As Americans, we want our voices to be heard and our votes to count. Lately, beverage companies have really been giving consumers what they want by listening to their opinions and putting decisions in the hands of the fans.
This past summer, Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo’s Pepsi brand embarked on The Pepsi Flavor Audition Tour, giving more than 15,000 fans the chance to sample four new Pepsi flavors and judge which should be crowned Pepsi X, the next “pop star.” Dragonfruit won the title on an October episode of “The X Factor,” and the soda of choice is now available in 12-packs, 2-liter bottles and 20-ounce bottles, while supplies last.
PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew brand also included fans in the action this year by giving them the opportunity to collaborate on a Mountain Dew TV spot featuring rap artist Lil Wayne. Through the DEWeezy project, the brand brought fans together online to brainstorm commercial ideas, vote on storyboards, submit script suggestions, participate in the commercial’s production, and vote on rough cuts of the final commercial. Mountain Dew also released the fan-inspired commercial in mid-October.
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, also harnessed the power of its online community through its Share Happiness app. Through the Facebook app, fans collaborate on ideas to make the world a happier place. Coca-Cola will sponsor one of the fan-selected ideas as part of a 2013 initiative to spread happiness around the world.
Even packaging is evolving from consumer input. The Capital Grille restaurant chain called on the artistic talents of fans of legal drinking age to design a wine label for a limited-allocation, 1,000-bottle series of 2009 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon wine, which is served exclusively at the restaurants.
It’s nice to see that these brands have embraced the old motto, “The customer is always right,” and are giving the people what they really want.