Tropicana redesigned its orange juice carton and lost $30 million

Tropicana's logo of an orange with a colorful straw sticking out of it is fun and memorable. It's tough to beat.

But back in 2008, Tropicana's brand managers thought they knew better. Here's how I imagine the conversation went down:

It's time to modernize orange juice. Let's spend $35 million to rebrand our juice! First, we'll get rid of a logo that's instantly recognizable to a couple hundred million people and replace it with a generic-looking glass of orange juice. Next, we'll swap the stylish Tropicana typeface with a crisp contemporary font. As a finishing touch, we'll turn the brand name sideways to make it hard to read.

Of course, when the new carton came out, customers rejected it, and Tropicana lost $30 million in sales.

Our customers sure are stupid for not liking our new design. I suppose we'll have to bring back that lousy orange with the straw sticking out of it.

This is a great example of why you should never mess with a winning formula. The Tropicana brand managers thought they knew better than the customers, and they paid the price. When you've got a good thing, don't try to fix it.

From Catalina Almeida:

One of the main reasons for rebranding/redesigning is for brands to reconnect with existing consumers and reach out to new ones.

Tropicana's redesign consisted of replacing the popular orange with a straw, with a generic glass of orange juice replaced. Tropicana's orange juice became generic, and customers stopped relating to it.

The rebranding failed to strengthen customers' deep emotional bond with the original packaging; this clearly identifies the importance of a brand's visual identity. Even if the final product remains the same, if the brand's look doesn't consider appropriate customer research and feedback, it can impact the brand significantly, in a negative way.