Labels & Shrink Sleeves

APRIL DESIGN FORUM RESULTS

Posted: May 5, 2009

Evolution or Revolution—Snapple's Redesign
The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group recently updated Snapple's bottles and labels. They changed the logo, the information hierarchy, and designed a new taller bottle without the signature textures. In your opinion, is this an evolution or a revolution? Where is the company trying to take the brand?

Rob Wallace, partner, Wallace Church Inc., New York, NY
It is clear that this evolution of the once kitch Snapple identity is trying to move the board toward a more natural, fresh, and wellness positioning. Everything from the cleaner layout, the sunburst background, the more contemporary type, the fruit illustrations and textured backgrounds and the real tealeaves violator speak to this goal and its complementing "better stuff" brand messaging. Does it work? Will it move the business? Sure, we are all "wellness obsessed" these days, but now the brand now must compete in the over-cluttered juice and natural beverage category where Snapple has less credibility. And this new identity uses all of the expected design techniques that this category has already beaten to death. Personally, I miss the gritty Snapple attitude. There might well have been a way to communicate the brand's new All-Natural benefits while still retaining the brand's unique, nonconformist, playful personality.

Norma Kwan-Waski, managing partner, John Waski Design llc, Westport, CT
In my opinion, the Snapple redesign is an evolution and definitely not a revolution. Based on their press release in regards to this new look: The Best Stuff on Earth Just Got Better. Snapple seems to be trying to take this brand into the "all natural/better for you" health food product segment. If indeed this is the case, then agreeably the redesign has been modified and cleaned up a bit as compared to their old design to address this selling point. The design does help to reinforce this point better than before by adding "All Natural" to the brand name, as well as highlighting the use of tea leaves. However, if Snapple was trying to look innovative in this category or to be the revolutionary brand, then this redesign has does not have the dramatic change needed to achieve that goal. This redesign carries the formula type use of graphic treatments and brand name modifications that falls into the expected evolution design range. Although they have created a taller bottle and have modified the textures on the structure, these are not drastic changes such as a new shape or closure that may reflect a more revolutionary look. To fall into the "revolution" look, this redesign may require a revisit in new graphics and delivery systems.

Bill Goodwin, founder and CEO, Goodwin Design Group, Media, PA
I see Snapple's redesign as more revolutionary than evolutionary-and not necessarily for the better. A couple positive evolutions of the redesign include the increased emphasis on "All Natural" ingredients (now reformulated to replace high fructose corn syrup with natural sugar) and the bottle shape (which now fits in cup holders). And while the new logo and graphics are well, lovely-that's not Snapple to me. The new, very refined and well-executed logo and graphics are a disconnect from the authentic, irreverent, and idiosyncratic character of a brand with a genuine heritage and handcrafted quality.

Bill Wynkoop, lead creative director, Lazer Design Services, Rochester, NY
For me, this is a devolution in that I've followed the Snapple brand since their initial designs included the Boston Tea Party illustration from the Bettmann Archive. Due to a number of issues, I understood the movement away from those origins, but I still recognized the brand as being the same at its quirky core. That said, this redesign moves away from the quirky, rough elements (the talking sun, the unevenly spaced color tiles, the bottle texture) in favor of a more upscale approach. The design becomes more upscale with added dimension in the brand name and the introduction of a number of secondary elements, such as the butterfly. In doing so, the designers have moved away from the essence of the brand only to add a shiny veneer that plops Snapple into the middle of a number of forgettable designs in the beverage category.