Tupperware is such a well-known brand name that I use it as a generic name for its category, like aspirin, cellophane, elevator, and others. (Even though I’m sure Tupperware wouldn’t like that. And it’s not on the unofficial list of protected trademarks frequently used as generic terms.)
This is how the company describes itself: “After 60 years of meeting ever-evolving consumer demands, Tupperware continues to create innovative and surprising solutions for the kitchen and home that feature up-to-the-minute, beautiful designs that are fun to have around. Tupperware products have been recognized and acquired by many of the world’s finest art museums and industrial design collections. Just as Earl Tupper’s early plastic products revolutionized food storage and preparation, today’s Tupperware products continue to enhance lifestyles by offering ingenious design, quality construction, and a lifetime warranty.”
The company itself is respected by peers: In 2010, Tupperware Brands Corporation ranked number two for the second straight year in the Home Equipment category of Fortune’s recently released “Most Admired Companies” list.
So what are consumers saying online about Tupperware products?
People say Tupperware has great products, including rice cookers, onion keepers, colanders, and others. Most often mentioned were freezer containers.
Another commonly expressed sentiment is that Tupperware is more expensive than alternatives, but is worth it.
And here’s a use for Tupperware that the company probably didn’t anticipate and probably doesn’t target (sorry for the pun) with its marketing: Storing your Glock pistol.
The “lid issue,” which is the second biggest problem, really resonates with me. Many people are annoyed about losing lids or trying to match lids with containers. Personally, I won’t use Tupperware because the lids never fit. You push one side down and the other pops up—it’s like a game of Whack-a-mole at the county fair.
Here’s someone who has the same issue.
Consumers perceive Tupperware as pricey, and while some feel it’s worth it, others find it a deterrent to purchase.
This consumer also thinks it’s expensive—but he isn’t using it to store food; he (and others) are discussing using Tupperware as a modifier for the flash on their cameras.
Regarding insights for Tupperware: I think their pricing strategy is probably right—they get a premium over generic plastic containers, but many consumers feel the higher quality and great warranty justify it. The lid issue is one the company might want to work on. Consumers would like a solution to the problem of lost lids, mismatched lids and lids that don’t seal properly. Given the uses of properly shaped plastic containers as flash modifiers, Tupperware might consider marketing to photographers.
One last thought for Tupperware: Like all companies fortunate enough to have a brand name so well known that it risks becoming a generic name for an entire category, Tupperware needs to continue vigorously defending its trademark, lest it go the way of aspirin, elevator and cellophane. There are many downsides to losing that trademark status, but a clear one in the online world is that if people have something bad to say about their plastic containers and refer to them as “tupperware” when they’re not, that unfairly damages the reputation for quality and unique brand identity the company has worked to establish.