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Tropicana and branding

I have been complaining in this space for several months about the awful redesign of Tropicana's packaging. It screamed change for change's sake, and truly felt designed without regard for brand strength or visibility.

Old and new Tropicana cartonsWho at Pepsi possibly thought 12-point sans-serif product descriptions were better than the large, color-coordinated pulp and acidity indicators? Or that a sea of orange juice was more eye-catching and unique than fruit with straws? Or that Tropicana's logo just had to be updated? The new stuff was pretty, sure, but entirely generic and unusable.

Tropicana wisely backtracked this weekend and is reverting to its old packaging. The company cited consumer feedback as the driver, which is nice to see. But its spin completely missed the point.

"We underestimated the deep emotional bond," said Tropicana's president, Neil Campbell. "What we didn't get was the passion this very loyal small group of consumers have."

This is false. As a loyal Tropicana buyer, I don't love the straw-punctured fruit or the old logo at all. What I love is Tropicana juice. And the new packaging made it hard for me to buy it. My preference was hidden in small type; the cartons no longer differentiated on the shelves. It took me longer to shop, and twice this winter I went home with the wrong juice. I'm glad they're reverting but not for the reasons they see (or admit).

One thing hasn't changed, though: Tropicana Pure Premium is great orange juice. Thank goodness they didn't mess with that.


You're spot-on! I heard about the re-branding a while back and said "Ah, that's sort of crummy looking. Oh well." Then last week, I went to the supermarket to buy it for the first time in awhile. It took a good one to two minutes to actually find the Low Acid juice, because every freaking container looked identical.

See this image, right from the Tropicana site, and see if you can pick out any particular brand. The top nine are all different kinds of orange juice.

Am I the only person who like the new design? I liked the clean look, the color bar at the top for the type and the lid that looks like an orange.


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The Ideapad debuted on November 1, 1998 and has been through numerous incarnations through the years. It is now a weblog and personal journal.
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