Pepsi inks licensing deal for footwear
US snacks and beverage maker PepsiCo has inked a licensing deal with local licensing firm DVB Brands as part of which the latter is launching lifestyle-based sports footwear in the country, a brand extension which has surprised industry experts.
The move is driven by PepsiCo globally, and not the Indian firm. PepsiCo senior VP, Global Beverage Group, Kristin Patrick said: “Our iconic brands have enabled us to provide consumers with new ways to engage with PepsiCo – whether it be in a can or apparel or accessories. We are creating new opportunities for consumers to engage with our brands across multiple touch points and with strong partnerships with brands including Zara, H&M and Fila.”
Industry experts say while licensing is a legitimate way to enter new businesses, the extension of a cola or food brand into shoes will not work, and will damage the core brand while revenues from the extension could be minimal. Branding strategy consultant Harish Bijoor said: “Stretching a brand too thin beyond its obvious synergy doesn’t work. There are enough examples, both locally and internationally, to prove that when a brand moves beyond its core, consumers reject it.”
DVB Brands chief executive Chandni Batra said: “The footwear range is directly youth-focused, which is the core of Pepsi.” She said the product range will be available at e-commerce sites such as Myntra.
In the past, PepsiCo has done licensing deals with mobile phones in markets like China, and the extension backfired.