When PepsiCo changed the packaging of its Tropicana orange juice, they took a beating.
Designers and brand observers were repulsed by the new design. “Why would PepsiCo mess with one of the best package designs ever?” they asked.
All the criticisms aside, consumers gave PepsiCo the worst beating of all: a 20 percent drop in sales.
PepsiCo initially came out and defended the packaging redesign; however, besieged by the backlash, the company reverted back to the original and much loved straw-in-an-orange design.
I know this is old news, but I think the decision to revert back to the original design has a lesson for all of us. And that is: in branding, we must be prepared to put our egos to the side and face reality.
One might argue PepsiCo had little choice in this packaging debacle, and perhaps that’s right. But it’s not easy to reverse engines, especially when you’ve convinced yourself that the path forward is the right one and invested millions upon millions along the way.
We tend to think we know what’s best for our brands. But in building and managing brands, we need to have a level of objectivity… and we need to be in tune with our loyal customers. I understand this was one of the failings behind the Tropicana packaging redesign: little to no consumer testing.
Despite the firestorm and the millions lost, PepsiCo has at least gained strong confirmation that its Tropicana orange juice brand is well loved.
I mean, really… who knew that people cared so much about the packaging of their orange juice?
A brand with real juice: apparently, Tropicana!