PepsiCo is Releasing a New Product, and It Might Teach Us Something About Marketing.
Learn how companies can quite possibly take twice as much money from you, with one new product.
In December, PepsiCo plans to release their newest functional beverage to the market… and yes “functional beverages” are a thing now.
Driftwell is the name of this new product, and it is designed to help you relax, which as you may notice, is sort of the opposite of what Pepsi has the tendency to do.
Does the world need a beverage that is going to help us sleep at night? Maybe. Maybe that is exactly what the world needs right now.
But it also begs the question of how many people are really struggling to sleep at night, and that begs the question of why are people having so much trouble sleeping at night?
Selling Through Paradox.
I remember quite a while ago I saw a post or an article that was explaining how acne products will actually cause more acne to appear, and that’s (theoretically) because the companies want you to keep buying their product.
The same thing could be said about chapstick that only seems to make your lips more chapped. Some companies might be creating their own demand.
Both of these examples would be examples of selling through creating a product that both causes and solves an issue that a customer has. It’s kind of weird, but it’s a thing.
PepsiCo might be kicking this technique up a notch with their new drink, Driftwell. Seeing that it solves a problem that Pepsi has played a huge role in for decades.
Think about it, now the same company that is already selling you a drink that will help you stay awake on your drive home, is also selling you a drink that will help you fall asleep when you are still up at 1:00 in the morning, wondering why you can’t sleep.
So if you have too much caffeine in your system from the cola, maybe Driftwell will help you reverse the effects of that.
If you decided to take down a Driftwell a little too early, and then remembered that you have an assignment due at 11:59pm… then you can grab a Pepsi and you’ve got yourself covered.
And then drink another Driftwell before bed.
Is This an Ethical Marketing Tactic?
There’s a lot of gray area to be seen, ethically, with this method of marketing, regardless of the company that is doing it.
First of all, it’s really only theory that these companies are intentionally creating these “paradox” situations in order to sell you twice as many products.
Objectively, all that they are doing is coming out with more products, that you have the choice of whether or not you want to buy. So that’s ethical.
On the flip side, there could be arguments made that selling caffeinated beverages in the first place is unethical. It’s become fairly normal in society at this point, but caffeine is in fact a drug. People become addicted and then have an extremely difficult time detaching themselves from caffeine products.
This one can be chalked up to one of those situations where we say “Eh, I wouldn’t call it ethical, but I wouldn’t call it unethical either.”
For Your Situational Awareness
Just for additional context, I feel that it is also important to mention that this new drink will be offered in 7.5 ounce mini cans, as opposed to the standard 12 ounce soda cans that we are used to seeing.
It is said that Driftwell will be offered in packs of ten, and each 10-pack will cost $17.99 at retail.
This product is priced at a premium, and is likely one of the first movers in what we will soon know as “functional beverages.”
What Does This Mean for PepsiCo?
For the company, this could be an interesting experiment. They could hit a home run with the new product, and it is entirely possible that they will see the benefits that come from the problem/solution cycle they are able to create.
However, with the premium pricing of the new beverage, it would not be a surprise to see a small number of people taking 10-packs of sleeping potions off of the shelf.
Another aspect of what makes soda a massive seller is that it is fairly cheap compared to other, healthier beverages. That simply won’t be the case with Driftwell.
What Does It Mean for You?
If you are someone that actually struggles with sleeping, and you aren’t already loading yourself up with caffeine throughout the day, this new product might actually be exactly what you’ve been searching for.
As long as it doesn’t hurt the wallet more than it helps you fall asleep at night, Driftwell could potentially be a lifesaver for many people. Who knows?
At the end of the day, this new product is also going to be treated almost more like a medicine than a beverage, in my opinion. That’s the “functional” aspect of it.
You won’t buy cases of Driftwell to pass out on Super Bowl Sunday, but all of your buddies might want to have some handy that night so that they sleep a little bit before work on “Post Super Bowl Monday.”