Cinderella, those masters of 80’s hair metal, had their biggest hit with “You don’t know what you got (until it’s gone)”.

As much as I have tried to suppress those dark days for music, I couldn’t help but hum a few bars to myself as I read today’s Ad Age story about the negative impact of Tropicana’s recent packaging overhaul. Evidence of the importance of branding doesn’t get much more powerful than this. The new package design looked too much like the generics and clearly made it more difficult for customers to associate the Tropicana product with the premium brand perception that had been carefully built and reinforced over time. Sales suffered dramatically. We don’t often see examples this stark – there were clearly some gaps in the testing regime – but when they come along they are very instructive. Brands are tremendous assets. Money spent building them drives real business value, even if this value is not always easily measurable – at least until it’s gone.

About Andy Atherton
I am currently an SVP at AppNexus. I previously spent four years as COO and cofounder of, a pioneer in programmatic reserve technology and leading digital media buying solution for top brands. Prior to, I was Vice President of Pricing and Yield Management for Yahoo!, responsible for maximizing monetization of a global portfolio of display inventory worth $2B annually. Beginning in 2002, I created, developed and globalized Yahoo’s PYM function over a period of five years. Prior to Yahoo!, I was president and cofounder of Optivo, a venture-backed start-up that developed price optimization software for e-commerce retailers. More on LinkedIn...

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