Courtesy of Coca Cola

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, what does your personal brand stand for in the minds of your target market and how is that distinct from your closest competitor?  What is your X Factor? This is a question that baffles even the most seasoned consumer brands.  If you cannot articulate in a word or a very brief phrase how you stand out from your competition you are going to swiftly lose market share to those who can.  Take head from one of the most well known brands in the world.

Simon Cowell will not be drinking Coke this fall on his new (to America) show, X Factor, like he did on American Idol.  Pepsi has become a $60 million sponsor of the show as they beef up their advertising to help regain lost market share to Coke.  Pepsi is now #3 (9.5%) in the beverage contest for market leadership behind #2 (9.9%) Diet Coke and #1 (17%) Coke- Classic.  Pepsi is not that far ahead of #4 Mountain Dew and # 5 Dr. Pepper.  

What happened to Pepsi?  Pundits are blaming the shift in focus from soft drinks to PepsiCo’s healthy foods in terms of ad spending. The resulting neglect of their most important brand in the entire company has cost them plenty.   The experts are basically saying, “When you snooze.  You Lose”!

But, we say, Pepsi was losing way before they began snoozing on ad spending! They were losing mind share before they began losing marketing share.  What does Pepsi stand for in the minds of their target market and who is their target market, today?

It used to be the brand of choice for the younger generation.  At one point Pepsi’s brand strategy was spot on, the perfect strategy for the challenger. Pepsi framed a two-brand contest between young (Pepsi) and old (Coke) because they knew more young people were buying their product.  Pepsi OWNED the ‘younger generation” as their brand position and they spoke their target market’s language.

Pepsi’s new ads are anything but cool or youthful.  The slogan is “summertime is Pepsi time”.  Does that mean anything to you? Summertime may be the biggest selling time of the year for soft drinks in general. But, why choose Pepsi over Coke? 

Their new ad has Santa (an old man with a white beard) in a Hawaiian shirt drinking Pepsi instead of Coke, saying “I’m on vacation”, intimating that he drinks Pepsi in the summer (but don’t tell Coke about his secret summer passion). Pepsi is attempting to disrupt, dislodge or shatter Coke’s archetypical branding imagery, the marriage of Santa & Coke (depicted above) from the 1950s. Coke spent millions of dollars over many years to deeply imbed this notion into the minds their target market.  The problem is that most of these minds are 50 years old or more. This is the very opposite strategy that Pepsi should be taking to regain market share.

Contrast this to Pepsi in their brilliant branding heyday when they had Michael Jackson singing “you are a whole new generation” (to the tune of Billy Jean) in a commercial in which he also made a personal appearance.  Kids where moon dancing in the street, imitating the “gloved one” and drinking Pepsi, when Jackson himself appears in the commercial.  What could possibly be cooler than that?  Check out the commercial below which has been seen over 31, 500,000 times on You Tube. Click Here or view the video below.

Pepsi needs to get back to its roots and reassert its unique promise of value. It needs to amplify it’s X Factor!  Otherwise, all of the advertising dollars that they are spending are going to become, as Simon Cowell would say, an “utter waste”. 

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, have you lost touch with your unique promise of value?  What makes you stand out from your competition? What is your X Factor? 

Check out our lastest Blog Series: So You Want to Be a Market Leader



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