Sometimes we need a reminder to do our homework – especially when launching a national rebranding campaign of a popular product. Tropicana recently provided us with a text-book case study of why it pays to know your audience before you go to market.
Only months after introducing a new look for its Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice, the company is scrapping the new packaging to return to its classic look. The change came after Tropicana was flooded with letters, emails and blog postings complaining that the redesign was “ugly” and resembled a “generic bargain brand.”
Total cost of this branding debacle: $35 million. Not to mention, alienated customers across the country who were upset with the packaging change.
Tropicana eventually did the right thing (and avoided a complete public relations disaster) by listening to its audience and making the change back to the old packaging. Unfortunately for Tropicana, this situation was avoidable.
The lesson here is not to take your customers for granted. This entire problem could have been avoided if Tropicana had done a little more market research into its own customers. Had they done so, they would have most likely come to same conclusion that cost them millions of dollars: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
This case study underlines why a branding campaign cannot be conducted in a vacuum. Market research, testing and knowing your audience, both internal and external, are critical components of any rebranding process. Not taking these elements into account can quickly result in disaster.