Pepsi develops its brand story

13 October 2014

NEW YORK: Marketers must seek to become "brand makers" rather than simply acting as brand managers, according to a leading executive from PepsiCo.

Javier Farfan, the company's head of music, entertainment and culture marketing, discussed this subject while speaking at MediaPost's OMMA Premium Display Conference.

"As brand managers, we need to be more 'brand makers'," he asserted. (For more, including useful hints and tips for marketers, read Warc's report: The challenge of staying ahead: How Pepsi keeps its finger on the Pulse.)

By way of illustration, Farfan pointed to the development of Pepsi Pulse - the banner now employed by the cola brand's official website, which today largely focuses on topics of specific interest to millennials.

In foregrounding sports, music, entertainment and similar themes, Pepsi is establishing its own distinctive "voice", an increasingly important strategy as the line between brands and publishers continues to blur.

Undertaking such a task is even more essential for a product which has long prided itself on being on the cutting edge of popular culture.

"We have to get into this concept of being an editor and a storyteller of our brands - and apply a filter of what's going on culturally, because we're a lifestyle brand - through those vehicles and use them correctly," said Farfan.

Pepsi Pulse now attracts millions of regular visitors, as well as fuelling an enormous number of social media conversations and earned media impressions.

Based on this experience, Farfan noted that the content produced by marketers will not automatically find a receptive audience among the intended target demographic when compared with traditional sources of news and information.

"The difference is: when somebody sees our brand in front of the word, as that editorial voice, they discount it," he cautioned the OMMA delegates.

"So I think we have to be authentic to the space - and show and prove what value we're bringing to the consumer."

Data sourced from Warc