But it’s just a box! 9

I’m fascinated by the hubbub that Tropicana created by changing their branding.

67495-tropicana-newHave you seen this?

A while back, Tropicana decided to change their boxes from the straw in the orange look to a new, cleaner looking box with a “crate and barrel glass” filled with juice on the edge of the box.

The move, as I read at the Daily Heller,  was pushed as a “historic integrated-marketing and advertising campaign… designed to reinforce the brand and product attributes” and “help consumers rediscover the health benefits they get from drinking America’s iconic orange-juice brand.” Wow, that’s a pretty big job for a simple box redesign.

What was the result of this “historic” push?
It lost money. Either because people didn’t recognize the branding anymore or were turned off by the “generic” look of the new box. Personally, I like the clean look of the new branding, but the thing that used to say Tropicana doesn’t say Tropicana to me anymore.  It says Orange Juice.

Maybe they should have talked with Naota Fukasawa who designed new fruit juice packaging meant to mimic the look and feel of the fruit inside.

Updating your packaging and by extension, your brand can be important to keep current in the fast moving world, but at what expense?

‘Chelle Parmele
Social Media Marketing Manager

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  • evan

    What this, coupled with the recent protests over Facebook’s revamp, says to me is that “people just absolutely /hate/ change”.

    • http://blog.bplans.com Chelle Parmele

      Indeed. How strange we humans are. We want something different, something new. Trying to be the first to find or discover the brand new “thing” and yet when change and “new” are dropped in our laps, we reject it.

    • http://www.fullrabbit.com Garrick Infanger

      I think people can accept change, but this was an example of a drastic, jarring change that left people disoriented.
      I bought one of the new Tropicana packages and my wife asked me that evening, “Why did you buy the generic orange juice.” We are Tropicana regulars and even having the new box in her own kitchen she couldn’t recognize the brand.

      • http://blog.bplans.com Chelle Parmele

        Thanks for commenting, Garrick!

        What an interesting reaction from your wife. That probably would have been close to my reaction as well.

        I think the marketing and advertising teams might have dropped the ball on this one. I personally don’t remember any campaign to alert buyers that this change was coming. I wonder if they had “trained” people that a change was coming if it would have been less of a shock.

        But then, they tried that for “New Coke” and look how that one turned out.

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name Martin Lindeskog

    I am getting thirsty! They haven’t changed the box in Sweden yet.

    • http://blog.bplans.com Chelle Parmele

      According to the adage.com report, they’ve pulled the new box plan so I doubt it will filter over to you, Martin. But if you do happen to see it, let us know!

  • http://www.scopulus.co.uk Scopy

    Independent Market research is the only way to go before implementing a brand change and these people have obviously got it wrong.

    It’s also shocking how much they make to get it wrong…

    • http://blog.bplans.com Chelle Parmele

      Hi Scopy,

      It’s interesting, but I’ve been at companies who have taken drastic turns in their marketing and branding based on customer focus groups and never really saw a huge win in results. Well, I shouldn’t say “never” how about “seldom”.

      I still believe that companies need to stay relevant with the changing world. But perhaps not such a change as this?

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name Martin Lindeskog


    I will let you know. I have a keen interests in packaging since my days as a purchaser, buying raw materials, packaging, etc. for the production of welding electrodes.