I like PepsiCo’s idea to launch a new theme restaurant in NYC called Kola House. It’s daring and smart. Especially for a carbonated soft drink in second place, losing year-over-year volume. Not every marketing issue can be fixed by advertising and it looks like Pepsi is trying some new things. This multimillion dollar bet should energize the brand and, more importantly energize the marketing team — something Pepsi sorely needs.
Using the Kola nut as their north star and Chelsea in NYC as their launch pad, Pepsi has a shot at adding relevance to a brand for millions of typically uninterested people. It’s an unfair fight in what once was a cola war and is, now, no longer. The learning and outputs of Kola House may have great impact on the business. A new drink. A new snack. Perhaps a new line of clothing or even a new app.
We’ll find out. When you change the game good things can happen. Dialing down the Pepsi, celebrating the Kola and creating a new experience is an exciting marketing test lab. Dare I say, it’s refreshing?