Challenge

Gatorade, the one-time leader in the $5BN hydration category, was losing relevance among competitive athletes. The landscape was proliferated with energy drinks, enhanced waters and other sports drinks, and athlete needs were changing.

Prophet partnered with Gatorade to rehydrate this iconic brand, and create an unprecedented path for growth through new athlete needs, occasions and categories.

Solution

We conducted extensive elite athlete research – attended (and participated) in marathons and triathlons, conducted digital ethnographies and hired videographers to journal athletes’ journeys in training and competition.

Through this research, we uncovered eight functional needs that athletes had in addition to hydration, as well as what they consumed, when, where, why, etc. We learned that Gatorade was the #1 most trusted brand in sports fuel, yet only participated in hydration. And although Gatorade continues to dominate the hydration category, less than 10% of an athletes’ consumption needs are related to hydration.  For the remaining 90% of athletes’ consumption needs, there is no trusted brand. Gatorade is one of the most trusted brands in the category, but it didn’t even have a product.

By understanding the wide range of need states for athletes, it enabled us to build a plan for Gatorade growth from a “hydration brand” to a “sports fuel company” which included the launch of a variety of new products.

Results

As a result of our work, Gatorade has embarked on its most aggressive brand transformation ever from hydration to sports fuel and achieved remarkable business impact such as:

  • Double digit volume declines reversed to 15% growth in year 1 for Gatorade base brand.
  • Over $3B in franchise revenue increases since launch of the strategy.
  • Expanded frame of reference beyond $6B hydration market into the $72B sports fuel market.
  • Launched new product forms with new benefits -gels, bars, shakes, chews, powders, etc.
  • Expanded into technology enabled wearable/durable goods.
  • Fastest growing brand in the PepsiCo portfolio.

Impact

%

growth for base brand

B

dollar franchise revenue growth

fastest growing brand for Pepsi

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