BARQ'S CANNY STRENGTH

NEW ORLEANS -- "We've done extremely well in a relatively hostile environment dominated by giants," says John Koerner, president of Barq's, a feisty soft drink company based here that markets a root beer by the same name.The giants, in this case, are Coke and Pepsi. When it comes to marketing brands inside the supermarket, Barq's is proving that it belongs with the biggest in the business. Its secret

NEW ORLEANS -- "We've done extremely well in a relatively hostile environment dominated by giants," says John Koerner, president of Barq's, a feisty soft drink company based here that markets a root beer by the same name.

The giants, in this case, are Coke and Pepsi. When it comes to marketing brands inside the supermarket, Barq's is proving that it belongs with the biggest in the business. Its secret is an unconventional marketing approach that is -- in a word -- wacky.

Take

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