’s is no accident that both Coke and Pepsi work hard and spend a lot of money to create an emotional connection with us. Whether it is through sponsoring American Idol or the X-Factor, hiring A-list celebs or sports figures to endorse or simply drink their products, or supporting charities that make a difference, their motives are the same: establish an emotional connection to drive us toward their brands.
At HEASLEY&PARTNERS, we believe that there is a heart side and mind side to all companies. Our Heart & Mind® Branding brings the heart and mind of the company together to form the brand. Then we work to bring it to life. Same old, same old marketing doesn’t work anymore. Success takes building a brand with heart that people care about and generates buzz. You may think it is TV or the Internet, but it is BUZZ that actually causes a brand to breakthrough. Last time I checked, I didn’t see Pandora advertising on TV or having much of a presence on the Internet. Buzz–people talking–has built their personalized radio station app into a powerhouse.
Coke and Pepsi routinely build buzz, simply through the decades-long competition they have created between each other. The fight is fierce, no matter how tame those polar bears look on TV.
Now, think about why you connect to the brands you love. Are you connecting through the heart side? Is the brand somehow in your DNA? Is it an emotional thing for you? Many will say that their purchases are strictly rational, but I can assure you they aren’t. Every purchase we make, we make with out hearts–even when it comes to a can of soda. The best brands know this, we would hope, but building brand connections isn’t just for big brands. Small brands must make the heart-to-heart connection too. HEASLEY&PARTNERS can show you how.
Will there ever be a clear cut winner in the cola wars? Will one of them ever come out on top and be crowned the best soda forever? That’s highly unlikely, and I don’t see the battle slowing down anytime soon. Coke and Pepsi will continue to fight for bigger market shares through commercials, sponsorships, endorsements and aggressive business practices. But in reality they are fighting for our hearts. Coke has definitely won my heart, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon! But more important, for your own business what is in your heart and how are you connecting with the hearts of others? Think about it over your next Coke, or would that be Pepsi?
What is branding? Heart & Mind® Branding. Get started NOW!