Having too much product choice is often a problem. I’ve written about this before but no one sums this up better than Barry Schwartz in his TED Talk, “The Paradox of Choice“.
Putting this into an everyday context, I’ve been thinking about toothpaste. A lot. Call it a healthy obsession. Most people – I hope – use it, and don’t give it a second thought. It’s essentially a simple product. Or is it? The basic premise is that it cleans your teeth and freshens your breath but each time I look at the supermarket shelves there seems to be a new toothpaste product. One has active clean crystals and promises to provide a unique cleaning sensation. One has pieces of mini breath strips and promises to deliver a whole new dimension of freshness. One does not contain fluoride and promises to reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking the dentine tubules. One has high definition white illuminating mint for up to three times better tooth whitening. The list goes on and on and on.
Of course, all these benefits are desirable but I’ve always asked myself, what if you demand the benefits that more than one type of toothpaste brings? Do you use one type in the morning and one type at night? Or Do you brush twice in the morning and twice at night, alternating kinds of toothpaste?
I Have Some Ideas for Product Choice
Surely the more sensible question is – why don’t the Unilevers and GlaxoSmithKlines of this world bring out a toothpaste with everything in it? Sort of like a ‘best of’ compilation of toothpastes. Or maybe more like a megamix. Surely this would be a killer product and a massive blow to the competition? Surely this would stop the manufacturers cannibalising their own market and capture the competitor’s customers too? Or could it be a conspiracy by product development teams to ensure a job for life by not inventing the ultimate toothpaste? Or are there technical reasons why making this type of toothpaste would not work? Sort of like mixing Coke and Mentos in your mouth.
Imagine my delight then when I recently found Aquafresh Complete Care available on the shelves! This toothpaste obviously contains lots of stuff and promises healthy gums, fresh breath, fights plaque, protects against cavities, removes surface stains, strengthens enamel, anti-bacterial action, and a great taste . Everything I’ve always wanted in a toothpaste and more!
But unfortunately, it doesn’t work. They’ve given it a lemon taste and it’s horrible.