November 9, 2009 Week

Thank you to the people at for making this and to my friend jaikman for forwarding.

There are so many interesting brand-strategy points to be made, any professor of brand strategy could probably focus 2 or 3 lessons around this.  So I’ll let this breathe over 3 or 4 posts.

Point 1:

A powerful supplier like Pepsi believes that small general retailers, to “qualify” (or be just as good as the competition) in the category of neighbourhood mini-markets, need to stock Pepsi.  The retailer should not expect to profit from the relationship. Pepsi positions itself as a necessary ingredient in a small general food retailer’s brand.

The competitive response would be to (a) sit down and take it (b) find a grey market supplier and sell Mexican Pepsi instead or (c) find alternative suppliers.

Because of the convenience of Pepsi and Coke’s elaborate distribution chain, and the inconvenience of arranging for alternatives, most retailers would opt for (a), and some for (b).  John Nese’s passion for the soft drink category, and distaste for strongarm tactics, drove him to become the best at (c). He started a whole new business championing the hundreds of small “third players” in the soft drink category.

Once you’ve enjoyed the video, stay tuned over the next few days for posts about

  1. Strange decisions in product design – corn syrup vs fructose vs regular cane sugar
  2. Love and knowledge driving great brands
  3. Strange decisions in product design – bottles vs cans vs plastic bottles
  4. How smaller brands can create the Anti-Brand by embracing big brand techniques (we’ll talk about Leading Hotels of the World and other similar cooperative brands)

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