>Social Networking the Pepsi Way

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On April 27, 2011, Pepsi announced the launch of it’s state-of-the-art “Social Vending Machine.”



It’s a touch screen, networked machine that aside from enabling the purchase of soft drinks and the provision of nutrition information online, it also enables users to “gift” a drink to a friend by entering the recipient’s name, mobile number, and a personalized text message (and even has an option to personalize it with a short recorded video).

The recipient of the Pepsi gift simply enters the redeem code at a pepsi social vending machine to get their soda. They can also return a thank you gift to the sender or “pay it forward” and give a gift to someone else.

In addition, the machine makes use of advanced telemetry to remotely measure and report on inventory, manage delivery scheduling, and update content on the machines. This machine is alive with changeable content and interactive communication between users.

As the Chief Innovation Officer of PepsiCo Foodservice states: “Social vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they’ll want to return to, again and again.”

Additionally, Mashable reports that in phase 2, Pepsi is planning to integrate their Social Vending concept with other social media such as Facebook, extending the reach of product placement and gifting even further through cyberspace and social networking.

While many companies continue to struggle to figure out how to integrate social networking into a companies operations and make it profitable, PepsiCo has a simple formula for how it engages it’s customers, promotes sales, and makes it all seem completely natural to the whole transaction–like it belonged there all along.

Great job PepsiCo!

>Pepsi and Enterprise Architecture

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Pepsi knows and practices User-centric Enterprise Architecture. They plan, develop, and manage their business to meet end-user needs, and the CEO, India-born Indra Nooyi is the mastermind behind their approach.

In Fortune Magazine, 3 March 2008, the article “The Pepsi Challenge” describes how Ms. Nooyi has remade Pepsi into a totally user-driven, architecture astute, mega-food company that is firing on all cylinders.

  • Architecting with a global view—“her South Asian heritage gives her a wide-angle view on the world…Pepsi’s international business grew 22% last year, triple the rate of domestic sales, and now contributes 40% of total revenue ($39 billion last year).
  • Architecting wise acquisitions and divestitures—in 1997, seeing that “the fast-food market was saturated and the real estate a hard investment to maximize,” she spun off Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. In 1998, she championed the acquisition of Tropicana, the largest branded-juice producer, and the 2001 acquisition of Quaker Oats, maker of Gatorade.
  • Architecting the corporate culture—Ms. Nooyi is an expert in the art of persuasion and rallying the troops to her cause. “She can rouse an audience and rally them around something as mind-numbing as a new companywide software installation.” “She has created the motto—‘Performance With Purpose’” as a means of ‘herding the organization’ towards her vision.
  • Architecting through good people and demanding performance excellence—Ms. Nooyi relies on the expertise of her staff and has “broadened the power structure by doubling her executive team to 29.” Moreover, “she expects everyone around her to measure up.”
  • Architecting a healthy diet, green environment, and care for her people—“she…puts a positive spin on how she wants PepsiCo to do business…balancing the profit motive with making healthier snacks, striving for a net-zero impact on the environment, and taking care of your workforce.” For example, Pepsi got into healthy foods (such as bottled water, sports drinks, and teas) earlier than Coke and now “commands half the U.S. market share—about twice Coke’s share, according to Beverage Digest. Ms. Nooyi’s plan is continue shifting to healthy snacks (currently at 30% to 50% of the product portfolio).

What I find inspiring about Ms. Nooyi is that she is not only a strategic, big picture minded leader, but that she performs with the eloquence of a master architect that knows her users and their needs, strives to fulfill them, and doing so with an apparent conscience that dictates ethical behavior toward her people, the environment, and the health of her customers.

That is an amazing EA legacy!