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Refreshment Revamping Roundup

Refreshment Revamping Roundup
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Larissa Hayden
  • 4 march 2009

And of course, most of us are familiar with the latest bev rebranding that fell on its face: Pepsi Co’s Tropicana redux. After the widespread negative reactions from consumers, as we reported earlier, decided to revert to its original packaging design.

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The NY Times‘ coverage elucidated the controversy stirred up by the new Tropicana:

The about-face comes after consumers complained about the makeover in letters, e-mail messages and telephone calls and clamored for a return of the original look.
Some of those commenting described the new packaging as “ugly” or “stupid,” and resembling “a generic bargain brand” or a “store brand.”
“Do any of these package-design people actually shop for orange juice?” the writer of one e-mail message asked rhetorically. “Because I do, and the new cartons stink.”
Others described the redesign as making it more difficult to distinguish among the varieties of Tropicana or differentiate Tropicana from other orange juices. –

In the orange soda ring, both Pepsi’s Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Sunkist and Coca-Cola’s Fanta have rejuvenated their image.

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We liked this buyer‘s reaction: “Sunkist’s logo somehow looks more sugary. I say there was nothing inherently wrong with their old logo and now it looks like Fanta.”

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Compared to Pepsi Co., Coca Cola Co.‘s packaging changes have been mostly subtle. The reactions, too, have been quiet. After years of internal debate, Coca-Cola Co. has quietly and gradually decided to remove the word “Classic” from the title Coca-Cola Classic, which originally emerged after the failure of New Coke.

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Sprite’s change was more drastic, but also did not gain too much attention.

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Finally, the beverage that inspired the post: Snapple from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. See anything different recently? The NY Times reports that “The popular iced teas are losing the high-fructose corn syrup and the dated font. The bottles are becoming more svelte (to better fit into cup holders, which became a force after Snapple iced teas were originally introduced). The labels will also emphasize the green and black tea leaves used to make the drink.“

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But what sort of difference does the new, down-homey label make? In the words of one commenter: “All said – it will take more than a label change to get me back as a customer.”

While customers become increasingly more choosey and brands more desperate, it will be interesting to see how these brand facelifts affect sales, sentiment, and confidence in the beverage aisle. For more on brand redesigns, visit Brand New.

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