Is Packaging Design Moving Down-Market?
Chatting recently with colleague Andrew Carnwath about packaging design, he mentioned the new Tropicana look. His take on the new design is that it looks less expensive now (i.e., cheaper). The conversation prompted me to take a look at Tropicana--and some broader questions.
Others have shared Andrew's observation that the new design looks cheaper. As noted by the folks at Under Consideration on their "Brand New" blog: "This new packaging feels, at best, like a discount store brand with what looks like, again, at best, rights-managed stock photography if not outright royalty free."
And the folks at Brand Curve observed that the new design looks generic, stating: "I'm assuming that Tropicana didn’t mean to turn its packaging into a generic knock-off, but that’s exactly what’s happened. They’re not fooling anyone. The cheap looking 7-11-esque packaging doesn’t make me feel any better about forking over a whole lot of money so my kids can get their Vitamin C in the morning."
To its credit, Tropicana has dealt with the packaging redesign on its Web site, providing a nifty, helpful "juice finder" application. I'll give them credit for that. Tropicana explains, "We've given our products a little love - or squeeze - as we call it. It's a new look and a new energy, but when it comes to the juice, it's just the way you like it."
In times of economic recession, does it make sense for a company to position its product line(s) as more affordable? Is it smart for a company, like Tropicana (owned by Pepsi), to use a down-market design of packaging to broaden its appeal. Perhaps they were intentionally attempting to give Tropicana a more affordable, broader look and feel. Such moves could conceivably increase sales and resonate with new market segments. Conversely, a down-market move could also backfire. The old design is shown below for your reference.
So, marketing geniuses, what do you think? Was it an intentional, strategic design move? And in the general sense, do you like or dislike the new Tropicana package design?