Inspired by employees wanting to give back to their communities, PepsiCo wanted to harness their passion and make a positive impact in the areas where their people work and live. The company believes that by working together, every big and small effort can have a lasting impact on its associates, communities, and the world.

So they developed a global volunteering program, giving employees a sense of ownership of the initiatives that most impact their local communities. The aim was to inspire employees and unite the many volunteering efforts already taking place across the company, with an initiative aligning with their PepsiCo Positive (pep+) efforts to ‘drive positive action for the planet and people’.

Energized by this inspiring direction, we put our In&Out Method™ to work.

Research and insights

We started by interviewing PepsiCo associates, from frontline workers to executives, to understand what volunteering means to them and how they currently contribute to their communities. They also shared the barriers stopping employees from giving their time and talent. And by researching, analyzing trends and identifying insights, we came up with a meaningful experience brought to life through branding, storydoing and strategy.

Which led us to One Smile at a Time.

PepsiCo’s first global volunteering program is all about creating a movement of people empowered to cultivate prosperity in their local communities. Focusing on the unique needs of each community was critical in developing the hyper-local program. And with more than 300,000 associates around the world, it was essential to put people first.

The process also included surveys of current volunteering initiatives and future areas aligned with the corporate strategy. Which helped to create the Prosperity Pyramid designed to streamline the areas of impact.

Equity in concept and design

There are no hierarchies in One Smile at a Time. Everyone owns the movement. Equity is a key aspect of PepsiCo’s approach to its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion mandate. And with PepsiCo's global workforce inspired and empowered, there are 309,000 possible volunteers around the world. With PepsiCo’s support, they’ll put the program’s hyper-local approach into action by focusing on the individual needs of each community. 

PepsiCo’s mission is to ‘Create more smiles with every sip and every bite.’ And to better explore the word ‘smile’, associates from around the world hand-wrote it in 16 different languages, helping create a more authentic and inspiring brand.

Strategy meets values

The One Smile at a Time strategy addresses three gaps in connecting with frontline associates: communication, empowerment and culture. We wanted to empower and engage this audience, as they're the heart of the program and the eyes and ears on the ground. So we developed a framework focused on employees:

By encouraging respected and influential frontline employees to champion One Smile at a Time, we helped create ambassadors who inspire their colleagues to volunteer.

The program also lets employees choose how they want to participate, with a mobile-first platform connecting associates with unique and hyper-local volunteering opportunities in their communities. What’s more, ambassadors and market coaches can create material in the digital asset management tool. The digital tools make the program easily accessible worldwide, and easy to manage from one location.

And because every aspect of the design was created in 16 country-specific languages, the campaign can be adapted to meet the local needs of employees, partner organizations and communities.

Activation and roll-out

Working with the client, we developed the interactive One Smile at a Time playbook to support ambassadors and market coaches. The playbook gives them everything they need to inspire colleagues to volunteer and lead successful volunteering campaigns. From posters, invitations and t-shirt designs to email and poster templates.


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  • Launched in the top 25 markets.
  • 5000 Volunteering hours in Q3 in APAC, 2900+ Volunteering Hours in ANZ.
  • Market coaches and ambassadors around the world were brought on board and trained.
  • The platform is accessible on mobile and in 16 languages.
  • The program created a culture of volunteerism, where employees see the benefits of giving back to their communities.
  • PepsiCo employees collaborated with NGOs.
  • Every country, region, group and Employee Resource Group face day to day issues and mobilize volunteers where their communities most need them. For example, with the war in Europe, with Covid in China, and with floods and hurricanes in the U.S.
  • People gain a sense of community by gathering with other employees who share their passion.
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Final thoughts

One Smile at a Time creates a sense of belonging, breaks down barriers and considers the impact of not only the individual giving their time, but the impact of the people in their communities. It also empowers PepsiCo employees to choose how they want to participate, and identifies volunteering opportunities in their communities that connect with their personal values and beliefs.

From defining the program’s purpose to translating the concept into a meaningful experience, Brandbuch’s In&Out Method™ allows PepsiCo’s global volunteering program to stand out and make an impact, One Smile at a Time.

Brandbuch was the driving force behind every aspect of our global volunteering effort. From creating the governance and guardrails of the program right up to the naming and visual and verbal branding, they delivered with smart, strategic guidance and executional excellence. They are a true, trusted partner to PepsiCo and an agency we deeply rely on.

You can remain seated, but your brand needs to stand.

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