Tropicana Bows to Consumer Pressure and Returns to Prior Branding

Steven Heller must be smiling this week as he, and seemingly millions like him, complained publicly about the rebranding of Tropicana‘s orange juice packaging, enough so that the company has decided to return to their original look, designed by the good people at Sterling Brands (and whose work is now back, albeit awkwardly, on the Tropicana site, with a link telling you to click to see the brand new packaging — we expect this will probably be fixed fairly quickly). This, following all the rigamarole over Pespi‘s new logo, sure must make Arnell, the firm behind both redesigns, not be feeling so hot (and likely worried about when Pepsi decides to do their next agency review). But, for sure, it’s also a testament to the power of branding, when you get a reaction this strong to make a company as large as Pepsi turn a very quick 180. Though, in what feels like another blunder, that isn’t really what the company is saying:

It was not the volume of the outcries that led to the corporate change of heart, [Tropicana president Neil Campbell] said, because “it was a fraction of a percent of the people who buy the product.”

Rather, the criticism is being heeded because it came, Mr. Campbell said in a telephone interview on Friday, from some of “our most loyal consumers.”

“We underestimated the deep emotional bond” they had with the original packaging, he added. “Those consumers are very important to us, so we responded.”

A lousy quote, for sure, and it begs a lot of questions: Who is this tiny segment of the orange juice buying public and why do they hold such clout? Are they buying thirty vats of the stuff every week, shipped to them by barge and large trucks? Do they all have the last name “Orange” and spent all their time in tanning booths, hoping to look more like the fruit for which they’re named? Somebody really ought to make a documentary about these mysterious people, whoever they are.