Brand, Identity, Consistency, and Orange Juice

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0004850002015-500x500At BrandCulture, we’re vehement believers that brand is about a lot more than rigidly adhering to corporate identity guidelines. We love when organizations recognize that stakeholders are loyal not to colors or letterforms, but to the connections those colors and shapes evoke. And we absolutely swoon when we see organizations take that knowledge to flex, adapt, and keep their identity fresh in the marketplace.

Some moves, however, just don’t make a lot of sense. Take Tropicana. Not long after a wholesale redesign of their packaging and identity, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) responded to consumer complaints with an abrupt about face. (for the record, BrandCulture thought the packaging was a little 2005 for our tastes)

Or did they?

Check out this ad for Trop50, the company’s new low-calorie juice.

Maybe PepsiCo segmented the complaints and saw that everyone hated the new packaging except health-conscious women between 34-54?

We can imagine the brand architecture arguments rationalizing the coexisting designs, but we just can’t convince ourselves it’s a smart move to have a homespun, almost hokey design and an abstract, minimal expression of the same brands on the same shelf.

And yes – they are expressions of the same brand, even if they are different products.

It’s too much flex, not the right consistency, and the new design – well – it’s just not fresh enough for us to swallow.

Now It’s Your Turn
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  • anon
    Nov 20, 2009

    I hate this design. It makes me feel yucky looking at it. OJ is supposed to be fresh tasting and fun — that drinking healthy is fun.
    This package design is HORRIBLE.
    It makes you feel that drinking fresh OJ is like taking medicine — very clinical and YUCKY.

  • Randy
    Aug 9, 2010

    This article misses one other key factor that is so obvious to the true reason why Pepsico changed the image of the Tropicana packaging… at the time this package hit stores we were at an all time economic low and people changed their buying habits to suit their very tight budgets. Store brands were outselling name-brands 3 to 1… Pepsico made an psychological decision to compete with the store brand, and it worked. People were taking the Tropicana brand off the shelf, most not even realizing it wasn’t the store brand, and at check out most people do not read the register slip any more than they check their credit card statement. This became known as the “great deception” among my colleagues in the ad industry.

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