I went to buy a drink, because I was thirsty. Normally I’d grab a Gatorade and that would be the end of it. However, Gatorade have completely reworked their branding and split the product into a whole bunch of varieties: G, G2, something called “BR ING IT”, and several others with stupid names that either weren’t in that particular store or I didn’t notice them.
So I was suddenly faced with a conscious choice I hadn’t previously faced. My brain stalled. I had no idea which product corresponded to the Gatorade I knew and liked. And I made an emotional decision: I thought “Fuck you guys and your annoying new product names”, and I bought a Topo Chico instead.
From a purely rational standpoint, any of the Gatorade drinks would probably have been more thirst-quenching than the Topo Chico, but the extreme irritation of being faced with entirely unfamiliar products for no good reason I could see pissed me off.
I still don’t know which new Gatorade product corresponds to the one I used to drink, and I don’t care. Don’t even tell me if you know, because I intend to stop drinking Gatorade. I kinda hope that this new product range turns into a disaster of “New Coke” proportions; I can’t imagine what they were thinking when they came up with it. I’m not marketing expert, but I know that consumers do not like to suddenly be faced with unfamiliar products and find their favorite one missing.
Update 2009-08-05: I’m not the only one. Gatorade sales volume has dropped 17.5% so far this year.