Tropicana’s Transparency Works

I love it when a brand says it like it is. Today, Tropicana announced that they would reduce the container size of orange juice to hold the cost. They also announced a price increase of the gallon-sized containers. These changes will happen two months from now. And I am not an upset consumer. Here’s why…

First, they told us before they did it. In the old days, they would have waited until the new packages and pricing made it into the system, and then hoped no one would really notice. “Only a couple of pennies mentality”. But today, pennies matter, and they came out and told us. Talk about transparency.

They also told us a reason-why that makes sense. Big frost in Florida. Of course there was, and we all read about it. U.S. Agriculture Department estimates a decline in 12% of product vs. last year. So instead of hiding behind anything other than what happened, they simply told us why.

Now I am not any happier than the next person about any price increase these days, but in these cases, we are being given notice and a fair explanation. Net, there won’t be any negative impact on the Tropicana brand image as a result. In fact, I may be even more strongly bonded to the Tropicana brand because of their behavior. The inverse of what you’d think.

While this may seem like a trivial example of transparency at work, it really shines the light on how to do it well. Simple, clear, truthful and giving us notice. I want to stick with this brand through thick and thin. It has character.

Both corporate and product marketers should take notice. This is how to communicate in the new economy. No double-speak, no sneaking up on us… just being real. I can’t help but admire companies that have figured out how to communicate with their customers. It’s really not all that hard, but speaks volumes about the spine of the company and its long-term ambitions to build relationships with their key audiences.