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Snapple Discussion Questions

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1) Why do you think Snapple succeeded in the 1972-1993 phase?

The reasons for the success of Snapple in the 1972-1993 phase can be attributed to its blend of marketing strategies and brand characteristics. First, Snapple offered a broad line of beverage products accompanied with the mantra "100% Natural" that appealed to young, health-conscious New York professionals in the 1980s. Snapple created the appealing image of being fun, quirky, offbeat, real, and cool. Second, Snapple's proximity to New York City proved to be beneficial for marketing its products. Exposure to the media and celebrities helped the local company gain national attention. Third, Snapple experienced tremendous success in the hard-to-define and growing Alternative beverage category. At the time, Coke and Pepsi did not have a share in this market. Fourth, the premium pricing of its products enabled Snapple to be profitable, despite many failures. Premium pricing on the successful products covered losses on the failures. Fifth, Snapple successfully promoted its products with an offbeat blend of public relations and advertising. Snapple's advertising line of "100% Natural", the use of Wendy Kauffman as a spokesmodel, and its quirky commercials using "real people in real circumstances" gained appeal from regular people nationwide who felt a connection to the brand. Sixth, Snapple built a successful network of 300 small, predominantly family-owned distributors that serviced convenience chains, pizza stores, food service vendors, etc. Maintaining its product presence in these cold markets with which Snapple positioned its products was largely dependent on successful distributor relationships.

2) Did Quaker make an error in buying Snapple or did they just manage it badly?

I don't believe Quaker necessarily made in error in buying Snapple; they simply managed it very poorly. The reasons for Quaker's failed acquisition of Snapple can be attributed to cultural differences between both brands and differences in operating styles between both companies. Snapple and Gatorade appealed to different audiences in different markets. Quaker failed to acknowledge or accept the cultural differences between the brands, and as such, Snapple lost market share and brand image. For example, subsequent to the acquisition, Quaker destroyed Snapple's offbeat brand image by terminating relationship with Wendy Kauffman. People began to question Snapple's new corporate image. Also, Quaker alienated Snapple's network of established distributors by attempting to force a partnership. Quaker destroyed healthy relationships that took Snapple years to develop. Furthermore, Quaker failed to recognize that offering Snapple in larger package and bottles sizes would be unsuccessful given that Snapple sold best in 16-ounce containers. The mass-market



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