Though my wife would surely disagree, I’m generally a mild-mannered guy. There are few things that get under my skin, but one that does is a toothpaste cap that has to be snapped to close (see picture).

What focus groups and test market results proved this would be a good idea and much-appreciated improvement to the good old screw-top?

By the time I can secure the cap firmly back into place, I’ve usually made a mess at the top of the toothpaste tube.  Sadly, my college degree and years of experience wrangling toothpaste caps don’t qualify me to snap the damn thing closed without toothpaste oozing out the top in the process. And, because I’m lazy and the faucet may be a full 18 inches away, I can’t be bothered to rinse off the mess, which further compounds the problem the next time I use the toothpaste.

As a result, I’ve sworn off any toothpaste that comes in a snap-top, which seems to be most of the Colgate® products. I don’t care how much brighter my teeth would be or how many more cavities I could be avoiding, I’ll buy a competitive brand.

I’ve found that taking a stand like this can be fraught with peril since toothpaste is usually packaged in a sealed box and I can’t tell for sure what I’m about to buy. Occasionally, I’ve bought what I thought was a sure bet for a screw top (Crest®) only to be surprised with my nemesis snap-top.

Another product I’ve recently sworn off is Heinz® Sweet Relish in the clear plastic squeeze bottle. Not sure how it worked so well for the folks at Heinz that they decided to proceed to market, but, at least for me, a significant amount of relish juice far and away precedes the actual relish whenever I squeeze.

A simple touch point. A negative brand experience resulting in a sworn allegiance against the brand — until they change their evil ways.

Have you thought through your seemingly innocent brand touch points that can drive business away? Take it from my experience with toothpaste and relish, it’s often the smallest details that can make a difference.

If you need help taking a look at your brand touch points, give us a shout here at 34 North.

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