Energy Drink wars: Power Play, Rock Boom, Sting, and the winner is….

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By Moses Kaketo

The battle for survival and the domination of energy drink market in Uganda is intensifying.
First on the market [Low priced energy drink] was Rock Boom which took the market by storm. Rock Boom sales grew so fast and, now is a market leader. Not to be left out Pepsi Uganda also launched – Sting. Riding on Rock Boom’s weakness- unconfirmed sources say, Rock Boom contains a lot of Caffeine. Sting sales too grew.

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Cola-Cola noticed that its energy drink-Monster was no match to Rock Boom and Stingy- it was not doing well in the market. Besides the high price (Ugx. 6,000) Monster Energy drink was not well supported in the market- there was no budget for promotion and marketing.
When Coca Cola read into Riham and Pepsi Cola books for energy drinks, they were shocked and felt threatened. With no competitor brand, the two beverage firms would grow into giants, raise enough money to threaten their number one position.

Hence, the birth of counter brand- Power Play.


Rock Boom has been positioned as a sex vitality drink.-this explains why more men are seen taking it. The positioning seems to have worked out- as the sales shot up.
Power Play was launched under the tagline ‘Charginga Ne Power Play’ which illustrates the drink’s ability for a quick and effective energy boost.
According to officials Power Play energy drink is designed to give the consumer the best value for money per volume consumed.

“Whether it is long hours at work, the hustle on the street, dodging traffic on Boda Boda, studying through the night, dancing and celebrating culture, Power Play is an appropriately refreshing drink. The brand will feature well with extreme sport enthusiasts, and will be a good blend for people ex- cited by speed, and high energy,” the company said in a press statement.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Managing director Conrad Niekerk said that the introduction of power play is in line with the current trend of busier schedules and more complicated lifestyles.
The company says, energy drink celebrates the Ugandan culture of “work hard, play hard. People need an energy boost on a daily basis and this product provides the perfect offering.”

Power Play is represented by an energetic icon bearing the image of a griffin that shows the winning and play hard attributes. The Griffin is a combination of a lion and an eagle speaking to the attributes of the drink.
On the other hand, Sting seems to lack clear positioning. Merely, saying ‘‘a new energy drink is on the market’’ is not enough to entice a customer to switch from his favorite energy drink.

Marketing and Communications

Unlike other coca Cola brands, Power Play has been given a huge marketing budget which is managed in Uganda [for other brands, marketing budget is managed at group level]. This explains the ‘huge’ marketing and promotion [both above and below the line marketing] currently going on for Power Play.
Coca Cola is also expected to use its effective and wide distribution to ensure Power Play is readily available in every corner of the country. When the brand finally gets to every corner of the country-supported by huge marketing, the sky will be the starting point for Power Play.
With more support staff for Coca Cola (for every for sales executive for Cola Cola, Pepsi Cola has 1], Sting and Rock Boom are expected to register a setback as Power Play takes over the market.

Sting was brought on the market secretly and launched later. That aside, the product has not been given sufficient marketing support. The Sting advert currently running has been described by marketing guru as ‘wanting’.
On the other hand, Riham or Harris International has also set aside a huge marketing budget for her products including Rock Boom. Her brands have been getting maximum visibility and noise from the right media including: radios, TV, billboards etc. And the market has rewarded them.

Last word
Now that he three companies [Coca Cola, Pepsi-Uganda and Riham] are charging same price for their energy dribks, other factors like availability, marketing and promotion, quality and [quantity] will come into play. While, Rock Boom is 380ML, Power Play is 400ml.

READ:Cola wars: Riham-Cola is closing in on Pepsi Cola

Power Play launch has already thrown Riham Cola in panic. Last week, the firm launched a campaign- drink and win. Unfortunately, the advert does not tell the consumers what they win when they drink Rock Boom.

READ: Can Pepsi Cola’s Sting energy drink take on Rock Boom?

read: Will Pepsi Cola’s Nivana Mineral water survive in a saturated, competitive market?

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