Taking Care Of Loyal Customers
When Change Is Imminent

Soon after my son settled on which pacifier would get him through infancy, Playtex decided to make a change.  He had not jumped recklessly into his choice of pacifier.  There was product testing, parental input, style considerations. He reviewed the various alternatives, including the organic, all-natural thumb. Finally he followed his sister’s recommendation and prepared to happily meditate.  Almost immediately trouble started.  First it became difficult to find the pacifier.  We did what any good parents would, and stocked up.  Bought enough to get us through a few months.  And as supplies got low again. Nothing. They were gone. Playtex had discontinued the design.  There was no replacement.  This taught me the meaning of the word panic. Of course this was in the dark ages before the age of hyper-availability and web searches.  I called the company. “Please, you have to start making these things again.” “Sir, we understand, but other designs … Continue reading

Did Loyal Customers Force Tropicana To Backtrack

Update 5/20/2009: Recent sales reports indicate Tropicana sales declined 20% during the Jan./Feb. timeframe that correlated with the packaging change. This indicates the packaging problem was more severe than consumers simply not liking the design, it actively hurt the ability of individuals to figure out where and what Tropicana was. It is still surprising to me that a marketing powerhouse like this could have been taken in by the branding gobbley-gook that must have been put forward to justify the redesign. It also relates to this post in that without a sales decline of this magnitude I doubt the packaging would have been rethought this quickly – more likely folks would have tried to power through. The Ad Age link (subscibers only, but the only place I could find the info at the moment.)     Tropicana recently did a packaging 180 due to customer demand (or, could it be lack of … Continue reading