Does PepsiCo Need a New, Snackier Name?

It's a classic American hero story: PepsiCo was flagging, so it did a lot of research in its top secret BEVERAGE LAB, and started spending more money on ads, and now it's doing better. What could be more American than that? High fructose corn syrup water, ads, corporate earnings—it's everything that symbolizes this great nation. But does PepsiCo need even more rebranding in order to achieve its goal of "A Sierra Mist in every hand, and a Frito in every mouth?"

In 2008, Pepsi introduced a very slightly tweaked logo redesign, on which it spent several hundred million dollars. The following year, they spent millions more on a now-classic "Breathtaking" rebranding document that revealed that Pepsi is the pinnacle of the entire universe's evolution up to this point. This sugar water company has invested a lot in rebranding over the past few years, in other words. (As it should, considering the fact that they are selling carbonated sugar water at fantastic markups. They are in the branding business.) And now—despite strong gains in fourth quarter profits—some analysts are suggesting that the company needs to change its name entirely. Via the WSJ:

"With 60% of Ebit from snacks and less than 25% from brand Pepsi, isn't it time to change the name?" ...

A note on PepsiCo PEP +1.94% from CLSA today says just 11% of the company's earnings before interest and tax (ebit) come from its North American soft drinks business. Is it time for the company to re-brand as CheetosCo?

Fair enough point, as far as it goes: snaxxx are bringing in most of the cash, so why not name the company after the snaxxx division? "ChemSnaxCo" has a nice ring to it. The only drawbacks to this idea are, A) PepsiCo has invested BILLIONS OF DOLLARS into branding and marketing itself as PepsiCo, and a name change would necessitate spending BILLIONS MORE DOLLARS on branding, for no apparent reason, and B) renaming your international conglomerate after its most successful division would mean changing the name again and again whenever a different division became most successful, necessitating BILLIONS OF DOLLARS on branding spending over and over again.

The branding industry strongly supports changing PepsiCo's name, in other words. As far as patriotic Americans are concerned, though, there's no need to go wasting all that money. We're fine with the name of our favorite sugar water company just as it's always been: Coke.

[Pic via]