As “The Essential Orange”, I watched the groundswell around the Tropicana packaging controversy with great interest. There are over 5000 blog entries, not to mention hundreds of tweets and a Facebook group all whinging about the package change. My conclusion – I wouldn’t want to be the Tropicana brand manager right now. Run!!! Change your profile on Linkedin!!
Kidding aside, here are my thoughts:
- Don’t be arrogant - – when you have an iconic brand, your customers’ “own” it. You have to involve them in a more meaningful way. You ignore them at your own peril.
- Baby boomers wear glasses – you have to help them find you on the shelf. Don’t confuse and frustrate them. The big orange on the old packaging stood out and the caps helped you differentiate between varieties quickly and easily
- Baby boomers have discovered blogging – be creative in getting consumer insights. Look at what Eight O’Clock Coffee and Nestle are doing to involve their customers.
- Be relevant – the package design project probably started over 18 months ago. Consumer sentiment has changed. The consumer in 2009 is …. “seeking comfort and security rather than status. Brands that hearken back to simpler, better times will do well. Nostalgic branding that speaks to old-world sensibilities will encourage consumers to do more with less”. Richard Brandt, Executive Creative Director, Landor
. New York
- Don’t mess with the orange – they did well here. The product and the carton sizing remain the same.
Curiously, no one gave Tropicana any credit for supporting "Save the Rainforest" or their efforts on reducing their environmental footprint, both of which are featured on their website with the new packaging.
Here’s an idea they could have pursued to involve loyal fans and receive recognition for doing good - let folks comment/vote on the new/old packaging and for their involvement, reward them by buying a piece of the rainforest in their name.
Sales Sour - update on impact of packaging change - update 4/3/09
After its package redesign, sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line plummeted 20% between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22, costing the brand tens of millions of dollars. Now that the numbers are out, it's clear why PepsiCo's Tropicana moved as fast as it did. According to Information Resources Inc., unit sales dropped 20%, while dollar sales decreased 19%, or roughly $33 million, to $137 million between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22.
Several of Tropicana's competitors appear to have benefited from the misstep, notably Minute Maid,
For posterity, I'm including a link to the interview with Peter Arnell, the head of the design firm that came up with the new look, with their rationale.