We have talked many times about the significance of product packaging and design. Not only does it need to stick out and “pop” on the shelf, but there also needs to be brand recognition for your loyal customers. If consumers can’t easily find your product on the shelf, they will turn to another product, your competition.
An example of this was the Tropicana repackaging fiasco you may have heard of from earlier this year. Since Tropicana is such a large, well-known company, they depend on brand loyalty. THey are known for their fresh-squeezed juice, and this was displayed with their traditional packaging with the straw sticking out of the orange.
In January, they decided to change their packaging by going with a very simple design. They removed their trademark orange picture, went with lighter colors, and changed the font of their brand name. Many customers were not able to find the Tropicana juice they wanted in a hurry, or they thought the new design looked cheap and generic.
The numbers proved it. From Jan.1 to Feb 22, unit sales dropped 20 percent and dollar sales went down 19 percent, or roughly $33 million. Count that loss with the $35 million that they spent on the ad campaign for the new packaging, and one can see they made a costly mistake. Not only did Tropicana’s sales decrease, but their competitors, such as Minute Maid, Florida’s Natural, and Tree Ripe showed double-digit unit sales increase during that time. Ultimately, they had no choice but to return to the old packaging.
We can all learn from Tropicana’s mistake. First of all, packaging matters. Secondly, as a company with brand loyal customers, you cannot change the design to drastically, because brand recognition is vital.