A Toast to Dr Pepper

by Steve McKee

A Toast to Dr PepperNearly a year and a half ago, I wrote about Dr Pepper Snapple Group‘s bold strategy to increase it’s $350 million marketing budget, even in the teeth of a great recession.

At that time Jim Trebilcock, executive VP of marketing at Dr Pepper, said in an Ad Age interview that the company looked at what happened during the deep recession of the 1980s and found that the packaged goods brands that were most successful coming out of the downturn were those that invested in their brands throughout.

Said Trebilcock, “We have, in our portfolio, a host of brands that are very trusted, high-quality brands. And at times like these, we believe if we invest in them … we can make a pretty significant impact on our business moving forward and actually strengthen and position ourselves for consistent growth when we come out of this economic downturn.”

Well, guess what? The Wall Street Journal reports that Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s market share in 2010 grew 4 percent (from 19.1% to 19.8%), while Coca-Cola’s and PepsiCo’s both declined.

It’s nice to see good behavior rewarded and bold decisions pay off. As my stalled growth research demonstrates, companies that succumb to a loss of nerve rarely come out ahead.

Cheers to Dr Pepper. In fact, I think I’ll have one.

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Steve McKeeSteve McKee is a BusinessWeek.com columnist, marketing consultant, and author of “When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You’re Stuck, and What To Do About It.” Learn more about him at www.WhenGrowthStalls.com and at https://twitter.com/whengrowthstall.

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