How Not To Re-Brand: Tropicana Orange Juice
I was buying groceries the other day when I noticed cartons of a new orange juice brand on the shelves. Well, it took me about 5 seconds and a much closer look at the package to realize that that was not a new orange juice brand. That was the re-branded Tropicana.
So, if it took me that long to recognize a juice that I have been buying for a few years, something was not done right. Let’s take a closer look.
The old cartons used to have a large Tropicana logo, in a thick and bold “tropical island” font. The logo was horizontally displayed above a strong visual element – a picture of a large, juicy, fresh orange with a straw stuck right into it. White was a dominant background color which helped bringing the logo and the image to the front. The combination was very powerful. Cartons were easy to recognize on the shelves from 20 ft away. The entire design screamed freshness and it felt like you are buying a product that was made from oranges that were picked moments ago.
In the new design, the Tropicana logo uses a much smaller and narrower font. It is also displayed vertically which makes it really difficult to read. The slogan “100% Orange” is what is displayed horizontally and feels as the brand name. In addition, the main visual element was changed to a photo of a partial glass (visual illusion?), full with orange juice. There is also very little white area, so less contrast and more blur of visual elements. And when you actually look at the juice, it looks as someone spent hours in Photoshop trying to remove any sign of pulp and freshness. Overall, the box looks synthetic and of a no-brand orange juice made out of concentrate.
And there is more. The pulp levels labels in the new design are so small and hard to read compared to the old design.
The last funny thing is the website portion. When you visit the Tropicana website, the new box is displayed only on the home page, while the “Juice Finder” page shows boxes in the goold old design (see image below in gallery). Even the PepsiCo site still shows boxes in their old design!
I find it hard to believe that a company as big as PepsiCo, which spends millions of dollars on branding and marketing, would execute so poorly. How can you throw away years of brand & identity recognition among millions of customers and replace it with such a lame design? And how can you release a product and start a multi-million dollars marketing campaign without updating your website?
Update (Feb 23, 2009): The new design is gone. The good old design is back. More here.