March 14, 2012
Pepsi Next is coming to U.S. consumers and it’s bringing a new tagline that tells those consumers, you have to “Drink it to believe it.”
This isn’t the first time a soft drink brand has tried to launch a mid-calorie beverage with less sugar and calories than the regular version of the soft drink but more sugar and more calories than the diet version. It’s the middle-of-the road choice that Americans haven’t embraced in the past.
Pepsi believes that will all change with the launch of Pepsi Next in late March 2012, because Pepsi Next actually tastes good. Pepsi conducted many taste tests with consumers and its own bottlers. The results were consistently positive. People liked the taste of Pepsi Next. The bigger obstacle for Pepsi would be convincing people to try it when previous attempts by many brands and companies to crack this market have failed.
Enter the new Pepsi Next tagline — “Drink it to believe it.” Very simply, the tagline is telling consumers that you don’t have to believe what Pepsi says about its product. Try it yourself, and then decide for yourself. Once you drink it, you’ll believe it — Pepsi Next is good.
But Pepsi isn’t leaving the success of Pepsi Next in the hands of a five word tagline. While that tagline might help motivate people to give Pepsi Next a try, there is more work to be done to adjust consumer perceptions of mid-calorie soft drink products.
Research and analysis by Pepsi led the marketing team to take a different approach with the messages that describe the features and benefits of Pepsi Next. It won’t be hyped as a low calorie soft drink alternative. The target audience for Pepsi Next isn’t dieters who want to shed dozens of pounds. Instead, Pepsi Next is targeting consumers who want to cut back on the amount of sugar they eat and drink. Check out the commercial below.
To support the launch of Pepsi Next, the company will offer taste tests at many retail stores, including Walmart locations around the country, and a virtual taste test campaign will debut on Facebook. Television, digital marketing, and direct mail will also help boost awareness of the product. Furthermore, Ad Age reports that Pepsi will leverage retailers’ loyalty card programs in order to target consumers who have been cutting back on soft drink purchases (or eliminating them entirely) with special Pepsi Next offers.
Pepsi Next is not Pepsi’s first foray into the mid-calorie soft drink market — a market that has performed poorly in the past for Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and many other brands. Do you think Pepsi Next will be the product that finally pushes this market forward? The marketing behind the effort, including the tagline, taste tests, and less sugar-focused message, seem like steps in the right direction. Leave a comment and share your thoughts.