The following originally appeared on 5/18/09 at Exit 51.
If It Ain’t Broke
I’m particular about all sorts of things. From the way the dishwasher is loaded to which tshirts get folded and which get hung. Basically, I like things the way I like them. SFC can attest to that. And when I’m forced to make a change, I get all out of sorts. We’ve been in our house for three years and I’m just finally starting to get beyond the fact that my jeans have to be hung instead of being neatly folded and stacked. That’s the downside of living in a small house that lacks closet space.
I guess you could say I subscribe to the notion of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. New Coke? I didn’t believe for one minute that it was just as good as Old Coke. You’d think that the Coke folks would have learned from that fiasco, and yet now they have Coke Zero. Really, what the heck were you thinking? If you have to spend millions of dollars in advertising to get me to believe that Coke Zero tastes the same as regular Coke, then clearly your product isn’t what you claim it is. Move on and take that black labeled abomination with you. I’ll stick to my happy red can, thank you very much.
But what about when I love a product and it suddenly disappears? No warning, just gone. I’m talking to you Starbucks. First, you got me hooked on your After Coffee Mints.
More powerful than a “curiously strong” Altoid, smaller than a Tic-Tac, it was the perfect mint. Ok sure, you redesigned the container along the way and that didn’t sit too well at first. But I stuck with you. And I even learned to appreciate the beauty of the redesign. No longer would the bottom of my purse be filled with wayward linty mints because the tin opened wide and said “ahhhh”. And it was even easier to get my mint fix while driving because the new tin let me shake them out one or two at a time. No more fumbling around trying to get my fingers in the case and not knock mints in my lap or under the seat. Yes, I came to see the beauty of the redesign.
Then you took it away. And what did you give me instead? You gave me this.
And you really expect me to believe that these horse pills you call Classic Mints are comparable to my petite After Coffee Mints? As if. First of all, these things are ginormous. After being conditioned to your ACM, this is like shoving a hockey puck in my mouth. Second, they taste nothing alike. The ACM packed a wallop of pure peppermint flavor. The CM? I might as well be sucking on a Starlight Mint. Guess which one lists peppermint oil and menthol as ingredients and which one just says natural and artificial flavors? And by your own Nutrition Facts, 1 of the ACM counts as a serving (with 100 servings to a container) while it takes 3 of the CM (at only 10 servings per container). So you’ve locked me into paying more and getting less. Oh you’re clever all right.
But don’t go thinking that I will blindly follow you down this path. You can keep your Classic Mints with its obscenely large tin that spills mints everywhere once you slide the top back. As a point of information, this is not at all user friendly.
See, I’ve still got a few of those lovely After Coffee Mint tins. And I think they are the perfect size to hold your competitor’s mini-Altoids. At least those folks know that when something works, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.