What were they thinking?

The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it.

Why did PepsiCo scrap its new look for its orange juice?  Because it was all wrong, and consumers knew it – according to PepsiCo execs, the design received overwhelmingly negative consumer reviews, which is why they pulled the plug on it.

My guess is that the designers didn’t understand the DNA of the brand.   Orange juice is a part of my morning ritual, which consists of my bowl of cereal, banana, 2 pieces of toast, newspaper, and a nice glass of orange juice.  I can already choose store brands for my OJ, and I elect not to.  I want pure premium – after all, my morning deserves to start off in premium fashion.   I would not want to trust the balance of my day to some private label OJ – that would be utterly foolish and irresponsible of me!

Will Tropicana regret its decision to scrap its “terrific redesign”, as Todd Wasserman of Brandweek suggests?  I doubt it. (See page 30 of the March 30th edition of Brandweek for Todd’s opinion piece.)

So, sorry Todd – but making Tropicana look like a really nice looking private label is not a brilliant strategy, but a dumb one.  Todd suggests that the new packaging was meant to reinforce the idea of value.  I’m OK with that, because although I want a really good glass of OJ in the morning, I don’t want to be ripped off, either.  But the age-old value equation is quality/price, and the new design sucks all of the quality cues completely away from the brand.  There is absolutely nothing “pure premium” about the new – er, now old – design.

Sure, the color-coded tops make it easier to shop.  Yup, can sure see that it is 100% orange (presume they mean juice, not the color).  But “pure premium”, which is what Tropicana owns in my head?  No way!

Todd offers some “free advice”, which is to start making brands look like private labels.  I suggest that you don’t take it – and apparently a whole lot of Tropicana drinkers agree.

~ by chuckmattina on March 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “What were they thinking?”

  1. All is not lost because this new design certainly generated buzz throughout the media and shows that PepsiCo is listening and more importantly reacting to consumer feedback. Apparently they are keeping the cool orange shaped squeeze top too! My suggestion: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

  2. Good suggestion. The trend is to “break it and fix it”, but I agree with you – sometimes a good, iconic package that supports your brand position should be left alone!

    Thanks for the feedback…

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