Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finding Weakness in the Competitor Strength

"The most perfectly designed package in use."
Above statement was made by Raymond Loewy on the six and half ounce bottle of coca-cola folks in Atlanta (coca-cola base) obviously felt that the coke bottle was there greatest strength. They used that in every add and even trade marked it.
But every strength has inherent weakness Guerrilla marketer know that.
It was mix of Economic situation and shrewd use of Guerilla tactics in early thirties, which help the minnows of cola war raise their head above the water line. In the great depression, cash was scantly available.
Pepsi cola's key marketing approach was the 12- ounce bottle that would sell for same niche that would buy only six and half ounce of coca-cola.
It was a brilliant strategy executed in a spectacular way it hit the mark, especially with the young cola, kids went for quantity rather than quality. Pepsi use this old saying and hit the bull's eye. It was a perfect guerrilla attack. With limited budget coca-cola spent around $15 million in that year while Pepsi went with 12 ounce bottle with a $600,000 ad budget.
Now coke was in fix. They can't go for each bottle capacity increase without scraping a billion dollar and their greatest strength the six and half ounce bottle.
Guerrilla knows how to exploit the situation. Even over whelming competitor strength. Pepsi know it would be difficult for coke to turn back and attack is a swift action and they will have a big time gap between the reaction, a year or two.
Then the last nail in the coffin with Pepsi generation. Coca-cola was 100 years old brand people use to recognize them with coke brand older people were keener to drink coke. A younger person always has a tendency to rebel against old way of doing things and living. Pepsi turned the heat on with Pepsi generation. In 1964, the idea found wings with a classic, "Come alive, you are in the Pepsi generation."
Pepsi new strategy was to position not itself but the competition, "out of step, out of touch, and out of date."
Along with that this approach target the youth whose natural tendency was rivalry with old generation. Pepsi also use music, which was traditional weapon of teenager to show their rebellion approach. Younger generation started to attach themselves with Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. Result was a reduced coke leadership from 2.5 to 1 to 1.25 to 1 and eventually under able leadership of John Shcoulley Pepsi toppled coke from its leadership. Pepsi won the battle. But war is on.
Think again what was coke strength......actually?