What is the Reasoning Behind a Re-Brand When Your Original Brand Was Clearly Better?

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I’m no marketing wiz.  I’m just someone who’s observant and can (tries to, at least) make logical deductions. 

That said, I read an interesting article at Consumerist today about the backlash Tropicana is feeling from “Loyal Customers” after changing the widely-recognizable Orange and Straw.

The new packaging, which is softer in color and features a glass of orange juice (SANS STRAW!) as opposed to the original, still boldly notes the brand names, and even better gets across the message that the carton is packed with “100% Orange.”

In terms of passing along pertinent knowledge, I have to give points to the new branding.   The font is easier to read, the layout is crisp and less cluttered, and the minimalistic quality gets rid of some of the superfluous text on the old box.

Now, a question that comes to mind is, why was there the push for a re-branding in the first place? The new Tropicana carton seems to follow in the lines of some similar rebranding, such as Pepsi’s, whereby a new age polish seems to have softened the older logo, as can be seen here with 33 other brands.

It’s obvious that, at times, we need to freshen up our image in order to attract new customers or to keep the ones you already have.  But with a brand like Tropicana, was their iconic packaging working against them, or did they, perhaps, get swept up in that “out with the old, in with the new” sentiment that has settled over the states in these last few months?

The thing that I find interesting is that there’s usually a major (often evident) strategy behind a re-branding effort.  The time and money that goes into a creative team figuring out the right move, the PR implementation for the announcement of such a big re-branding, the user testing… these are all things that must be taken into consideration before revamping a brand such as Tropicana.

But now there’s a backlash.  People are upset that their beloved straw-in-orange packing is gone in favor something more “generic.”

Is it possible that this was a branding strategy done on the part of Tropicana to lure value-conscious into foolishly reaching for their over-priced juice?  Could Tropicana be so evil as to disguise them as a value brand with the sole intention of getting you to purchase them when you wouldn’t otherwise?  Is it fair to even think they’d be so ruthless?

Maybe it is.

In a climate where people are eschewing name brands in favor of their identity-less counterparts, it would make sense that Tropicana, too big for its britches, masks itself amongst the other pauper orange juices in an effort to stay viable.

Countless reports have come out (including anecdotal stories of AMP3 workers falling for the rouse as well) of people being confused by the new branding, wondering what the difference is between low sodium, extra pulp, regular…  Tropicana, in going generic, has created a anarchy from which we can’t seem to rebound.

That is, until Tropicana goes back to it’s original branding—would that make it a re-re-branding or a de-branding?—and everyone is happy to know upfront that they’re paying more for a product they can purchase just as cheaply three cartons over.

Perhaps I, like Tropicana, am a marketing wiz.

The only thing that’s more bothersome than Tropicana seemingly sneakily trying to trick me into purchasing their high priced wares is the fact that we’re blaming Tropicana for actually pulling it off.

Where is the culpability of the shower to actually read what they’re purchasing?  Why should it matter what the container says since we don’t eat the container.  This isn’t a “New Coke” v “Classic Coke” dilemma. 

Here’s a helpful tip for consumers: be more concerned with what you put in your body than the package in which it comes. 

If Tropicana was looking to take advantage of our (more) frugal ways by appealing to a proven aesthetic, then I say all the power to them.  Clearly they knew their audience and they knew you could be duped, and the only one you have to blame is yourself.  Stop being so predicable and susceptible to their marketing campaigns, and then maybe they’ll come up with ones that actually appeal to you rather than harness your blind stupidity

I, for one, prefer Simply Orange, anyways….

Jackie for AMP3pr.com


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