By Matthew Thomson and Kendra Hart:
The Pop Shoppe was once a leading player in the Canadian soft drinks market, but changing market conditions and corporate mismanagement drove the company into bankruptcy in the early 1980s. In 2003, an entrepreneur purchased the rights to the brand, and was considering reintroducing it in the market on the idea that many Canadians would be as fond of the Pop Shoppe as he was. The challenge was significant: the new potential buyer had little experience in the beverage industry and limited funds for a brand revival, and consumer habits had changed in the many years since the brand died. Questions about market segments and brand positioning loomed large. Older consumers might embrace the reintroduction of the old brand, but did they comprise a sustainable market segment? Would older consumers be able to turn their children onto the brand? How true should the brand stay to its original concept? Was a new positioning strategy required to meet growth goals? Could enough consumer and retailer interest in Pop Shoppe be raised to make the brand succeed? This case lets students grapple with the difficult task of re-launching a once-iconic brand after a significant absence from the market. A B-case supplement to Pop Shoppe (A) deals with the entrepreneur’s decision in 2010 on whether to enter the U.S. carbonated soft drinks market. The B-case highlights important distinctions between two seemingly similar markets in an attempt to demonstrate that success is not always easy to replicate.