How Decades of Solid Branding Saved Coca-Cola from the Pepsi Challenge

The Pepsi Challenge was a marketing campaign started in 1975. It was simply a blind taste test between Pepsi and Coca-Cola, touting that even Coca-Cola fans choose Pepsi. It was a wildly successful marketing strategy that they revisited for decades. Coca-Cola even ran their own private tastes test, through which they found Pepsi was indeed chosen over half of the time, and panicked. They briefly released New Coke in 1985, a formula more similar to Pepsi’s cola. This initiative turned out to be one of the biggest failures in established branding history. Coca-Cola consumers were wildly disappointed. Miraculously, despite Coca-Cola’s snafu, and Pepsi’s increased market share, Coca-Cola remained number one in the soda game, and still reigns today.

In 2004, Baylor College of Medicine performed a version of the Pepsi Challenge with subjects hooked up to a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. The results were interesting. In blind taste tests, most people preferred Pepsi, just like the Pepsi Challenge. The Pepsi drinks lit up activity in an area of the brain known as the ventral putamen, which helps us evaluate different flavors. It would seem that Pepsi does taste better! However, when the subjects were told which beverage they were sampling before they tasted it, they decided Coca-Cola tasted better. The fMRI scans showed the sips of Coca-Cola increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is more involved in decision making. When the subjects knew they were drinking Coca-Cola, they weren’t simply evaluating flavor, they were considering memories and experiences. The study’s conclusion was that this prefrontal activity was associating the soda with the brand, in effect, overriding the taste buds. When choosing Coca-Cola, consumers are choosing the brand they know and love. Building a successful brand is more than a good product, it’s building a comprehensive experience.

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5 Reasons Successful Branding is Important

Branding clearly delivers your message. Branding emotionally connects your target audience with what you offer. Branding motivates your audience to create a connection. Branding reinforces your credibility. Branding creates loyalty. Bonus – Branding helps you stand out in a crowd.

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The Difference Between Graphic Art and Graphic Design

Graphic Art – the fine and applied art of representation, decoration, and writing or printing on flat surfaces together with the techniques and crafts associated with them. Essentially, a graphic artist may create art for the sake of art. They may want to convey a certain idea or story, or they may not. Graphic artists…

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Why You Should Care About Branding Your Business

It is safe to assume most everyone will look you up on Google prior to visiting your business, hiring you for a service, or purchasing your products and/or services. Whenever you interact with people, whether in-person or online, how you present your brand is exceedingly important. Think of all of the brands you know. While…

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The Best Time of Day to Post on Social Media

When it comes to social media, gauging the right time or times to post is considered crucial to maximize post interactions. At Remixed, we specialize in social media marketing, and have studied the best times to post. But, it is imperative to note the data isn’t necessarily applicable for every type of audience. A few…

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The Importance of a Social Media Presence

Social media platforms help increase awareness about brands, connect with customers, and potentially boost leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s certainly not a passing trend. It’s one of the most profitable and stress-free digital marketing platforms that can be used to grow your…

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How to Create a Brand

Determine your target audience. The structure for building your brand is to determine the target audience you’ll be focusing on. For example, early adaptors or college students or stay at home mothers. Choose your focus. This is your personality and your tone. Pick a business name that fits you and make it your own. Write…

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How Good Branding Saves Your Company Money

Many businesses make the mistake of throwing money at marketing without thinking enough about their brand, as a whole. Paid media campaigns might garner attention, but they can’t necessarily retain it and convert as many customers without solid branding. A company with a consistent, strong perception amongst audiences will always outperform competitors with the same…

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8 Signs You Need to Update Your Brand

Your brand is outdated. Maybe the logo looks old fashioned instead of timeless, or the core messaging has evolved. Sometimes things change, and that’s ok. Your target audience has changed. Whether you need to refocus on your current audience, or reach a new audience entirely, it’s time to reassess your brand. You are undergoing a…