Last week PepsiCo announced that three of its brands – Brisk, Diet Mountain Dew and Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee – had each surpassed $1bn in sales per year. 

Now, the company’s global head of digital B. Bonin Bough says that utilising digital media has been vital to this growth.

These brands flexed their ‘digital muscles’ and incorporated digital into every aspect of their business”.

In a column written for Forbes today he applauds P&G and GE as global brands that have realised “digital is not a fad”.

Bough also references recent Millward Brown research that says that the common denominator of the top 50 brands showing the fastest growth both in depth of customer relationships and financial value between 2000 and 2010, is a strong use of technology (and other means) to be more ideal driven, and play a more critical role in consumer lives.

Using technology as a vehicle to not only communicate with our consumers, but become directly tethered to their everyday lives in ways that make them smarter, stronger, healthier and more informed citizens is paramount to PepsiCo.”

He uses Mountain Dew’s “Dewmocracy” (which asked people to vote on a new flavour) and the equivalent FanDewMonium for the diet version, as an example of this. Both stemmed from the DewLabs online community, which was set up to engage with fans and gather feedback for product development.

Brisk was one of the first brands to partner with Instagram, as well as working with Tongal, the collaborative film-making site, and Stickybits, the barcode scanning app. While Starbucks and Pepsi promoted the Frappuccino and Doubleshot espresso drinks across a range of similar channels.

The battle to win the hearts and minds of consumers has never been more intense. Because of how deeply social and digital media have permeated consumer culture, brands are putting more and more of their energy into digital, aiming to take their brands to the next level.”