Nestle just changed the packaging of its Carnation Instant Breakfast. Guess which is old and which is new....
Left is old and familiar. Right is new, more modern and adds lots of benefit details. Note banner at top left of new canister that says "New Look! Same Great Taste!" Same amount in package but new (higher) retail price.
I'm a loyal customer and accustomed to flying down the grocery aisles, snatching up a Carnation Instant in an instant, and continuing on my whirlwind tour of the supermarket. New pkg meant taking a moment to process new look and "same great taste." It worked because the new pkg is similar enough to the old pkg that customers can identify the product quickly and easily.
Marketers can't make such changes lightly--customers devote only a few seconds to scanning the shelves for familiar packages and if your product looks radically different, it may not be identified and selected as the favorite that it used to be.