Pepsi.com, a Very Successful Brand Site, Chose a Target Audience, Explored the Audience’s Needs, Determined Their Own Business Goals, and Designed a Smash Hit of a Site The first question everyone asks: “Why would anyone go to Pepsi.com?” This is because we mostly think of the Web as a distribution vehicle. We think of ordering books at Amazon, or reading content at CNN, or downloading music from MTV. How do you drink a soda on a computer screen? So, who goes to Pepsi.com? Load up the fun, entertainment-packed Pepsi.com and it’s obvious in a glance. The site is clearly designed to attract and entertain teens and young adults, the current target demographic for Pepsi. The strategy works, Pepsi.com ranked #4 by visits in the Food and Beverage Brand category, (Coca-cola.com ranked #14) by Hitwise. But if you can’t sell anything on your site, why devote the human resources, time and budget to create it? In other words, what’s the payback? * The goal of the branding website is to use the opportunity to strengthen the brand identity, to build upon the intangible emotional connection in the mind of the loyal consumer. * Pepsi.com is an excellent example of a branding website—the use of colors, logos and complete look and feel integrate well into the overall brand image. * They have fully integrated online and offline marketing, with offline promotions driving traffic to the site, and online promotions gathering more information from visitors for offline marketing efforts. * The site has interactive functions that encourage repeat visits and viral marketing, including downloads, online games and music mixing applications. * Pepsi chose a target audience (teens and young adult consumers), found out what they want (entertainment, music and sports), determined their own business goals (build the brand, traffic and awareness) and designed a smash hit of a site. Pepsi, as a fast moving consumer goods (fmcg) site, will not experience large Web traffic volume by default. Consumers know they can’t buy anything here. Since a soda isn’t a very complex product, consumers won’t even think about additional information needs, other than perhaps a slight, occasional interest in nutrition. So what should Pepsi put on the consumer website? The Internet Advertising Bureau said of PepsiWorld.com: “The site is not about soft drinks; it is about entertainment and youth culture. An entertainment Web site is certainly more likely to attract users than one devoted to soft drinks.” This isn’t a recommendation that all consumer product branding sites enter the entertainment biz. For example, Pillsbury highlights recipes on Pillsbury.com, and a consumer service provider might offer white papers or case studies. For Pepsi’s brand strategy, music, sports, entertainment and cross-promotions are the best way to extend the Pepsi brand into youth culture.
Pepsi.com, which is also PepsiWorld.com
The Brand Website—The Business Strategy
If you can’t sell anything on your site, why devote the human resources, time and budget to create it? In other words, what’s the payback? The economic model of a Brand website is similar to mass media advertising. While the Internet is still a developing medium, the basic principles of brand marketing remain. Because of the unique measurement abilities of the Internet, most sites take a direct marketing approach, watching the conversion metrics like hawks. There is a different measurement for the success of a brand website. The goal of the branding site is to use the opportunity to strengthen the brand identity, to build upon the intangible emotional connection in the mind of the loyal consumer. An excellent example for a branding site, Pepsi.com has hit the key components: * A clear brand identity—the site’s colors, use of logos and complete look and feel integrate well into the overall brand image * Fully integrated online and offline marketing, with offline promotions driving traffic to the site, and...