Pepsi Target Market Analysis - Audience Segmentation & Marketing Strategy for 2022 - - A Mobile Marketing and Audience Platform (2024)

The Cola Wars.

No, it’s not the latest blockbuster movie; it’s the infamous battle for market share between Pepsi and co*ke, which flared in the 1980s and made an iconic mark on the history of culture (and marketing!).

But the war is not over yet. In 2022, the company behind Pepsi, PepsiCo, is one of the top companies in the world in terms of market capitalization, valued at just over $238 billion. In 2021, PepsiCo came in at number 20 on the list of leading corporations by reputation in the US, sharing the space with brands such as Pfizer, Tesla, Costco and Apple.

In a way, this success is not surprising, as the brand has been operational for well over a century. Pepsi Cola was first invented in 1898, and the recipe patented in 1903.

Today, the PepsiCo company markets hundreds of brands and thousands of products in the food and beverages category, including many globally renowned and popular names, such as Lay’s, Mountain Dew, Quaker Oats and many more.

In 2021, PepsiCo’s net revenue reached $79.47 billion, jumping significantly from $70.37 billion the previous year, and reflecting clear and continued growth over the past decade and a half.

Pepsi Target Market Analysis - Audience Segmentation & Marketing Strategy for 2022 - - A Mobile Marketing and Audience Platform (1)


In this article, however, we’ll be focusing on PepsiCo’s original product, Pepsi Cola, which was the second-most-sold carbonated soft drink in the US in 2021, after Coca-Cola in first place. Let’s take a closer look at who is Pepsi’s target market and how the caffeinated, carbonated, sugary beverage is faring in the cola war of the 21st century.

    Who is Pepsi’s target market?

    One of the world’s most recognizable brand names, PepsiCo held a US market share of over 25% in the carbonated soft drinks segment in 2020. Given this impressive reach, it follows that the Pepsi target audience is quite broad.

    The target market Pepsi appeals to is teens, young adults and early middle-age adult consumers in the US and worldwide. During the COVID pandemic, overall soft drink consumption rose, with 84% of survey respondents saying they were consuming the same amount or more soft drinks than before. This correlates broadly with PepsiCo’s impressive revenue growth of 13% in 2021.

    Pepsi Target Market Segmentation

    With a market analysis that considers Pepsi demographic segmentation, as well as its geographic, behavioral and psychographic segmentation data, businesses can get to know the Pepsi target audience.

    They can also learn how does Pepsi compete with Coca-Cola, how the Pepsi global marketing strategy helps drive sales and revenue, and much more.

    Pepsi Demographic Segmentation

    Pepsi demographics covers the age range of 15 to 45, both male and female. The broad age group of Pepsi consumer demographics tends to exclude young children and elderly individuals, who are less likely to enjoy the caffeine-laden beverage. However, it includes singles, new marrieds without children, and couples with younger children and teens.

    The brand focuses on similar demographics for its more diet-conscious Pepsi Max target market, who are interested in a tasty sugar-free cola option.

    Pepsi Geographic Segmentation

    Pepsi is sold in over 200 countries around the world, appealing to consumers in urban and rural settings. In 2022, the company withdrew from the Russian market in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

    Pepsi Behavioral Segmentation

    Pepsi consumer demographics comprise average to high income earners, including students, employees and professionals. The target audience are regular and loyal users of the product who choose it for its refreshment value and to enjoy the good taste, as well as Pepsi consumption being part of their lifestyle habits.

    78% of the audience buys soda at the grocery store, 74% at big box stores, while 62% purchase at convenience stores and 44% at vending machines.

    Pepsi Psychographic Segmentation

    The Pepsi target audience includes members of the working, middle and upper classes, with easygoing, determined and ambitious personalities. Pepsi continues to market to a solid and growing base of consumers who want sugar free cola options.

    In 2021, Pepsi Zero Sugar (known as Pepsi Max outside of the US) grew sales by 22% in the US, representing 0.8% of US market share.

    Who are Pepsi’s competitors?

    Although it is well known that Coca-Cola is Pepsi’s top competitor by far, the list of PepsiCo competitors also includes Dr Pepper Snapple and Red Bull. In fact, in 2021, Red Bull was positioned as the second most valuable beverage brand worldwide.

    Note that both Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple produce a range of soft drinks, making Pepsi’s position in the market even tougher. Coca-Cola, for example, also markets Sprite, Fanta and a range of energy drinks and fruit drinks. However, cola makes up the majority of market volume for carbonated soft drinks. In 2019, over 50% of market consumption comprised cola flavored beverages, with all other flavors making up the other half.

    Pepsi Target Market Analysis - Audience Segmentation & Marketing Strategy for 2022 - - A Mobile Marketing and Audience Platform (2)


    How does Pepsi compete with Coca-Cola

    Back in the 1980s, the cola wars began with the brilliant Pepsi marketing campaign, the “Pepsi challenge”, a series of blind tests that demonstrated that consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi over co*ke.

    In response, Coca-Cola released “New co*ke”, an upgraded formula designed to win back the consumer mindshare lost as a result of Pepsi’s successful taste tests. However, New co*ke proved to be a flop and for a short time, Pepsi appeared to hold its own against its powerful rival.

    It was not to be, however, and the failure of New co*ke only bolstered consumer demand for the original co*ke, which soared once again in sales and restored Pepsi to its typical number two slot.

    As recently as 2021, consumers were showing a significantly higher preference for the taste of co*ke compared to Pepsi, which necessarily impacts Pepsi vs co*ke sales.

    Pepsi Target Market Analysis - Audience Segmentation & Marketing Strategy for 2022 - - A Mobile Marketing and Audience Platform (3)


    One of the key ways that Pepsi competes with Coca-Cola is product innovation and expansion of its product portfolio. The battle for market share of sugar-free cola is evident in a comparison of products developed by both companies.

    At various times, the Coca-Cola company has marketed Diet co*ke, Tab, co*ke Light and co*ke Zero Sugar, alongside Pepsi’s extensive and evolving offering that has included Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi ONE, Pepsi True and Pepsi Life.

    PepsiCo continues the Pepsi vs co*ke products battle with its Performance with Purpose 2025 business plan, highlighting the company’s continued product development, and commitment to sustainability and local communities.

    What is Pepsi’s Marketing Strategy?

    Pepsi has been playing a decades-long marketing game against co*ke and other brands, and the PepsiCo positioning strategy involves an enormous budget for marketing and advertising. In 2020, it is estimated that the company spent $143 million in Pepsi advertising just in the US.

    These generous budgets mean that the company invests in lavish and celebrity endorsed campaigns to boost Pepsi sales. One Pepsi marketing strategy is the sponsorship of major sporting events worldwide, including the NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    The 2022 trailer showcases the exceptional production quality and superstar-studded nature of Pepsi advertising, featuring names such as Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige and Eminem:

    Bold innovation is a major part of Pepsi positioning strategy. In 2022, the company launched Nitro Pepsi, nitrogen carbonated cola with a smoother, creamier texture and frothy topping. Nitro Pepsi is the first cola beverage infused with nitrogen, based on a technology typically used for coffee and beer products.

    The nitro technology has been in development at PepsiCo since 2019, and the company’s investment in product and marketing is paying off so far. First quarter 2022 results for PepsiCo showed an impressive 6% volume increase for the beverages segment of the business.

    If your target market is Pepsi drinkers, or any other specific consumer segment, visit the Consumer Insights and Audiences Hub. There you’ll find data-based insights for 500+ consumer segments across all categories and geos ready for you to explore, so you can create better mobile campaigns and better targeting strategies for your business.

    Pepsi FAQs

    What is the target market for Diet Pepsi?

    The target market for Diet Pepsi is broad, covering all age groups from teens to late middle age, men and women, focusing particularly on people who are health conscious and looking for a sugar-free alternative to the popular cola drink.

    The Diet Pepsi target audience typically drinks the beverage on a regular and everyday basis, and also at special occasions and parties.

    Why is Pepsi advertising successful?

    The advertising strategy for Pepsi is heavily based on pop culture, and tries to appeal to the younger and upcoming consumer market. In this way, it successfully maintains a ‘cool’ edge that ensures the brand stays at top of mind among target audiences. It does this by utilizing celebrity endorsem*nts and sponsorship of major sporting and cultural events in the US and worldwide.

    What makes Pepsi unique?

    Pepsi is a long-standing brand, with a market presence of over a century. Part of Pepsi’s powerful reputation comes from its ongoing participation in the “Cola Wars”, showing itself time and again to be a worthy competitor against the iconic Coca-Cola company.

    Although Pepsi has never managed to stay in the top spot, it excels as a brand by continually evolving, with new product innovations that compete with Coca-Cola, such as Pepsi Max vs Diet co*ke, bold and cool branding, and exciting advertising and marketing events.

    Additional Sources

    Pepsi Target Market Analysis - Audience Segmentation & Marketing Strategy for 2022 - - A Mobile Marketing and Audience Platform (2024)


    What is Pepsi's target audience? ›

    The target market Pepsi appeals to is teens, young adults and early middle-age adult consumers in the US and worldwide. During the COVID pandemic, overall soft drink consumption rose, with 84% of survey respondents saying they were consuming the same amount or more soft drinks than before.

    What marketing strategy does PepsiCo use? ›

    Sponsorships And Endorsem*nts

    It's no secret that Pepsi's marketing strategy utilizes celebrity endorsem*nts and company sponsorships to promote their product.

    What are the 4 P's of Pepsi? ›

    PepsiCo's marketing mix has evolved over time, especially because of the effects of mergers and acquisitions. The marketing mix or 4Ps (Product, Place, Promotion & Price) is the combination of strategies and tactics that the firm uses to implement its marketing plan.

    What are the strategies of Pepsi Global that made them more successful than Coca-Cola? ›

    Pepsi's unique way of branding

    Unlike the Coca-Cola company, Pepsi manages to equally focus on each of their products with the help of its unique branding, which leads the customers to purchase a second product of Pepsi as soon as they buy the first one owned by the brand.

    What is market segmentation and examples? ›

    Market segmentation is a process that consists of sectioning the target market into smaller groups that share similar characteristics, such as age, income, personality traits, behavior, interests, needs or location. These segments can be used to optimize products, marketing, advertising and sales efforts.

    What is marketing strategy in marketing? ›

    A marketing strategy is a long-term plan for achieving a company's goals by understanding the needs of customers and creating a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage. It encompasses everything from determining who your customers are to deciding what channels you use to reach those customers.

    What are the 4 target marketing strategies? ›

    There are typically 4 different types of market targeting strategy:
    • Mass marketing (undifferentiated marketing)
    • Segmented marketing (differentiated marketing)
    • Concentrated marketing (niche marketing)
    • Micromarketing.
    Nov 8, 2022

    Does Pepsi use a push or pull strategy? ›

    If the product of pepsi loses its demand then the company launches pull strategy.

    What are the 4 marketing strategies? ›

    The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives. The 4 Ps were first formally conceptualized in 1960 by E.

    What are 3 Pepsi products? ›

    • BRISK®
    • BUBLY™
    • IZZE®
    • KEVITA.
    • LIFEWTR™

    What are the three key pillars of Pepsi? ›

    Analytics and AI are integral to Kanioura's vision for PepsiCo's future, one that centers on enhancing three key pillars: consumer experience, commercial excellence, and operational excellence.

    What are the key success factors of Pepsi? ›

    Brand loyalty is one important marketing success factors for PepsiCo Company. The company spends a lot of on marketing and advertising order to create better relationship between brand and customers. The company put lots of efforts in their brand. For example lays, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and so on.

    Does Pepsi use global strategy? ›

    Pepsi is investing in a refreshed international brand strategy called “Thirsty for More” which will see it position itself as the soda of choice for young, adventurous consumers.

    How does Pepsi use differentiation strategy? ›

    PepsiCo engages in a low-cost-differentiation strategy by taking advantage of economies of scale through mass production of its products and by difering their products throuh taste and marketing.

    What kind of distribution strategy does Pepsi and Coca-Cola are? ›

    Originally, like most of drink vendors, and also like the key competitor Coca-Cola, Pepsi has established a hierarchical distribution system, including wholesaler, retailer and finally to the consumers. Generally, wholesaler plays the role of warehouse and retailer management.

    What are the 4 types of target market segmentation? ›

    Demographic, psychographic, behavioral and geographic segmentation are considered the four main types of market segmentation, but there are also many other strategies you can use, including numerous variations on the four main types. Here are several more methods you may want to look into.

    What is a good example of market segmentation? ›

    Common examples of market segmentation include geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Companies that understand market segments can prove themselves to be effective marketers while earning a greater return on their investments.

    What is customer segmentation and give 4 examples? ›

    Market segmentation is the process of dividing the market into subsets of customers who share common characteristics. The four pillars of segmentation marketers use to define their ideal customer profile (ICP) are demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral.

    What is an example of marketing strategy? ›

    Marketing strategies

    For example, if your marketing plan is to promote a new product or service, you might have a strategy dedicated to how you're going to use email marketing to support these broader goals. Every marketing plan will most likely produce several marketing strategies as part of the broader plan.

    What makes a successful marketing plan? ›

    Create an actionable marketing strategy.

    A good marketing plan is nine parts execution for every one part strategy. Make sure you can track progress via objective measurements. Avoid generalities like "be the best." Include who does what and when they do it. Make tasks and budgets clear.

    What are the 5 main marketing strategies? ›

    The 5 P's of marketing are part of what is often referred to as a “marketing mix”. A marketing mix is the actions brands take to market their products and services by using a specific framework with the five biggest components of successful marketing: product, place, price, promotion, and people.

    What are the 7 marketing strategies? ›

    The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.

    How does Pepsi communicate with their customers? ›

    Advertising. PepsiCo uses print and media advertising extensively as a traditional channel to transmit the marketing message to the target customer segment. PepsiCo print and media advertising occasionally contains comparative campaigns aimed at damaging the brand image of its main competitor – The Coca Cola Company.

    Does Pepsi use digital marketing? ›

    As important as it is to connect with customers online, it also essential to have a good digital marketing strategy in place. One reason why Pepsi is still top of mind is that their digital campaigns always make a mark on their target market.

    How many types of marketing strategies are there? ›

    To start with, there are two main types of marketing strategies. These are: Business-to-business (B2B) marketing. Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing.

    How many types of marketing are there? ›

    The 19 different types of marketing

    Marketing has been around since the 1800s, and there are many different marketing techniques that a company can use. The most effective marketing strategies are the ones that are based on careful marketing research and understanding of the target audienceom/resources/target-audience.

    Who buys Pepsi? ›

    The Vanguard Group, Inc. owns PepsiCo holding 8.8% of the company's outstanding shares. The soda Pepsi was created by Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist, and businessman, in 1898, and in 1902, Bradham registered a patent for his recipe and founded the Pepsi-Cola Company.

    What is Pepsi's brand personality? ›

    The Pepsi's brand has a multidimensional personality including traits of sincerity, excitement, and adventure that speaks to a younger audience. As evident in many of in its commercials and print advertisem*nts, Pepsi is more edgy and thrilling and in tune with more active and vibrant consumers.

    What is the unique selling point of Pepsi? ›

    their representatives to the production of the franchise. With each franchise, the companyhas also appointed one QA person. Economy:Pepsi has taken the advantage of Unique Selling Point as people prefer to haveeconomical product taken as drinks. What makes the product accessible to the finalcustomer is thus the price.

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