Packaging buzz words

Johnsons Nourishing Lotion
Johnson's Nourishing Renewal Lotion

This is Johnson’s Nourishing Renewal Lotion, which purports to restore youthful baby softness to one’s skin.

Johnson's Nourishing Green Tea Moisturizer
Johnson's Green Tea Moisturizer

And here’s the exact same lotion, except the label and name have been changed. Now the lotion only claims to give you “healthy, beautiful looking skin.”

If you often shop for the same products you may find that products change their names or attributes, but if you look closely at the ingredients, the products are still the same. In this case, Johnson’s has added the word “green tea,” even though nowhere in the ingredients is green tea listed.  In fact the label goes on to say that the lotion “contains natural antioxidants found in green tea. The previous label said that the lotion contains “vitamins A & E, shea butter & essential oils.” The old label more accurately describes the product in my opinion, but because green tea has become such a big a buzz phrase in marketing, the powers that be decided to tinker with the label.  This strategy can be positive if you are trying to attract new customers who may be drawn to the perceived value of green tea. However, the strategy can backfire, because existing customers looking for their regular lotion will have to figure out if this is still the same. They, like I, will realize that it is the same, but has changed its name and NOTHING else.

Products go through name changes all the time. Packaging is also changed periodically, to entice new shoppers.  At some point, purely cosmetic changes (no pun intended) don’t add any value to the consumer. In this case, I am not getting any green tea benefits, just the same natural antioxidants found in green tea.

Do you have any examples of packaging that has changed but the product remains the same?


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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