In 2009, Tropicana released a new packaging for its orange juice in the US. The revenue with the old packaging was over $700 million a year. After the introduction of the new packaging, sales dropped by 20% within two months, causing Tropicana to lose $30 million. Tropicana decided to take the new packaging off the shelves and go back to the old packaging.
Clearly something went wrong with the new packaging, but what?
If you look at both packages you can see that the old packaging has two strong and distinctive elements in the middle of the package: the logo and the orange with the straw.
These elements ensure that the consumer quickly recognises the packaging and the brand. If you look at the new packaging, you can see that the logo has changed and that the orange with the straw disappeared completely. The orange with a straw was replaced by a glass of orange juice which had no distinctive character at all, as many competitors had a similar visual on their packaging.
In short, the traditionally distinguishing elements of Tropicana (the logo, but especially the orange with a straw) were no longer visible. These elements served as recognition points for the shopper and this lack of recognition caused a huge revenue loss.
Advice: Make sure your packaging is (and remains) easy to recognise with distinctive elements. This will make it easy for the consumer to make a choice between your product and the competitor's. Recognition is one of the most important conditions for effective packaging.