On Consistency

coca cola versus pepsi branding

Saw this beautiful graphic underlining the power of consistency over at thinkingalaud.

28 Comments leave a comment below

  1. i think the comparison is a little disingenuous , coke has maintained one brand identity, but changed it up with several iterations of its product, some successful and some failed. and for years their bottle just said “coke”in the fancy script

  2. It’s not just the consistency thing for me. I’m actually interested in how the Coca-Cola logo in 1885 was done so well. Has a lot of industrial design in it, and it just has the look to me of being 40 years ahead of it’s time.

    But yeah, Pepsi on the other hand…by looking at the dates, seems to be trying too hard to “be cool” all the time. They should have stuck with the 1973 logo and gone with that. Plus the new logo looks like they tried too hard…it’s too “dotcom-ish” to me.

  3. @ Bob: >I’m actually interested in how the Coca-Cola logo in 1885 was done so well.

    Well… it wasn’t and the graphic above is cute, but not exactly correct… (but it is – nearly at least ;)


  4. Have you seen the Pepsi Gravitation Field PDF?

    I’m about 50/50 on it being a hoax, but a very well done parody. Even if it is a hoax, you can’t help but feel that something very similar to this really exists which inspired someone to come up with this document

  5. Not to be snarky, but it’s worth remembering that Pepsi is an immmmmmmmmensely successful beverage/brand. And yeah, in a vacuum of Coke vs Pepsi, the consistent one wins. But in the wider battle, Pepsi’s distinct contrast in approach to Coca Cola might be a big reason why it’s a competitive #2.

  6. I have to agree. Throughout it’s entire history, even though it has trailed, Pepsi has consistently gained shares against Coke. Different positions, different tactics.

    And I do have to underline as well that this is fairly wrong, as it does not considerer the “Coke” variant that was used in the 70s up to well into the 90s, even undergoing a touch-up.

  7. The 1906 Pepsi one is hands down the best out of them all, including the Coke logo. They should have had the guts to stick with it.

  8. Love this post.

    I’ve always felt that Pepsi was the more “youthful” brand and partly because it’s tried to stay up to date with current marketing and design trends (along with continued use of celebrity endorsements)

    I agree that as a means to distinguish their brand both corporations have used different tactics to take different positions while still battling for the #1 cola title. However, I must admit, this post sheds light on some really poor design choices Pepsi has made over the years (including the current iteration)

    1973 wins for me.

  9. Are we just pretending that the “new” coke logo never happened?

  10. totally agree with Jono, the new logo is just like cheap drinks you’d find in K-mart or SPAR in the UK even worse than the Tropicana re-brand

  11. This is the most interesting & intelligent thread of comments I think I’ve ever read. Nice!

  12. Armin Vit over at Brand New is presenting a much fuller story in his article, Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi, Revised Edition.

    Yes, their is a point to be made about consistency, but Coca-Cola is not exactly the golden child having performed their on brand experiments late in the century on top of the experimentation of their early years. Better than most, perhaps.

    Purely consistent, certainly not.

  13. the 1940 and 1973 iterations work best for me. And Phil, the pdf showing the Pepsi gravitational field, along with Da Vinci’s work and other assorted physics and geometry mad-scientist-marketing-design guru theories? The Earth’s Geodynamo? It’s priceless. I need to print that pdf and wallpaper my room with it. It’s great. Really. Can you hear the pitch? “The can you are holding right now is based on the evolution of 5000+ years of shared ideas in design philosophy…” Wow.

  14. I don’t know…I don’t see the new logo as being very “Golden Ratio”….*ponders some more*

  15. Just think of all that money made by designers for Pepsi!

    Surely there is something to be said for that?

  16. Here’s another article about the not so correct logo comparison via Brand New:


  17. Both have different branding strategies. Pepsi is always trying to target the youth by refreshing the logo, that’s consistency in my books.
    Whether their direction is working, is debatable. Personally, I think you the timeline demonstrates that Pepsi has remained consistently tacky. Maybe because they try to hard?

  18. coke’s logo is similar to their original one, yes, but it has changed just as much as pepsi’s over the years. see sean’s link above me. in terms of “consistency,” the current coke logo would only be “classic” and familiar to someone our parent’s age.

  19. Pepsi: Mess around with it, market the new logo, people talk about how bad the new logo is, fail, making a comeback (repeat cycle)

    Coke: Did the same thing with the taste


    Either way, both company making gazillions selling soda water. I think they are in a comfortable plateau to explore (and perhaps fail) with their brand.

  20. Comparison chart = Fail. But funny anyways. Too bad that like most Internet ‘fact’ memes, it’s utter B.S.

  21. Can you elaborate RustyBadger?

  22. some of you are touching on it, but all of you are missing the true branding at play here: what Coke sells is “classic”; what Pepsi sells is “new” – and yes, they’re both successful, wildly so.

    this comparison chart – both the original, and the revised – shouldn’t be looked at as fail/win; it’s win/win… you just have to know your brand.

  23. If I didn’t think swissmiss would kill me, I’d hijack this into a Coke vs. Pepsi taste-test thread =)

    p.s. Coke Rules! *runs away*

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  25. Even if we disregard that Coca-Cola had its own experimentations (as link by some previous commenters), I find some of Pepsi’s stages quite good and interesting.

    They could’ve made the same illusion by going back to / sticking with their 1905 or the 1940 version of the logo – we would grow with that image being entrenched into our minds… to the point of it seeming so familiar that we equate that ‘familiarity’ with ‘inherent quality’.

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