Friday, December 21, 2007

Made from the best design on earth

This has got to be the stupidest business decision I've seen in a while:
I can spot a Snapple in a deli fridge among all the other finely-designed, colorfully-labeled bottles: I can do a quick scan for that weird sun that shows up in the iced teas, or the checkered or otherwise patterned cap, or, of course, the angled logo — but, unfortunately, it looks like all those recognizable traits and quick identifiers (for me at least) will soon be gone. In their place, a very slick look will replace this idiosyncratic brand, blurring the distinction between it and all those other nondescript bottles. Sigh.

The old Snapple labels were what my good friend Mario would refer to as a "hot mess". The bottles were ridiculous looking -- every one of them. Snapple was the Ben and Jerry's of sugar water....but B+J's cartons still look exactly as folksy and handdrawn as they have for years. And that was part of what made you actually think you were drinking something resembling a fruit-stand fresh drink blend....and not something mixed in a vat off the Turnpike. The new labels look exactly like the latter image. This blandness is the deathknell of the identifiable brand.

I predict racks of Snapple will be greatly reduced, or altogether gone from bodega shelves, in 5 years. It's that bad a miscalculation.

(Brand New: Twenty Degrees of Separation)


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