During this past holiday season I was in the grocery store and looking for some Tropicana orange juice for breakfast the next morning. I stood scanning the wall of cardboard containers at a complete loss as to why I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I then went slowly label by label and realized that Tropicana had re-done their packaging to a horrible new design. The design made the package look like a generic in-store brand. Gone was the iconic orange with the red straw protruding from it and it was replaced with a generic orange gradient. It reminded me a of the equally bad new Pepsi branding which is funny since at the time I forgot that Tropicana is owned by Pepsi.
It seems I was not alone in my reaction to the change because PepsiCo is bowing to the public outcry of letters, e-mail messages and telephone calls and they are scrapping the changes to the Tropicana packaging and the previous version will be brought back in the next month.
I think that the short timeline from launch to the return of the old design was only made possible because of the internet. The consumers ability voice their opinion and provide feedback to the brand in such a quick manner is a new development. It took Coke far longer to figure out how badly they had screwed up with New Coke so at least Pepsi’s version of New Coke got off the market in a hurry.