Sugar'd Water

December 22, 2005

{USATODAY.com – Pepsi beats Coke with stock surge } – “Pepsi closed up 31 cents at $59.31 to give it a market capitalization of $98.4 billion. Coke closed down 36 cents to $41.15 for a market capitalization of $97.9 billion. The shift reflects Wall Street’s ongoing taste for Pepsi’s diversified portfolio of beverage and snack brands compared with Coke’s focus on soft drinks.”

via Kottke, btw.

I was thinking about this story about Pepsi’s stock vs. Coke’s and it made me wonder more about the structure of Coke vs. Pepsi as a company.

In the article, it talked about how Pepsi, “grew its business through acquisitions — of non-carbonated soft drinks such as Tropicana and Gatorade and of snack makers by its Frito-Lay unit.” But I also wonder if it’s because Pepsi might be a “leaner” company and is able to move quicker to acquire companies and change their path, as it did with the low-carb fad.

I’ve worked in one industry at two separate companies, one large and one small. At the large company, it would take a year to even get processes in motion….want to implement a new employee policy? Well run it past a committee, then the managers, then back to committee, then to the big managers, then back, etc. Whereas at the smaller company, we had the freedom and were leaner to where we could act within days, weeks or, at times, within minutes to change how we were doing things.

I think Coke suffers from being a large company, too large to move quickly, too complex to do something unique. I’ve even met Coke management and while they’re juggling *lots* of plates on multiple arenas, it still comes down to the fast that they’re large and slow. Sure they can throw money at things, like the big red couch on American Idol, (that was actually a concept they recycled from something they did in South America) but when it comes down to purchasing companies or making quick ideas, they just can’t do it fast enough.