What brand is your toothbrush?

 Products Images Headers Hdr FlavoredIs it Oral B? Aquafresh? Colgate? No idea right. It’s just a green one with the new flexible head which cleans your teeth better. So what toothpaste do you use? You probably know the brand, but what’s the product name? Crest with Whitening? Hmm – still a bit more to chose from – want Vanilla? Cinnamon? Citrus? There’s about 20 different Crest toothpastes to choose from.

This is product segmentation gone wild. With toothbrushes, they’re all so similar we can’t tell. With toothpaste, I buy Crest in a blue tube. Except they’re all blue now and there are lots to choose from even within the same product family, many of which probably taste foul. Not sure my preference can be salami-sliced this thinly. Buying toothpaste is supposed to be a low engagement purchase. Now the consumer has to read each packet to make sure they’re getting what they had last time – the one which tasted ok and stopped their teeth falling out.

Which all goes to prove that you can spend too much on marketing, branding and product differentiation. Sometimes the consumer just wants predictability. Don’t mess with my toothpaste – whatever it was called.

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