Soft drink marketing strategies: Best marketing lessons from the biggest players

    This article highlights Coca-marketing Cola’s strategies that you may encounter every day, no matter where you are. You could be at the grocery store, at a baseball game, watching TV, having a cookout with friends, or simply enjoying a quiet dinner at your favorite restaurant. Thanks to that, you can gain one of the best soft drink marketing strategies from the biggest players.

    Soft drink market overview

    The global carbonated soft drink market was worth USD 221.6 billion in 2020 - Soft drink marketing strategiesThe global carbonated soft drink market was worth USD 221.6 billion in 2020

    The global carbonated soft drink market was worth USD 221.6 billion in 2020 and is predicted to grow at 4.7 percent (CAGR) between 2021 and 2028. Modern-day consumers focus on convenience, and as a result, a large portion of everyday purchases include single grab-and-go products rather than bulk purchasing products. 

    This has resulted in shelf-stable innovations and eco-friendly packaging made from clean, renewable materials containing fewer preservatives and chemicals. 

    Products are constantly being improved and innovated to provide something for everyone. As consumer health awareness grows, companies are now more focused on including natural, low-calorie, and low-sugar ingredients in their products, such as using stevia sweeteners instead of conventional or synthetic sweeteners.

    Technological advancements have transformed the carbonated soft drink manufacturing process. Because of the numerous advantages that laser technology has over inkjet technology for labeling and packaging beverages, market participants have opted for laser technology rather than inkjet technology. 

    This coding process is quick, the printing is permanent, and it is simple to integrate with the production line. Because laser technology eliminates ink, the finished product is less expensive. 

    Packaging innovations are also important because they lead to longer shelf lives, making selling carbonated soft drinks from small shops and vending machines more convenient.

    Flavor Insights

    Soft drink marketing strategiesIn 2020, cola flavor accounted for more than 50.0 percent of the market

    In 2020, cola flavor accounted for more than 50.0 percent of the market. Because of the first-mover advantage, cola-flavored carbonated soft drinks dominate. HI-CHEW will release Soda Pop Mix in cola flavor in June 2020. The soda has a refreshing taste that perfectly caters to consumers’ desire for unique, innovative, and non-traditional soft drinks. 

    Flavor demand in the United States has been steadily increasing. Candy enthusiasts have been rejoicing in this effervescent experience that a thirst-quenching sip of soda can only match. 

    From 2021 to 2028, the citrus segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 4.9 percent. Rapscallion Soda introduced s 01 Rhubarb in June 2020. Citrus flavors are added to the carbonated soft drink. 

    The low-calorie drink is made from grapefruit zest, cane sugar, Scottish rhubarb, and Sichuan pepper and has a slightly sour taste with a fizzy floral finish.

    Distribution Channel Insights

    In 2020, hypermarkets, supermarkets, and mass merchandisers held the largest share of more than 20.0 percent. Because of the shopping experience provided by supermarkets and general merchandisers, many consumers prefer to purchase soft drinks from these locations. 

    Modern supermarkets and hypermarkets have sprung up worldwide as income levels and urbanization have increased. The rise of these supermarkets and hypermarkets has altered the nature of food and beverage distribution.

    From 2021 to 2028, the highest CAGR is expected to be 6.1 percent for online stores and direct-to-consumer (D2C). This sales channel’s growth is fueled by an increasing number of online retailers who offer competitive pricing. 

    The growing familiarity/dependence of generation X, millennials, and generation Z with/on the Internet and e-commerce can also be attributed to the growth.

    Recommended reading: Why is the soft drink industry so profitable? An analysis

    Best marketing lessons from the biggest players


    Pepsico has successfully positioned its brand and products in the market - soft drink marketing strategiesPepsico has successfully positioned its brand and products in the market

    Position yourself well.

    Pepsico has successfully positioned its brand and products in the market. Pepsico’s current portfolio of 22 brands includes low-calorie and nutritious snacks and drinks in addition to their regular soda products.

    Pepsi has positioned itself as a brand that embodies youthful energy, evidenced by its marketing and advertising campaigns. Pepsi’s customers are primarily between 13 and 35 years old, from the lower middle class to the upper class, with a busy and modern lifestyle. Their prices reflect this, remaining affordable for millennials of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

    They’ve even introduced smaller soft drink options to make their products more appealing to those who need a quick drink to quench their thirst and satisfy their cravings.

    Focus on digital marketing.

    Pepsi remains top of mind because its digital campaignsPepsi remains top of mind because its digital campaigns

    As important as connecting with customers online, having a good digital marketing strategy is also essential. Pepsi remains top of mind because its digital campaigns consistently impact its target market. Their 20-minute-long ‘Bring Home Happiness’ campaign, for example, went viral, with over a billion people watching it.

    So, while Pepsi uses social media to connect with customers, it is also important to note that they use the power that comes with it to run their campaigns. In today’s world, building loyalty and customer engagement are critical.

    Be innovative.

    Pepsi invests in the packaging and quality of its products to remain relevant. They have also expanded their product offerings to include more nutritious options for health-conscious customers. Their diverse product portfolio consists of a wide range of delicious and healthy flavors and opportunities in their excellent marketing strategy.

    As Pepsi continues to innovate, its packaging and quality should be highlighted. Updating their designs regularly has helped keep their customers happy while attracting new ones. They do this because having more options and attractive packages can help drive more sales. People’s needs change regularly, so Pepsi’s adaptation to those needs is important.

    Coca Cola

    Coca-Cola is not only the world's third most valuable brandCoca-Cola is not only the world’s third most valuable brand

    Coca-Cola is not only the world’s third most valuable brand but also one of its most successful. Like many other businesses, Coca-Cola bases its marketing strategy on the well-known marketing mix of the “4Ps”: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.

    The Classic Bottle

    Coca-distinctive Cola’s bottle design arose from the company’s defensive marketing strategy. When hundreds of competitors were eroding the brand’s market share, a national competition for a new bottle design was launched in 1915. 

    It would communicate to customers that Coke was a premium product. It should not be confused with any other brown cola in a similar clear glass bottle.

    The winning entry featured an illustration of a cocoa pod with an unusual and appealing shape. Coca-Cola commissioned the bottle design and began publicizing both the shape and the logo. 

    As plastic gradually replaced glass as the preferred method of drinking Coke around the world, the company tried to promote the image of Coke as an icon.

    Coca-Cola Logo and Font

    Coca-Cola decided to start writing its logo in the Spencerian script, which was popular among accountants at the time, in 1923. This, it was thought, would clearly distinguish the brand from the competition. The core logo, like the recipe, has remained unchanged, even though the packaging may change with the times.

    Coca-marketing Cola’s strategy has resulted in its logo being imprinted in people’s minds all over the world for more than 100 years.


    Coca-Cola has never wasted its timeless and fundamental ideals. Even though it has grown into a global industry with numerous products, it has remained on track.

    Coca-marketing Cola’s strategy has remained consistent over many decades and many marketing campaigns in communicating one solid and compelling message: pleasure. Enduring, simple slogans like “Enjoy,” “You Can’t Beat the Feeling,” and “Happiness” never go out of style and are easily translated around the world.

    Wrap up

    There are many well-known soft drink brands already and they are successful in satisfying their customers for years. If you want to launch a new soft drink, this article has provided you with several critical lessons from the two big brands as soft drink marketing strategy materials. 

    If this article is valuable to you, you can learn more about other market tips or similar topics on the Tan Do blog any time!

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    Lilian Nguyen
    Hi! I'm Lilian Nguyen. I'm an expert in OEM, ODM, private label beverage industry with 8 years of experience. I believe that it is crucial for companies to focus on the benefits which the product provides to their target customer and what does it mean to the community. When i am not working, i run a blog on making healthy snacks & drinks and join in a hiking club. I'm an expert in the beverage industry invited by Tan Do Beverage to work. I'm in charge of publishing articles, research articles on the beverage industry or anything healthy to help readers have a better view of what they are looking to do, prepare to do or are doing related to the beverage industry. Email:

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