Pepsi is rebranding, and you shouldn’t give a rip

Pepsi is overhauling its visual branding!

Everything from its cans to its trucks is getting new design.

In the advertising and branding world, this is big news. (If you care, you can read about it on Marketing Drive at Pepsi embraces maximalism for first visual overhaul in 14 years.

PEPSI_logo

The article quotes extensively Pepsi officials about the importance of the overhaul. In a nutshell…

… Pepsi is enacting a hard pivot away from the type of minimalist branding that’s overtaken marketing over the past decade-plus. The soda’s muted blue color scheme has been swapped for a loud electric shade, complemented by sharper black tones to create contrast.

But wait, it gets weirder:

… these changes are united by the brand’s guiding mission of “unapologetic enjoyment,” or the joy people feel from cutting loose and indulging…. The revisions are also tailored to recognize the demands of an increasingly digital and “phygital” era, where fewer aspects of marketing are static while jumping between tactical and plugged-in experiences is in vogue.

I hope you’re yawning.

Because unless you’re in the soft drink marketing world, all this is noise.

Except when someone says it’s not.

And that will likely happen. You’ll get a link to this story or a similar one from someone in your organization saying, Are we keeping up with this trend???

Please. Don’t try to keep up with this trend.

It’s not for you.

I’m sure Pepsi has done its due diligence about their audience and the trends and what it will take to squeeze a few more sales out of the marketplace. I have no reason to believe they’re making a bad decision.

But a nonprofit that thinks, “Pepsi’s doing it, it must be the smart thing to do” … is making a big mistake.

What’s smart for Pepsi is almost assuredly not smart for a nonprofit fundraiser.

  • Donors are, on average, several decades older than soft drink purchasers.
  • A soft drink is not a donation. Not even close.
  • It is purchased for radically different reasons than a charitable gift is made.
  • Soft drinks are purchased retail, usually while buying other food and drinks. Charitable giving? Not even close.
  • Pepsi’s marketing footprint (and budget) is a couple of million times bigger than any nonprofit’s.

The who, what, where, why, and how are all different.

So while it may make interesting reading, Pepsi’s rebrand has almost no direction for us.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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