Perspectives 2008 - Packaging must pack a bigger punch

Allen Adamson

While it certainly confirmed what I know, it didn’t take a recent New York Times article to get me thinking about the rise of package redesign as a new, old branding tool.

I can stroll down any supermarket aisle, any drugstore aisle, any discount-retailer aisle and get all the confirmation I need. The number of well-known brands taking on package makeovers has grown exponentially in the past couple of years.

It used to be standard operating procedure for consumer goods to keep package design static for six years or so. But now we’re seeing major renovations to a rapidly multiplying number of brand-name bottles, bags, boxes, and cartons. Why this incredible shift?

From my purist’s branding perspective, I’d say there are two key dynamics driving marketers to take second and even third looks at their packaging to determine if it’s working as hard as it should be. The first is media fragmentation. With the launch of one technological gizmo after another, coupled with various social influences, media fragmentation has become a more shattering experience than ever.