The Future of Orange Juice?


tropicana-no1Much has been said of the recent redesign of Tropicana Orange Juice, whether you read the design and marketing blogs or just wander around the twitterverse the redesign has been widely panned. With many of the comments comparing it to “bad” Private Brand designs.

The blog Brand New wrote this: “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.”

According to the New York Times Tropicana’s previous design, with orange and straw, will return very quickly. PepsiCo is intelligently and surprisingly bowing to public pressure and returning to the much-loved design.

The New York Times article went on to say that some of those commenting described the new packaging as “ugly” or “stupid,” and resembling “a generic bargain brand” or a “store brand.”

trop-newAs the writer of a private brand blog I am both intrigued and a little surprised by the negative comparisons to private brand. But I guess I shouldn’t for much of the last thirty years Private Brand development and design has been at best “me too” and more often than not just bad. Despite the recent emphasis by retailers on creating better design more customer relevant brands, Private Brands still have a long way to go.  That being said there are plenty of Private Brand orange juice designs that are as good or better than the Tropicana redesign.

The commentary on the redesign draws on a long history of bad Private Branding and certainly demonstrates that we have along way to go to build both Private Brand equity and brand respect. I believe we are up to the challenge.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.