Careers: What's it really like inside - SodaStream

I had a SodaStream in the 80s and it was a hassle to make the drinks, which were usually flat and horrible.

How much of a challenge was it to change perceptions?

SodaStream marked a generation in the 80s. People still light up about it. I've seen 30-somethings jump with excitement on getting a SodaStream as they weren't allowed one as a kid.

It is true that not many people rated the taste, but today there are 17 great flavours. The challenge is to convey this, yet capitalise on the affection of the past. We're trying to make the brand relevant again with a campaign called 'SodaStream, SodaLicious', which challenges perceptions of taste and conveys its benefits, such as low sugar content.

Has your marketing been affected by concerns over children's health?

We don't target children. Our drinks are consumed by all the family.

After all, parents are the gatekeepers of their child's sugar intake, especially as the drink is made at home. It has the advantage of being a sparkling drink with a third less sugar than ready-made brands.

What marketing media do you use?

We use various channels: TV, buses, press, radio and e-commerce.

Does the marketing team socialise?

Yes, we do. We've been punting in Cambridge and extreme bowling.

What are the perks of the job?

As much fizzy drink as you like, including variants from other markets. The Australians have alcopops and the Swiss have strawberry cherry tea.

What are the hours like?

We do a standard 8.30am-5pm and work weekends if there is an event.

How is it for career development?

It's a small firm, so there are not a lot of levels to climb. The advantage is that you do a bit of everything.

What about the salary and benefits?

The wage is average for an FMCG company, and the benefits include a pension, health cover, car allowance and your very own SodaStream.

Are there any downsides?

They had better not catch you drinking another brand.

How do you come up with new ideas?

New ideas fly around the office - we almost have too much to say. As the brand has been neglected in the past, it's important to focus, put the basics back in place and ensure we don't bombard people with messages.

Anything interesting in the office?

A display of all the SodaStream makers, from the 70s to today.

CAREERFILE

- SodaStream has 29 employees in the UK. It employs two marketers in the UK; one for trade, one for consumer.

- The key brands are SodaStream and Soda Club.

- Richard Horne is country manager, UK & Ireland; Calli Robertson is marketing manager.

- Sodastream's headquarters are at 7 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Peterborough PE7 8FD.

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