This is a Quora question I was asked to answer.

There are a few reasons:

  1. Help differentiate the brand better against competitors. You want to capture attention so you use packaging to do that, and if you look like everyone else, then it is hard to do that. Take a walk down a retail aisle and notice which packaging grabs your attention. A brand may start with a certain look that works but as competitors either change their packaging or new ones enter the category, then the brand may start to get lost. Thus, updates help refresh the brand to capture attention.
  2. Make the brand look new again, which can capture customer’s attention. Sometimes with the launch of new products or different sizes, this helps capture attention as well.
  3. New packaging that is better. It might be more environmentally friendly, or do a better job of preserving/protecting the product.
  4. Increase the trust/reputation factor. Maybe a brand has lost trust or reputation among consumers. It could have been a product recall, some other major PR gaffe or the brand is of lesser quality than new competitors. As a result, new packaging might accompany a new brand look or marketing campaign to help reverse its declining image.
  5. Update the brand to current design schemes. Maybe the brand’s look and feel is from an older era and updating to current design standards will improve its image in the eyes of consumers.