Who’s juiced now?

Perhaps you’ve read about the failure of the package redesign for Tropicana orange juice. The new look was unveiled just last month and is being discontinued because of strong backlash from consumers, who in blogs and emails have called the new look “ugly” and “stupid”, and who say it makes the product look like a store brand. The familiar orange with a straw image will return.

Old vs. new

It’s worth asking whether this situation represents a failure of design or a failure of strategy. Many companies and brands want to update their image from time to time; the danger is that consumers have an attachment to the existing look and feel. It helps if the changes are subtle, but in today’s social media-rich economy, where consumers tend to “own” the brands they favor, it’s not clear whether the change was too radical or whether it simply wasn’t introduced appropriately.

We’d like to hear your opinions on this matter, as well as any first-hand stories you may have about redesigns gone awry, or conflicts between business decisions and design decisions.

By AIGA Boston
Published February 27, 2009