Cultural branding: PepsiCo's strategy for the 'multicultural mainstream'

Geoffrey Precourt

The message from PepsiCo seems to be a new mantra for major American marketers: "We are in the middle of a re-birth – a re-mission – to what we call cultural branding."

Echoing many other speakers at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference in Miami Breach, Simon Lowden, CMO of PepsiCo's Pepsi Bottling Co., used his keynote to declare a simple message: multicultural is the new mainstream.

Lowden, just four months into his job, paid tribute to Pepsi's "great heritage in what we used to call 'multicultural marketing'".

But from now on, he said, "we've moved to a program of 'cultural branding'."

With $60 billion in annual revenues, PepsiCo is the world's second-largest food-and-beverage company. Its product mix ranges from Pepsi to Doritos to Lipton Tea to Quaker Oats. With more than 285,000 employees, the company has a significant presence in 200 countries – 80 of which Lowden visited as he prepared to take on his new post.