The Power of Packaging

In a bid to increase sales and draw fresh attention to their products, some companies are turning to packaging updates accompanied by new ad campaigns. One example of this trend was recently highlighted by New York Times columnist, Stuart Elliott. Pepsico's Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice started appearing in redesigned packages this year. This packaging change and the associated ad campaign was reported to be worth over $35 million. Company officials clearly hoped the new packaging and increased expenditures on the branding campaign would draw fresh attention to the product and increase sales. The package redesign did indeed draw attention — of the negative kind. The consumer kerfuffle ranged from letters to e‑mail message to phone calls. The core fan base of Tropicana's product demanded a return to the original packaging and company officials acquiesced.

Agencies and management can take away several data points from this incident:

  • Reviewing packaging changes with consumers using online or other social networking tools might be a way to increase loyalty and serve as a new way to run focus groups.
  • Yielding to consumer demand is a way to increase business.
  • Companies are looking for ways such as repackaging and rebranding campaigns to boost sales of their products.

Should you consider discussing the Tropicana experience with clients as a way to open the door to new business?

[Source: Elliott, Stuart. "Tropicana Discovers Some Buyers are Passionate About Packaging," New York Times, 2.22.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.