The Peru-based company’s recent emergence as a world player has been striking, with a CAGR of 22% in volume terms: the company sells 3bn liters of drinks per year.
The BIG Cola brand recently launched its first ‘global’ advertising campaign in Asia and Latin American, and we asked Jorge López-Dóriga, chief marketing offficer or parent company AJE Group, why the brand was calling it a global campaign when it doesn’t target Europe and the US?
“This is a new world. You can be global without having to be in Europe or the USA – actually, around 90% of the world population is outside USA and Europe,” he replied.
“BIG Cola is a mature brand in most of the markets where it has presence, being well known by our consumers who recognize its image and share our philosophy.”
López-Dóriga tells us that the brand’s core target audience is what it calls, curiously, the ‘BIGGERS’ – ‘young people who follow their dreams with no limits’ and a varied array of talents, and that BIG Cola wanted its advertising spot (see the video below) to reflect this.
‘Our competitors are neither young, nor from emerging nations…’
Pushed on what he thinks sets BIG Cola aside from bigger rivals, especially Pepsi and Coke, López-Dóriga insists the brand wants to stand out and be different.
“We are a young brand coming from the emerging nations. Our competitors are neither young – having been around for over 70 years, nor from emerging nations,” he says.
“BIG’s greatest strength is being a young and bold brand that dares to break the mold and inspires to ‘think BIG’ – we want to stand out and be different.”
López-Dóriga says BIG’s main benefits are its quality as a delicious tasting drink at a competitive price, while flavors are tailored for specific markets.
“For example, in Indonesia we offer BIG Melon, BIG Grape and BIG Cola flavors, while in other countries, however, BIG Orange, BIG Strawberry and BIG Lemon succeed.”
Nonetheless, the company must work hard to compete against large firms with formidable distribution and marketing muscle – so how does it cope?
“For distribution, AJE has a business model based on the democratization of consumption – we reach consumers who might never even have had soft drinks before,” he said.
How does AJE Group approach innovation?
He added that AJE has 26 factories (20 in the Americas and 6 in Asia) to reach 1bn+ consumers – the company owns 120 distribution centers as well as local partners and distributors.
Addressing future innovations, López-Dóriga said AJE worked daily on new product, flavors and sizes across its portfolio, which also includes waters and juices, hydrating and energy drinks.
“For example, we recently launched BIG Piňa (pineapple) in Colombia – a new alternative for a refreshing carbonated drink with a tropical flavor,” he said.
“Also, we launched Cielo Q10 in Peru, and many other new alternatives for Sporade, Cifrut and Pulp across our markets,” he added.