A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Friday, April 24, 2009

What happens when you don't do your research

The Tropicana packaging indecent in the US is quite a famous case study now...but this is by far the best commentary I have seen on the terrible mistake Pepsi Co made...if you have time please read the full article here

If you don't have time, here is an extract from the article I think makes a great point about what happens when you chase 'cool' and forget about the normal everyday people that are buying your product...

American householders are at the moment caught in the three little storms that we know make up a perfect storm.

Storm One: They are raising 2 kids, running a home, and struggling to achieve sufficiency for the family. By itself, this would be a tough assignment. Americans make it tougher by routinely changing what counts as a good "parent," a good "child," a good "family." No sooner than they have worked out a pretty good facsimile of the American family than Dr. Phil begins to beam them new instructions.

Storm Two: American householders are wondering if the present downturn will cost one or perhaps all of the incomes on which the family now relies. The anxiety is palpable. It's audible. It's there all the time.

Storm Three: American householders are trapped in a new health regime, one that forces them to give up the sugar, salt, fat, richness and gusto that makes the meal rich and satisfying. At the very moment, moms (mostly) want to make great meals to make great families, to distract everyone from the crisis at hand, to insist on the things that matter and not "all that other stuff," the health profession is denying some of the very things that makes a meal wonderful.

The old Tropicana package was a welcome presence in this household. It was familiar, cheerful, good hearted. Sitting on the breakfast, it was a little like a light house, a symbol of some of the things that makes mornings in America a good way to break the fast and prepare for the day.

But who cares about the old package? Who cares about the American consumer? Pepsi's has an idea! It wants to "rejuvenate, reengineer, rethink, reparticipate in popular culture" and if this means turning out something that looks like generic packaging, well, too bad. In an act of marketing malpractice, Pepsi managed to reach into the American breakfast and diminish it. It managed to reach into this precious occasion and make it poorer and more paltry. Pepsi did this deliberately...to itself...and the American consumer...with design.

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