Coke vs Pepsi: The ultimate battle of two major players competing for the top spot in a massive global market. The cola and carbonated beverage industry reaches to virtually all corners of the planet, and the vast majority of the market share belongs to the two giants Coke and Pepsi. With such a huge market and enormous revenue potential in an industry such as this, it is no wonder that the Coke vs Pepsi competition is so fierce.
Coke vs Pepsi: Who Gets Your Vote?
When it comes Coke vs Pepsi, nearly everyone has a preference or an opinion about which one is better. There is really no arguing the fact that the two soft drinks are very similar in terms of flavor. The flavor difference between them is subtle at most, so it is interesting that so may people have such strong feelings about which one is superior.
Global market analysis on the cola industry shows that Coca Cola typically has a slight advantage over Pepsi in market share. In some regions Pepsi is winning the war, however overall it seems that more people are choosing Coke versus Pepsi. Looking at a wide range of data shows that Coca Cola owns somewhere between 40-43% of the US market, while Pepsi gets in the neighborhood of 30%. Of course different studies will produce different results so it is difficult to get a truly accurate picture. The one thing that is certain is that Coke and Pepsi continue to blow away any other form of competition. The cola wars are truly a two horse race.
Coke vs Pepsi blind taste tests have also proven unsuccessful in determining a clear cut winner. Both companies have used them, as well as independents.The results are typically very even, with about half the votes going to both Pepsi and Coke. What is interesting to note is that in a Coke vs Pepsi blind taste tests the voting results are almost always 50/50 split, however prior to the test significantly more people will state that prefer Coke. Does this mean that Coca Cola does a better job marketing than Pepsi? It almost seems that way. If the results are evenly split and many people can’t even distinguish between the taste of the two colas, why do so many more people claim to prefer Coke over Pepsi?
When you order a cola in a restaurant without knowing if they serve Coke or Pepsi, which one will you order? This is purely subjective and based only on my personal experience, but it seems as though Coke is the “go to request”. I believe that more people will order a Coke, and then if the restaurant serves Pepsi they will be asked if Pepsi is ok. It is almost as though the name Coke is a replacement for the word cola in many cases. That says a lot about how effectively Coca Cola has branded themselves. Coca-Cola History
Coke vs Pepsi: All About Taste?
Being colas, Coke and Pepsi definitely taste very similar. Many people cannot even tell them apart if they don’t know which one they are drinking. However there are other people who are very adamant in their preference of either Pepsi or Coke. Some say that Pepsi is sweeter, others feel that Coke has a crisper flavor so they like it better. Some prefer the aftertaste of one over the other. There are even those who prefer one brand when drinking from a can and the other from a bottle. Most people find it more difficult to tell them apart when they are served as a fountain drink in a restaurant. It’s all about your own personal taste. Or is it?
Both Coca Cola and Pepsi spend untold amounts of money in marketing and trying to create an emotional tie between their products and consumers. This ranges from the image they try to portray through their advertising, to sponsoring sporting and music events, TV shows, and so on. It seems as though in general, Pepsi targets their marketing to the younger generations and tries to brand themselves as the beverage of choice for them. Remember their slogan “The choice of a new generation”? When I think of a Pepsi ad I think of the Britney Spears Superbowl commercial.
It seems as though Coca Cola on the other hand aims their marketing towards our nostalgic side. Almost as though Coke is an emotional connection to our youth or the good old days. This would definitely be an effective marketing tactic towards the middle-age and older generations. There are two campaigns that come to mind when I think about Coca Cola advertising. The first is the classic “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” jingle. The second is the Santa Clause themed commercials they use around the holidays. Both appeal to our sentimental sides and this seems to be an approach they like to take. Just consider the huge popularity of retro Coca Cola merchandise and memorabilia if you doubt that their advertising can tug on the heart strings. The actual Coca Cola Bottle is a large part of that.
Marketing and advertising are an integral part of the cola wars between Coke vs Pepsi. Both Coca Cola and Pepsi are smart enough to know that the beverage we choose to purchase may not always be based strictly on taste preference. It may be more subliminal than that. The fact that people can have such a strong preference between two such similar products shows how important and effective marketing is. There are of course those who really do favor the taste of either Coke or Pepsi, but you have to wonder how large of a role people’s sub-conscious emotional connection to their favorite cola plays into their choice.
Both Coca Cola and Pepsi are big time spenders when it comes to sponsoring sporting events, music events, TV shows and other high profile happenings. They realize that this can play a big role in the product selection with members of these audiences. You’ll notice that most of the events they choose to sponsor are highly emotional such as the Super Bowl or American Idol. This is no accident as an emotional connection to their products is what they are looking to create. If you have an opinion in the Coke vs Pepsi debate, do you really think that it is based solely on taste, or are there other emotional factors involved?
Coke vs Pepsi: Product Placement In The Cola Wars
A pivotal aspect of the Coke vs Pepsi battle has to do with where their products are available. Think about restaurants for instance. Restaurants, stadiums, airlines, and other businesses will typically offer either Coke or Pepsi products, not both. So securing contracts with within these industries to feature their line of products is very important for the market share of Coke and Pepsi. Much research also goes into the strategy of vending machine placement and often contracts regarding that. In some locations both Coke and Pepsi will have vending machines, whereas other times there may be a contract involved guaranteeing one company sole placement. It even goes right down to schools. Coca Cola and Pepsi know that marketing to youth means long term business, and having vending machines in schools serves this purpose.
The Coke vs Pepsi Debate Continues
The battle for your cola choice has been going on for years and it isn’t about to slow down. It’s a huge market with customers spanning the entire globe and from all age groups and economic classes. Of all the corporate battles for market share in various industries, Coke vs Pepsi is probably the main draw. From which one tastes better to whose television commercials are more entertaining, almost everyone has an opinion. And it’s not just strictly to do with cola either. Both companies feature a wide range of competing products from diet cola to flavored sodas to sport and energy drinks. See Coca Cola Products and Pepsi Products for more information.
Tell us what you think. Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi? Leave a comment or cast your vote and tell us which brand of cola you think tastes better and who you think is winning the cola wars. Coke vs Pepsi, the battle rages on, cast your vote today!