Understanding brand equity: Frito-Lay taps into the 'emotions' of American snackers

Geoffrey Precourt

Just a week before PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division startled the entire snacks ecosystem with the introduction of a milk-chocolate-covered Lay's potato chip, Mike Quintana, director strategic insights global brands, offered some insight on the brand's competitive advantage: "The three things that people tell us are most important about that brand is how light, how airy, and how crispy it is," Quintana volunteered at a "Meaningful Brand" break-out session at The Market Research Event (TMRE) – a conference run by the Institute for International Research and held in Nashville in October 2013.

Quintana's group is responsible for strategy and insight on Lays, Doritos and Cheetos – a combined $8 billion portfolio. "Because people keep telling us, we know those are the equities that make us different, make us more desired, and allow us to take a little bit more of a price premium than some of the other products."