Sales of soft drinks declined in the US in 2006 for the first time in more than two decades. Many beverages manufacturers became successful in the past and they are still at the top, but they can lose their power unless they do something to reverse the trend. In this article we’ll try to find new ways to help soft drinks manufacturers to face their biggest challenge of the century.
To begin with, it would be a good idea to follow a stretching marketing strategy by producing a new line of soft drinks which would have been positioned as healthy and not fattening.
Many companies introduced new products of the same line less fattening such as Fanta Zero or Pepsi Light, but consumers identify the brands of these products with fat and unhealthy drinks. However, if these manufacturers created new brands with names like Bio or Nature, a specific market segment would be directly targeted and sales would stop their decline. In addition, soft drinks companies could follow a different promotion strategy so that their products would look more fashionable and more modern.
By doing this, companies would compensate their sales decrease in one segment by increasing their market share in another one. New consumers would be the ones who drink something while they are in bars or discos and new competitors would be alcohol drinks companies. This promotion strategy could consist of advertisements which relate soft drinks with nightlife with new slogans like “Welcome to the Coke side of night”. Furthermore, product placement in James Bond movies would be a great idea.
If Bond changed its Martini for a coke many people would start to see soft drinks with different eyes. To conclude, we should remember that classic soft drinks market is still profitable and new strategies should try to avoid damaging classic products image. Also it’s necessary to point out that soft drink manufacturers will never be as powerful as they were before as long as consumers are demanding everyday more sophisticated and concrete products.