A few weeks ago, I was talking on BBC Radio about the acquisition of SodaStream by Pepsi. Most of us remember during our youth the envy of our friends who had a SodaStream. It was this funny kitchen gadget that empowered the owner to make their own sugary, fizzy drinks at home. Quite simply it injected a shot of syrup and carbonated bubbles into water. It is a company that most of us thought was long gone, yet Pepsi just won a bidding battle against Coca Cola for the firm, acquiring it for $3.2bn.
Soda stream is the perfect example of a company that is adapting to the new world that we live in and there are lessons we can all learn from this:
1) Know your customers and adapt to their needs
Firstly, they have shifted to understand their consumer and the market they operate in. The need for sugary drinks has dwindled. People want something healthy but also a little more exciting than the water they can freely extract from their kitchen tap! Purely by removing the syrup from their offering SodaStream now have a healthy alternative to bottled water. In today’s market this is a great proposition.
Lesson: Understand your customers and stay current with how they are changing and evolving
2) Have a purpose - Empowering the consumer to make a difference in the world
SodaStream have understood their customers concerns about the world they live in. They have recognised the opportunity their firm has to reduce the volume of single use plastic, a hot topic across the globe. The first thing you see on their website is the quote ‘Planet Earth Needs Less Waste and More Sparkle’. They claim that each SodaStream bottle saves upto 1282 single use bottles. In a world where we all want to feel that we are making a difference this sort of messaging will win loyalty and trust. SodaStream are not inviting people to drink fizzy water, they are inviting people to make a difference.
Lesson: Putting a strong environmental or social purpose at the heart of your business will be the key to your future success.
3) Lead a company culture of belonging
“We a family of over 3000 people from all religions and nationalities, working side by side in peace and coexistence”. You just have to watch the first few seconds of the SodaStream recruitment video to learn all you need to know about their CEO, Daniel Birnbaum and the culture of their company. (Do go and watch this spectacle… https://youtu.be/b5FoXLxpFPk). This is not exactly your typical corporate recruitment video! Some might say it is perhaps too jovial, but like it or not the two and half minute clip has now had nearly half a million views on YouTube alone. SodaStream are getting their message heard in a noisy marketplace. By placing their leader at the forefront and standing out and with a great mission there is no doubt they will be attracting some of the best talent.
Lesson: Lead your business with charisma and strong beliefs, create something that people want to become part of.
It looks like it will be an exciting few years ahead from SodaStream as they storm back onto our radars. Watch out, life is just about to get a bit more bubbly!
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