Are Your Favorite Products Over-improved?

Why do companies keep trying to improve their products?  Obviously, they want to keep up, and surpass, the competition, but they often go overboard.  There’s an old adage, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”  Businesses would do well to remember that.

There was a certain cracker I used to love.  It was crunchy, not too greasy, flavorful…a plain, simple cracker that did everything a plain, simple cracker should do.  The company wasn’t satisfied.  Before I knew it, they were dumping in nuts, oats, other flavors, and in effect, ruining it for me.

I’m sure they’d done their studies, and maybe more people liked the new, improved version.  Not me.  I no longer eat crackers.

Then there was my favorite brand of toilet tissue.  I’m not a brand follower.  I usually buy the cheapest store brand, but toilet tissue is a different matter…only one brand will do.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I can remember the era when some people used the Sears catalog for toilet tissue.

Sure enough my brand keeps trying to improve itself by making it stronger.  Who would ever want a toilet tissue strong enough to hold up a coffee cup?  If they’re not trying to make it stronger, they’re trying to make it softer, so they increase the thickness until you only get half the linear feet per roll.  Just use less, they say.  Have you ever tried to get a three-year-old to use less?  Or a husband, for that matter?

What about plastic packaging?  They’ve improved packaging so much to make it safe, you almost need a jack hammer or blow torch to get into a product.  Enough already.  Packaging is strong enough.

Companies know that people yearn for perfection, and they try to take advantage of that fact.  They just don’t know why.

Here’s the answer.  We’re made in the image of God and will never be satisfied with anything short of perfection.  The Christian strives for perfection all his or her life, knowing it won’t be finally achieved until we reach heaven or Jesus returns for us.

Just like businesses, we keep tweaking ourselves, not to sell a product, but to please the Lord.  There’s no way to try too hard for that goal.  But that applies to the soul, not things.  Products can be overdone.  Remember New Coke?

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