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Brand Bible by Debbie Millman

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BRAND BIBLE202
(Text)
T h e evoluTion
of Branding
Beverages

and
ThirsT
 taste test was
conducted by the perennial soda underdog Pepsi.
It was appropriately coined “the Pepsi Challenge,”
and in true battle fashion it seemed the goliath
Coca-Cola Company had nally been slain. Blind
taste testers gave a clear edge to Pepsi and with it,
claim to superiority. Subsequent tests, however,
confused the matter. Now presented with proper
identication, taste testers declared Coke the
overwhelmingly leader. Was the discrepancy in
the label?
In fact, it was. MRI scans revealed that taste test-
ers’ brain activity changed when subjected to a
brand image. Social psychology researchers refer
to it as the Pygmalion eect, whereby expecta-
tions tend to rule outcomes. It is a powerful agent
for psychology and, perhaps unsurprisingly, for
buying as well.
The test revealed the power brands hold, not only
in dening purchasing habits but also in their
ability to override the sense of taste. The strength
of brands and their multiple expressions via
labels, bottles, and other devices has played a key
role in deciding the successes and failures of every
variety of beverage brands.
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Carbonated Beverages
It’s dicult to imagine a product that has been able
to sustain popularity for over 200 years, overcom-
ing a multitude of practically identical competition
and evolving customer needs. Yet this has been the
extraordinary history of many carbonated bever-
ages, a history much indebted to brand. It is the
strength of brands like Perrier, Coca-Cola, and Dr.
Pepper that has made them immediately recog-
nizable to customers and has trained loyalists to
demand these brands throughout generations.
The idea of carbonated beverages extends back
to the 1700s when people traveled to carbonated
mineral springs that were believed to have cura-
tive power, but it was not until the mid-1800s that
carbonated beverages started becoming what they
are today.
The potential for carbonated beverages to become
the mass-produced goods we now enjoy began
with Dr. Joseph Priestleys creation of the rst
drinkable manmade glass of carbonated water in
1767, but it wasn’t truly feasible until 1832 when
John Mathews rened a device to mass-produce
carbonated water.
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During this era, carbonated
water or “soda water,” as it was termed in 1798,
was marketed as a health tonic by companies like
Perrier, which began to realize the potential of
bottling and selling the water health seekers tradi-
tionally traveled to their spas to enjoy. As more and
Pepsi design through
the years
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