The Wall Street Journal reports today that weak sales of Gatorade contributed to a 6% drop in second quarter volume for Pepsi's American beverages unit.
What's notable about this news in the branding world is the timing--it was in January that Gatorade ditched it's familiar branding and went to "G", announced by a "What's G?" campaign. The purported objective was to make the brand "cool again," according to the Journal's report, but instead consumers became confused.
This slip is the second major branding dilemma for Pepsi in 2009. In February, the company moved back to familiar packaging for Tropicana juice after consumers revolted against the generic, undifferentiated packaging which had taken its place.
According to today's report, Pepsi will move Gatorade back to a focus on its core audience--"the sweating masses."
"What's G?" Apparently, that question went unanswered by too many consumers.