Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Change Is Bad; Trust No One!

The title of this blog post "Change is bad; trust no one!" is something a buddy of mine named Mathew used to jokingly utter under his breath, particularly during the sweeping changes that struck Chapters Online during the dot com bust in 2000.

Mathew, someone who embraces change, was being cheeky when uttering that phrase, but the sad truth is it's the mantra of so many people.

I fell victim to it the other day.

But when I paused to actually look at the details, I realised I was being closed-minded and change-averse. And, interestingly enough, I was so upset with the change that I missed the fact that this change was good.

The President's Choice brand recently changed the packaging for one of their BBQ sauces - Smokin Stampede Beer & Chipotle BBQ sauces. Since I first discovered it, it has been among my favourites. We ALWAYS have a bottle in the house.

My immediate thought upon seeing the updated packaging was: "Oh great - smaller package, same price. The big companies are screwing with us again; giving us less while charging the same price, or more." In this case, the packaging changed, but the price remained the same (Although, admittedly, when a consumer gets this frazzled, you might as well have also "upped" the price)

Last night while BBQing, I used up the original sause, so brought out the new bottle. I was so upset, I even went to take a picture of the two of them side by side so I could tweet my disappointment to the world.

Of course, it was only when I was taking the picture that I looked closely at the label.

The new "smaller" package was still 1L - the exact same size as the original glass bottle. Only, the plastic one was, naturally, half the weight and much easier to grip in one hand. Also, when I went to pour it, the new packaging had an "easy to pour" flip lid, while the old one, while classic and stylish with a cork pop top, was messy.

Simply, the old packaging, while "neat" and unique, was too heavy, difficult to fit nicely in the refrigerator, too messy and just think about the freight involved in shipping a skid of them.

The new packaging (which runs the exact same price for the consumer) is lighter, easier to handle, easier to store, and easier to use. It's a phenomenal improvement.

However, remember my initial reaction? Negative. "Change is bad!"

Even though I joke and make fun, I fall victim to this close-minded perspective.

Perhaps there are other things changing that we're missing the boat on. That's definitely worth keeping in mind.

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