PepsiCo’s Amin: How to Build a Billion-Dollar Brand

On the heels of PepsiCo’s announcement that Diet Mountain Dew, Brisk and Starbucks RTD Beverages have each surpassed $1 billion in sales over the past year, Salman Amin, the executive VP and CMO of PepsiCo, penned an article for Forbes about the company’s core strategies in developing and marketing a billion-dollar brand. Amin posited that today’s consumers have greater expectations than in the past and seek out an “ongoing and enduring relationship with their brands that is governed by a set of core premises.”

Amin described authenticity as the first key component to brand messaging. In a marketplace flooded with claims of unique functional benefits and distinct flavor profiles, he said that consumers “want to understand exactly what they are going to get with each purchase.” Amin noted that an authentic value proposition is particularly important for foods and beverages as it applies directly to a consumer’s sense and recall of taste.

With consumers now making purchasing decisions among a vast number of brands, Amin also discussed the importance of differentiation. Products need to be clearly distinguishable from others by offering “a series of unique qualities that make people stop and think about why they are preferable and superior,” he said.

Consistency is another significant theme to a brand’s success. Amin said that companies “need to stay true to what they stand for and stay consistent with what made the brand great in the first place.” He said that while companies may encounter great temptation to make dramatic changes to a brand’s core values, there is significant danger in confusing consumers and impacting a brand’s foundation of reliability.

Finally, Amin explained that companies must continuously strengthen their relationship with consumers. He remarked on the necessity for companies to interact with consumers both on and offline, and engage consumers in constant dialogue. Amin said that consumers will “inevitably support brands that make a connection with them [and] care about them.”