Product packaging — is it part of your brand or disposable?

Picture_4 A recent article in the New York Times focused on how product packaging trends have changed over the last 10-20 years.  The trend, as late as the 90's was that companies would retain a packaging design for 7+ years.  Today, the trend is less than 2 years.  (To the left, Kleenex is now available in oval shaped boxes.)

The article lists many reasons why a company might shift packaging more often today.

  • Shorter attention spans of the buying population
  • The movement from container to a 3-D on-shelf ad for the product
  • Harder to expose audiences to mass media messaging, so have to grab them at the venue
  • Turning the mundane (tissue boxes, cleaning bottles) into decor
  • Trying to reduce package size/cost
  • Functionality (Coors label turns blue when it is just the right temperature)

Picture_3 An extreme example — Mountain Dew is changing its packaging 12 times from May-October.  Wow.  (see examples to the right)

So what do you think?  Are they messing with their brand?  Is this sort of revolving door packaging a good thing?  Does it matter what the product is?

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