Is design thinking a genuine challenge to conventional marketing thinking, or just the latest pair of buzzwords? And if designers are such great business thinkers, why did it take them so long to rise to the top of the marketing hierarchy?
Tag: Procter & Gamble
The shaving brand, Gillette, (Procter & Gamble) has been running a television commercial which shows actor Brandon Quinn in far-flung locations, and claims one ProGlide cartridge blade lasted him 5 weeks on the road. It is impossible to put a reliable number on how long a shaving blade lasts, not least because all the variables are personal: including skin type, hair type, tolerance for drag, etc. But the news is that the huge and successful marketing machine behind the Gillette brand has seen *now* as the moment to come forward with a blade longevity number.
These news items recently caught our attention: P&G shifting money from marketing to social media. And GM walking away from advertising on Facebook. Question: Are these events contradictory or complementary?
Usually the question comes right after I tell an audience that I put former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley on my "Innovation Mount Rushmore" as a reminder of the importance of investing time and energy to understand the target market.
From a Lady Gaga prayer bracelet to special sushi rolls at restaurants, the disaster in Japan has led to a rash of relief efforts. But as consumers become increasingly skeptical of cause-related marketing, celebrities, organizations and major marketers have to walk a fine line, trying to help without appearing to exploit the tragedy for profits.
Back in August we brought you the story of The Brandery, a consumer marketing "accelerator" created by some P&G digital marketing veterans including Dave Knox. We invited Dave to keep in touch with us as the project got rolling. True to his word, he tells us that tomorrow (Thursday) is Demo Day for the first class of six start-ups in the consumer marketing seed accelerator program.
Procter & Gamble and Levi Strauss are using pop-up stores to connect with customers and build their brands in new ways
There’s a cultural movement gathering steam in the marketing world right now and, funnily enough, it has to do with… movements.
It's official: the allegation that P&G's new diapers cause rashes, led and fueled in large part by consumers' use of social media, has been refuted. Three cheers for the good news! Concerned parents and supportive activists can collectively breathe a sigh of relief. Solid, accurate information has saved the day for everyone involved. Only not so much. In order to get to the bottom of this issue (yuck yuck), here's a quickie background (more yuck yuck): one of the few real product innovations coming out of P&G these days is Pampers Dry Max diapers, which promise to do everything from sop up more gunk using less material while fitting better, to take less than a millennium to decompose once they're discarded. The company did everything it could to botch the product rollout, though, starting with putting the new diapers in boxes for the old ones, so early consumers were surprised by the change. Reports connecting the new diapers to rashes came next on parenting web sites, followed by Facebook pages calling for a consumer boycott and the activism of class-action lawyers looking to make a buck.
P&G is slashing prices and attacking new markets worldwide in a dash for improved sales and increased share. I don’t quite understand how this is a business strategy for any business other than Walmart. It just seems like brand suicide. Perhaps the company's brands are already dead. P&G has seen sales plunge for its premium household products like Tide and Charmin as a healthy majority of American consumers have switched to at least one cheaper substitute. 2009 produced the company’s first sales decline since 2001, and it announced this month that it spent a lot more on advertising to sell its brands at heavily discounted prices...so profits are down 12% for the quarter ended June 30.
Procter & Gamble's Old Spice was just another guy brand with an entertaining spokesman in its TV commercials until the brand's agency, Wieden + Kennedy, put Isaiah Mustafa on the Web recently and invited fans to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to pose questions that he quickly answered. The questions poured in--even celebrities asked a few--and Mustafa responded in more than 180 Web videos shot quickly over a few days. The real-time effort was the first of its kind, but it won't be the last. Marketers are eager to find clever new ways to engage consumers online with branded content and interactive advertising that is good enough to make people want to share it with their network of friends.
I mentioned a while back that I thought big corporations were starting to adopt Modern Brand strategies with a twist. Since then, we’ve found some more examples of innovation from big companies that adapt the principles of Modern Branding, but which take advantage of the specific attributes and strengths of large companies. Some context before I launch in: I think Modern Branding evolved through necessity rather than by design. Small, innovative startups, faced with larger, better funded competition, decided they had to be more resourceful and smarter about using what they had to compete. As a result, they developed strategies that enabled them to use their existing assets in creative ways in order to offset the fact that they had no money to spend on outbound marketing. However, this is actually a strategy that favours those who have more assets. And, if you have more to work with and you have money, this is a strategy that can take you even further. That’s what I think these examples show.
Digital is fast becoming so pervasive for marketers that it may soon lose its meaning as a separate media designation, according to Procter & Gamble Co. Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard. It's one of the many ways the company is changing through a brand-building organization he brought together last year that encompasses all areas of marketing communications.
Huggies' summer 2010 denim diapers appear to have sparked a trend. Just when we thought we'd seen designer everything in Target stores, the retail chain has managed to score what may be its most creative designer tie-in yet. By the middle of this month, Target stores and Target.com will begin selling the first designer diaper from Pampers.
Believing better data leads to happier shoppers, Procter & Gamble Co. recently mobilized its market researchers to scientifically define those infinitely varied unhappy days when a woman's hair has gone rogue. They are the dreaded bad hair days, and P&G has put them at the center of a massive research and advertising effort aimed at winning back women to Pantene shampoos and conditioners. At stake are millions of dollars in sales lost during the recession, when consumers cut back discretionary spending and economized on things like hair products.
A year after changing campaigns for Bounty paper towels, Procter & Gamble is refocusing the brand’s advertising again. Bounty had for decades been called “the quicker picker upper” or, in a more recent variant, “the quilted quicker picker upper.” In February 2009, Procter switched approaches, introducing a theme, “Bring it,” to reflect that absorbency — picking up spills as soon as they happen — was perhaps no longer the be-all and end-all it once may have been.
Reasoning that dishwashing detergent isn’t likely to spur much discussion but spotty dishes is, Cascade is launching a social media campaign asking consumers to weigh in on their choice of the “messiest food pairings of all time.” The effort includes a microsite launching this week, dubbed Cascade’s Best Food Mergers Hall of Fame, and the participation of Ted Allen, host of the Food Network’s Chopped, who serves as spokesman. The goal is to highlight Cascade Complete ActionPacs’ ability to clean tough stains via the fusion of the brand’s gel and powder ingredients.
Last July, branding powerhouse Procter & Gamble tried appealing to budget-conscious consumers with a value-priced version of Tide detergent called Tide Basic. The product was carried by Wal-Mart and Kroger stores, primarily in the south and southwestern parts of the United States. Tide Basic was essentially a test to see if stripping out some of Tide's features and pricing it as much as twenty percent lower than original Tide would make the product more attractive. It was seen as a strategy to compete with the growing popularity of store brands and generics. P&G has announced it has ended the test and will pull Tide Basic from the market. Why?
Fathers are changing more diapers than ever, but you would never guess that while walking down the diaper aisle, where packages feature mothers but never fathers. Now Pampers, the Procter & Gamble brand, while not planning to advertise on ESPN anytime soon, is taking baby steps toward fathers.
Supermarkets are the last refuge for an increasing number of distressed quick-serve brands. Arby’s is the latest example of the trend toward putting restaurant-branded products in the grocery aisle. The struggling Atlanta-based fast feeder, part of the Wendy’s Arby’s Group, said that it had reached a deal with Nancy Bailey & Associates, an Atlanta-based marketing firm, to begin fielding offers to sell packaged Arby’s items on supermarket shelves. Nancy Bailey is a well-regarded licensing go-between that, for example, does lots of business with Procter & Gamble.
How does a company inspire its consumers and what does it mean for business growth? Inspiration Blvd, a brand-consulting firm in Alpharetta, Ga., surveyed 1,752 consumers to identify America's top motivating companies. Conducted online, the survey asked consumers to pinpoint influential indicators--such as innovation, reliability, growth, charity--and to freely describe companies they see as inspiring. The goal was to determine a correlation between successful companies and companies that inspire their consumers, says Terry Barber, chief inspiration officer of Inspiration Blvd. "We set out asking whether companies that inspired others were more likely to connect and draw shoppers," Barber says. "We see now there's a strong link between the message consumers take away and how they act on it."
Procter & Gamble, one of the largest consumer goods corporations in North America and beyond, has opened a direct online store for customers in the US. The Internet store, dubbed the eStore, debuts today with a beta tag attached to its name. The eStore is owned and operated by PFSweb and features the breadth of P&G brands, including Tide, Head & Shoulders, Pampers, Swiffer, Gillette and Febreze.
P&G's new Pampers Dry Max diapers are under siege from a grassroots social media campaign accusing the product of causing chemical burns. Two class action lawsuits have been filed in Ohio. The company has denied all claims, both legal and anecdotal. The marketing trades are covering it as an emerging case for "the power of the democratized web" and I'm sure it'll appear in every digital marketing agency pitch that gets peddled this summer. I wonder if it isn't an example of the madness of crowds...both those running corporations and incensed consumers.
NBC believes baby boomers are a massively underserved market on the Web. With that in mind, the network’s digital division has teamed up with Procter & Gamble Productions to launch Lifegoesstrong.com, a content portal that will serve as a central hub for a series of vertical destinations focused on boomer-oriented topics. Among the channels featured on Lifegoesstrong.com are the family-focused Familygoesstrong, as well as Stylegoesstrong and the Techgoesstrong.
What can Procter & Gamble learn from Method, the San Francisco purveyor of natural home products? How about Fidelity Investments — could it profit from observing Zurich's Sustainable Asset Management? What lessons are offered to mainstream companies by mission-driven companies, those small- and medium-sized enterprises that balance profitability with social and environmental goals? By studying them, mainstream companies can get beyond the fruitless debate over whether it pays to be responsible, and move onto a far more important issue: How they can make being responsible pay.
It's not the kind of luck Procter & Gamble Co. was looking for, but its Dawn dish soap is one of the few brand beneficiaries of the massive Gulf Coast oil spill. Dawn launched a new ad for its wildlife rescue efforts on Earth Day and was still in the midst of a related promotional fundraiser just as the environmental catastrophe was unfolding. Earlier this week, it helped drive the point home further, shipping 1,000 bottles of Dawn to animal rescuers in the Gulf Coast, and plans to follow with another 1,000 by week's end, said spokeswoman Susan Baba.
"We’ve been in China since 1988. We're only in about 14 categories. We lead all of them but one. But the spending per capita in China is only $3 a year on Procter & Gamble products. That compares to the United States, where we are in over 25 categories, and the per capita spending a year is $100." The above quote is excerpted from a recent interview with Procter & Gamble's CEO, Robert McDonald. McDonald's ambitious plans for P&G call for adding 1 billion new customers over the next five year--that’s 200 million customers each year--or 500,000 new customers EACH DAY for the next five years. The vast majority of these customers will come from emerging markets, especially in China and India.
On the face of it, $100 million is nothing to Procter & Gamble. The consumer-products giant spent $2.7 billion last year on traditional media and web-based banner ads, according to Kantar Media. So why should anyone care if Oprah Winfrey's fledgling cable network got a taste of a couple of Tide, Crest and Pampers-created pennies?
New ad campaigns suggest marketers are eager to shake off the gloom of tough economic times--and they hope consumers will do the same. While some economists aren't sure the tough times are history, advertisers don't seem to care. Companies are rolling out carefree ads that use humor, colorful images and upbeat language to get consumers to lighten up--and open up their wallets.
There’s been plenty of talk of late about “cleaning up” America’s schools. Finally, someone is doing something about it, albeit in a literal way. Procter & Gamble’s Bounty paper towel brand this week begins a campaign touting the “clean” benefits of its products that includes a philanthropic, celebrity-backed push to make the nation’s classrooms more presentable.
As in-store marketing grows in importance and marketers focus more at winning over consumers at the shelf, one discipline is seeing its star rise: design. No less a giant than Procter & Gamble Co. has incorporated design into its comprehensive brand-building function under the group headed by Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard. After initially carving design shops out of its new "Brand Agency Leader" model for managing and paying marketing-services shops, P&G now increasingly includes them in the system, in which lead creative agencies essentially function as general contractors over other marketing services shops.
Procter & Gamble Co. became the first corporate inductee to the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame on March 25, and while it's a big honor, it could be seen as a mixed blessing. After all, the other inductees are retired, and many have been honored posthumously, while P&G still considers itself very much in the game. In an interview with Advertising Age prior to the induction, P&G Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald said avoiding the trap of leaning too heavily on the company's marketing legacy is one thing that keeps him up at night. Increased focus on digital marketing, he said, is one of the keys to P&G's strategy to remain a leading marketer.
Procter & Gamble Co. got to be an $80 billion company and the world's-largest marketer almost entirely by selling goods, but it's increasingly looking to services ranging from concierge physicians to car washes and dry cleaners to fuel its thirst for growth.
It's a beautiful time to be a man -- or at least to market to men -- as personal-care marketers rev up for what looks to be the biggest array of product launches for men in nearly a decade and maybe ever.
Move over, Amazon. Consumer-products makers, squeezed by private-label goods at retailers like Wal-Mart, are hawking their wares directly to buyers online.
Just 15 months ago, Procter & Gamble Co.'s top digital-advertising executive had some serious reservations about Facebook as a marketing tool. Now, the world's biggest marketer wants all of its brands to get a presence on Facebook this year and has recently opened a research-and-development office in Palo Alto, Calif., not far from Facebook's headquarters, in an effort to co-develop capabilities in digital and social media.
Hundreds of messages on the boards at PampersVillage.com have criticized changes to Pampers Cruisers in recent months, but a closer look shows an outsized portion of them came from a couple of posters. Social media might be all about big numbers, but in a surprising number of marketing mishaps, a relatively small handful of people were the sparks that turned into online brushfires.
Procter & Gamble Co. said it expects stronger sales in coming months as it launches a flurry of new products—from India to Brazil to the U.S.—but it acknowledged its profits won't grow as quickly over the long term as previously thought. The world's biggest consumer-products maker is betting on innovation to lure recession-weary shoppers with a wider range of prices and new features. The emphasis on its new products comes as P&G tries to reassure investors that it can once again post sizable gains in sales despite a big deceleration during the recession.
Consumer package-goods companies found a rare point of agreement at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference this week: the need for continued increases in marketing support. Marketers battling private label from Kraft to Procter & Gamble and General Mills promised bigger investments in advertising, in-store promotion, shelf signage, coupons and packaging. Hershey and Heinz, which have lagged the package-food industry in marketing spending, are racing to bridge the gap. Heinz CEO William R. Johnson noted "the industry's renewed focus on innovation and marketing in response to the challenge of store brands."
Prilosec OTC has been an official sponsor of everything from Nascar to the Bunco parlor game and represented by the likes of quarterback Brett Favre in NFL promotions. But its latest idea, fueled to this point entirely by digital marketing, is far more ambitious: to be the "Official Sponsor of Everything" and represented by hundreds of ordinary consumers. The idea, simply put, centers around micro-sponsorships of the Procter & Gamble brand's consumers and their passions -– be they sheltering stray pets, entering motorcycle races or sending care packages to soldiers. The hope, at least initially, is to strike around 1,000 deals of around $1,000 each.
Sports marketing has been growing at Procter & Gamble Co. for years, and particularly since it acquired Gillette five years ago. P&G's biggest sports effort to date comes with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where 18 brands are combining with the corporate brand in an effort that also includes P&G's first corporate TV ad in the U.S. It's the biggest corporate-marketing event ever, though it builds on more than a decade of increasing multibrand marketing efforts that include companywide coupon circulars and websites and retail promotions. An extensive digital, print, consumer-promotion and in-store program rounds out the campaign.
IN “Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Millan, now in its sixth season on the National Geographic Channel, several episodes have featured vacuum cleaners that send dogs into a barking frenzy. With tactics like placing their food bowls next to vacuums that are not in use, Mr. Millan helped reverse the behavior. Now Swiffer, the 11-year-old Procter & Gamble brand, is hiring Mr. Millan to help with a different sort of behavior modification: getting consumers to forgo traditional floor cleaning devices and buy Swiffer products.
Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods company behind products such as Tide and Pampers, hopes the Olympics will help it score with penny-pinching shoppers. The Cincinnati company rolled out a $10-million ad campaign Monday, integrating corporate and brand messaging, to win over consumers watching the 2010 Winter Games. The goal? To convince shoppers to buy its premium products. TV and Web ads, themed "Thanks, Mom," announce P&G's efforts to subsidize travel costs for every mother of a Team USA athlete.
Procter & Gamble Co. is again revving up the arms race in shaving equipment, betting it can persuade men to forget about hard times and pay more to beat back their beards. The company that brought the spring-loaded razor, the five-bladed cartridge and battery-powered vibration to what had seemed like a simple morning operation will launch Gillette Fusion ProGlide in June.
Procter & Gamble is feeling generous at this year's Olympic Winter Games. The packaged goods maker is sending Team USA's mothers to Vancouver to watch their children compete, as part of a program called "Thanks, Mom." The program, announced today (Thursday), will defray the cost of travel and accommodations, allowing moms to support the athletes in person during the Games. P&G is also running a campaign, which celebrates the special people in the lives of Team USA's members. (Since forming an alliance with the U.S. Olympic Committee last summer, the company has tapped several Team USA athletes to star in its Olympics-focused marketing. Among the athletes are snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, speed skater Apolo Ohno, and skier Lindsey Vonn.)
The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, and Procter & Gamble, the world's biggest consumer-products maker, are jointly creating a made-for-TV movie, in an effort to promote "family-friendly" alternatives to what they say is increasingly risqué TV fare. The two advertising heavyweights have teamed up on the two-hour "Secrets of the Mountain," to be broadcast in April on NBC. The movie, which focuses on a single mother who brings her family to a mountainside cabin, highlights values—such as generosity, honesty and togetherness—that Wal-Mart and P&G executives say are in short supply on television.
Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday was part of the frenetic stretch, which continues this weekend with the Winter Games and other sports programming, like the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and the Daytona 500. The TV marketing blitz, which began with the coverage of the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 17, is to run through the Academy Awards on March 7 and conclude with the finale of the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament on April 5. All those events have something in common other than high prices for commercial time: They are all broadcast live, part of a trend known as big-event television, which prizes programs that can attract large, involved audiences at a time when consumers have generally been atomized into tiny niche markets.
Procter & Gamble is testing a new online venue for selling its products called eStore, a venture designed to deliver lessons in online selling that P&G plans to pass on to other online retail partners. The initiative comes as less than 1 percent of P&G’s $79 billion in global revenue last year came from online sales via sites such as Walmart.com and Amazon.com.
One of the biggest — and dullest — categories in consumer marketing is showing signs of life. The category is laundry detergents, prosaic products whose advertising budgets have financed decades of soap operas and women’s magazines, not to mention enough coupon inserts to fill a googol of Sunday newspapers. (Yes, before there was “Google” there was “googol.”) The detergent business is emblematic of what is known as a low-interest category, a marketing term that means most consumers would rather watch paint dry than a commercial for such everyday products.
Procter & Gamble Co. loves Facebook after all, and besides encouraging brands to develop a presence there, the world's biggest marketer has opened an office in Silicon Valley to help develop social-networking systems and digital-marketing capabilities with the website. Those messages came in a meeting last week between P&G executives and venture capitalists, recounted by David Hornik on VentureBlog in a post that quickly picked up currency over the weekend on, of all places, Twitter.
A mountaintop video posted on YouTube offers a panoramic vista of Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince moments after the category 7 earthquake struck Tuesday. Instead of the city, however, one sees only a blanket of white smoke as if a thick fog had descended upon the valley in which rests the poorest capital of the poorest city in the Western Hemisphere. A person holding the camera mutters: "It's the end of the world." In Haiti, such a comment would apply even without an earthquake. Said Tracy Reines, director of response operations for the American Red Cross (ARC) in a video the organization posted to YouTube yesterday: "People in Haiti are used to hurricanes, landslides and civil unrest. But this place doesn't get earthquakes." The ARC and organizations like Oxfam, CARE, and World Vision, along with several corporations, are helping.
Procter & Gamble is taking a nontraditional tack to help Tide, the best-selling detergent in America, fend off challenges from lower-priced rivals as strapped consumers continue to ponder practically every purchase. An image campaign for Tide, now under way, eschews the brand’s long-time pitches celebrating its ability to get clothes clean. The most recent such ads, which began appearing in 2007, carried the theme “Tide knows fabrics best.”
Under new Chief Executive Robert McDonald, Procter & Gamble Co. is stepping up its use of the company's best-known brands, such as Olay skin cream and Tide detergent, to smooth the way for new products. Mr. McDonald, who took the helm at the consumer-products giant on July 1, told investors last fall he planned to spur P&G's lagging sales by stretching the company's biggest brands across more product categories and a wider range of prices. P&G, whose business is largely based on premium brands, plans to introduce 30% more new products this year than last, hoping to avoid price cutting by tempting recession-weary shoppers with new product features.
Procter & Gamble is going out of its way to get more people involved in its 36-year-old People's Choice Awards, a sign of how TV producers are quickly tweaking the way they make their shows to cater to emerging viewer habits. This year, P&G is trying to rework the program's tried-and-true formula. The consumer-products giant, which maintains a TV-production arm, has enlisted reality-TV impresario Mark Burnett to helm this year's broadcast, loosened up and broadened the voting process, restructured the flow of the awards program itself and worked diligently to fan enthusiasm for the program well before it hits CBS Wednesday evening.
Coca-Cola today has a market capitalization in excess of $100 billion because the perceived value of its brand is significantly higher than the sum total of all the assets of the company. In my years with Procter & Gamble and Heinz, I have come to realize that no matter what the product or service, the key principles for building a great brand remain the same. By staying true to these seven principles, a marketer can weather economic highs and lows while building an iconic brand for target consumers.
When it was announced in June 2009 that Robert McDonald would replace A.G. Lafley as chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble, investors and employees alike found themselves asking, Who is Bob McDonald? Putting that wonder aside, McDonald has already done well delivering a greater than 20% increase in P&G's stock price since becoming CEO in June. Now that he is slated to become chairman of the board on Jan. 1, 2010, what can his past actions tell us about what he values most and how he will continue to guide the 182-year-old consumer products company into the uncertain economic future?
A new wave of deal making is occurring in the consumer aisle. In recent weeks, a closely-held chip-maker, a juice-maker and hair- and skin-care company have been offered for sale, as a persistent decline in consumer-spending shakes up the companies whose products line supermarket and drugstore shelves.
Procter & Gamble is wading further into the “laundry convenience” category by taking its Tide Swash—a product aimed at consumers trying to put off doing laundry—national this month via e-retailers Amazon and Drugstore.com. The move follows P&G’s test market of the products in Columbus, Ohio, and, most recently, Lexington, Ky., last fall. Swash, which carries the tagline, “Swash it out,” targets both young professionals and college students by providing a way to instantly refresh and remove wrinkles from previously worn pieces of clothing without hitting the laundromat.
Danika Landers, a 29-year-old Web designer, walked into a public bathroom last year and was so disgusted by the gnarly conditions that she decided to create a Web site fully dedicated to helping people find clean bathrooms: SitOrSquat. SitOrSquat, which features user-generated recommendations of the nation's best public restrooms, was such a hit that Procter & Gamble, maker of Charmin, signed the toilet paper brand as a sponsor. It then rolled out a new SitOrSquat mobile application this year. With 400,000 downloads, the free app has become one of the most talked about among consumers and companies and is one of Forbes CMO Network's top 10 branded mobile applications of 2009.
Unilever is set to unveil “big innovations” as soon as next year as Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman seeks to replicate the success Procter & Gamble Co. had with products like the Swiffer. Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-goods maker, expects the first results from its so-called Genesis projects to trigger new products next year, Chief Innovation Officer Genevieve Berger said in London. Genesis is a code name for scientific breakthroughs usable across Unilever’s product lines. “We’ll start with personal care and have a clear road map of applications in other categories,” Berger said in an interview, declining to give more specifics before products she said would be “big wins” are announced.
You wouldn't immediately suspect that Yelp's iPhone app might be a gift bestowed upon us by a benevolent superhero from the future. Load it up and the program's in its Clark Kent garb -- a useful-enough guide to local restaurants, bars, and merchants. Then you notice a button labeled monocle in the right-hand corner. Hit it and the screen displays a live feed from the phone's camera, showing exactly what's in front of you -- with one big difference. Aim the camera at a local storefront and Yelp superimposes a star rating on the image. Use Monocle in a hot neighborhood, for instance, and point it at every restaurant for a quick appraisal of the best food in the area. Yelp's app is one of the first "augmented reality," or AR, programs to debut on the iPhone, and though it can be handy, it's most useful as a sign of what's to come.
At GE, P&G, and other companies, a design perspective is a problem-solving apparatus that can be applied companywide.
Procter & Gamble indicated Thursday that it will boost marketing spending over the next year as it introduces a run of new and refashioned brands. The world's largest advertiser said it plans to increase product "innovations" by 30% this year -- with the bulk coming in the back half.
Signs of an improving economy might be in your kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Consumers are showing a willingness to pay a little more to get Colgate toothpaste, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes and Gillette Fusion shavers. That's good news for the economy and the multibillion-dollar companies that make those products and have been battling to keep shoppers from trading down to store brands to save money. Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Kellogg Co. all gave upbeat earnings reports and even stronger outlooks for next year on Thursday, a day that also saw the announcement that U.S. gross domestic product rose for the first time in a year.
Yesterday I facilitated a discussion at the Magazine Publishers Association annual Innovation Conference with Melanie Healey, the Group President of North America for Procter & Gamble. She told a story with some important innovation implications. The story dates back to the 1990s, when Healey was a brand manager in Brazil. She was responsible for growing P&G's Hipoglos brand of diaper rash ointments. The problem? The product already had 99 percent household penetration. A tough challenge, right?
Nearly every brand exercise doubling as content has come across as just that: overproduced shtick that has no compelling reason to exist independent of the beflogged marketer. You can stick however many aching-for-work actors you want in an IKEA or in front of a Dell computer, but unless you give them something interesting to do, viewers will check out the first few minutes of the first episode before dismissing it and moving on to a content-first play -- say, Marvel's dark, extravagant Motion Comics.
Managing a brand has always been a slightly odd concept, given that consumers are the real arbiters of brand meaning, and it's become increasingly outmoded in today's two-way world. That's why a new report is going to recommend changing the name "brand manager" to "brand advocate," and fundamentally changing marketer organizations in response to the onset of the digital age. The report, due out next week from Forrester, finally puts the onus on marketers to change their structures -- a welcome conclusion for media owners and agencies who keep hearing how they should change, but often complain that their clients have done little to shift their organizations to cope with an increasingly complex world of media fragmentation and rising retailer and consumer power.
Procter & Gamble Co. is enlisting help from mommy bloggers as it makes over its Canadian custom-published quarterly Rouge for a full-scale U.S. launch expected to reach 11 million households in both countries by next year. Custom magazines from package-goods marketers have been around for a while, such as Kraft Foods' Food & Family, launched earlier this decade with a free circulation of 12 million according to Redwood Custom Communications, which produces the program. But a new wrinkle in the U.S. rollout of beauty magazine Rouge, which began earlier this month, is the use of the mommy blogger community to help build the database of the relationship-marketing program.
As advertisers reconsider the value of traditional television commercials and product placement, many aim to weave their brands into entertainment in new, enduring ways. Jon Kamen is the chairman and CEO of @radical.media, a company that produces television programs, films and commercials. Kamen chose five examples of companies that have effectively integrated entertainment into their brands.
Procter & Gamble announced two multi-year commitments aimed at improving the lives of millions of families worldwide. The first, its new "Future Friendly" program, is an educational initiative that will target millions of U.S. households by Earth Day 2010. The multi-brand program is designed to inspire and educate consumers about making sustainable choices that can have a positive impact on the environment. As part of this pledge, the company will provide conservation education to at least 50 million U.S. households during the year.
Companies and brands of all sizes can leverage social technologies to interact one on one with customers. Every interaction is a chance to foster community, build advocacy and change opinions. Many Web2.0 and technology companies are of course eating their own dog food doing this, but can a big, dinosaur, established, brand adapt? The folks at Proctor and Gamble are showing it’s possible - in this case with a brand that’s been around since 1946. Here’s an example of how a large, established consumer brand can be just as nimble as startups and smaller companies.
So it seems that name brand foods are fighting the good fight against store brands. Store brands have seen a real upswing in sales in the last few months thanks to consumers' new spendthriftiness, but name brands aren't about to just throw in the towel. Proctor and Gamble, for its part, started the resurgence by lowering prices and is expecting to see a growth in sales by the end of the year. Con-Agra and General Mills are also staving off the store brands via promotions and the fact that more and more consumers are staying home for dinner and turning to brands they know and love.
Infusium 23, a brand Procter & Gamble cast off earlier this year, is getting restyled by its new owner, Helen of Troy. That company, best known for its hair care appliances, is breaking a campaign hyping the brand as “The One.” The push is the first the 85-year-old brand has gotten in years. P&G spent just $600,000 promoting Infusium 23 in 2008, excluding online, per Nielsen. Helen of Troy, which makes Revlon hair dryers and Dr. Scholl’s foot spas, bought the brand in March.
If it doesn't work at the store, it's no longer a good marketing idea for Procter & Gamble Co., which increasingly is driving home this concept, known as "store back," with all its agencies, not just its so-called shopper-marketing shops. Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard dealt with store back at length in a presentation at P&G's agency summit in Cincinnati earlier this month and has been briefing agencies on it since at least January. Spokeswoman Martha Depenbrock said store back is meant to be "a mind-set," not another process in a company that already has plenty.
The economic shocks that reverberated through the economy a year ago could easily have marked the end of the nascent "Innovation Movement." After all, how could companies prioritize developing innovation programs in the face of very real questions of fundamental survival? A year later, it is clear that innovation has never been more important. And, in a strange way, the scarcity forced on many companies has been a hidden accelerator of efforts to systematize innovation.
When I spoke to a group of advertisers last Wednesday, there were a few stalwarts who wouldn't have anything to do with my premise that the traditional model of branding is broken. The next day, P&G's CEO Robert McDonald weighed in on my side of the debate. Well, not on purpose, but the steps he outlined that P&G is taking to salvage its brands clearly evidence a response to the fact that all is not right in the world of branding. Sales are down for its storied, premium brands, as consumers skip buying products like Tide that can cost almost twice the price of comparable store versions. McDonald's strategy is to cut prices, up promotional spending (i.e.cut prices temporarily), and sell new, cheaper products.
Justin Breton, a 21-year-old senior public relations major at Boston University, spends a lot of time talking about PUR, a water filtration system from Procter & Gamble. Breton is among 100 college "ambassadors" P&G is paying to pitch the company's brands--namely, PUR, TAG deodorant and Herbal Essences hair products--at 50 colleges and universities year-round. Through a program P&G calls ReadyU, these students create their own marketing plans for promoting the company's products to fraternities, sports teams, and extra-curricular groups.
The other day one of my clients asked me a deceptively simple question: What is the best market research technique? It turned out to be a leading question, as he had in his hand an article from a recent article in Inc. that said, "Given limited resources ... it generally makes sense to go quantitative." While of course quantitative surveys can generate important learning, it's dangerous to assume there is any single "best" market research technique.
Over the past month, Procter & Gamble has morphed from a CPG giant to a CPG sports giant behind deals with the NFL and the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USOC alliance, which activates for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and currently continues through the 2012 Summer Games in London, comes during a period when such companies as General Motors, Bank of America, The Home Depot and Kellogg have ended their marketing deals with the organization. The NFL deal, valued by analysts at $10-15 million per year, includes 13 brands, some of which will be designated as the "official locker room products" of the league. The Olympic deal, valued by analysts at $15-20 million, includes 17 brands such as Secret, Venus, Pantene, Olay, Cover Girl, Tide, Charmin, Pringles, Febreze, Bounty, Pepto-Bismol and Scope.
Are you more loyal to brands than you were 10 years ago? Are there any businesses that provide such a great product or service that you would never price-shop, and you'll declare your brand loyalty across your social networks? My guess is that you and your customers are much less loyal than you were in the '90s.
When A.G. Lafley was named CEO of Procter & Gamble during the summer of 2000, the task of turning the organization around looked overwhelming. The price of a share in the consumer packaged goods giant had declined by nearly 55% in just two months. The company was missing revenue and profit targets as it learned to grapple with the Internet and new global competitors. To remain the world's preeminent maker of useful stuff for the house, P&G needed to make a lot of changes very quickly. Lafley saw design as being central to P&G's transformation. Design promised to unleash the creativity of the organization and find new ways to unlock value that a marketing-driven company might not have discovered.
Most companies have turned from feeling paralyzed by the economic shocks of 2008 to plotting response strategies appropriate for today's tough markets. One thing companies need to carefully consider is how to confront the new reality of increasingly value-conscious customers.
Only two companies, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, have figured out how to communicate the importance of brand to the bottom line in their annual reports, according to a survey of these documents from major marketers. The lesson: If marketers want to win the battle for company resources, they must work harder to promote their contribution to the bottom line in annual reports, according to a new global survey by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in the U.K.
For Grey Global Group Inc., its contract to create TV, print and Internet advertisements for Procter & Gamble Co.’s Pringles isn’t just about selling potato chips. It’s about the end of billable hours. Instead of being paid for hours clocked devising promotions for rice potato chips or crispy cracker sticks, Grey earns an undisclosed fee upfront and add-on payments for sales and market share gains. P&G moved brands accounting for 40 percent of sales to the new payment system July 1 and aims to expand that.
Procter & Gamble Co., under assault by penny-pinching consumers, has quietly rolled out a version of Tide detergent that the company freely admits isn't "new and improved." The product, Tide Basic, is currently for sale in about 100 stores throughout the South. It lacks some of the cleaning capabilities of the iconic brand -- and costs about 20% less. Its very existence is one of the most telling signs to date of how the sour U.S. economy is forcing mass marketers to shift course.
The National Football League has an official drink and an official wireless headset. Now, in a sign of how far sports leagues will go to find revenue in the recession, it has official toiletries. The NFL, the biggest U.S. sports league by revenue, on Wednesday will announce a sponsorship deal with Procter & Gamble Co., maker of everyday household items such as soaps and shampoos. The multi-year pact, which P&G says is the costliest in its history, lets it slap a newly designed "Official Locker Room Product of the NFL" label on products including Old Spice deodorant and Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo.
Procter & Gamble’s Dawn brand is cozying up to social media to drive awareness of wildlife conservation and cultivate an online community of followers. The dish care brand has been linked to wildlife rescue and animal rehabilitation care throughout its 36-year history, but, in a first for the brand, Dawn is actually running limited edition store packaging that asks consumers to help by purchasing a bottle of Dawn.
Procter & Gamble is testing the waters for “augmented reality,” a form of digital technology that's driving a new campaign for Always Infinity. The packaged goods giant hopes to give consumers ways to interact with its ads like never before.
Consumer product companies have been cutting down on extraneous packaging for good reasons. The rise in raw material, energy, manufacturing and transportation costs, coupled with the rise in consumers' environmental consciousness all play a part in reducing packaging.
Creative agencies generally have free rein and a wide field to choose from when hiring production companies. But in the current era of compulsive cost control, this is changing. One large global marketer is rewriting the rules for the hiring of production houses with an eye towards exerting more control and reducing costs, with another said by sources to be making a similar move.
Paul Polman is the only senior executive to have worked at each of the three biggest consumer-product marketers on Earth in the past five years -- Procter & Gamble Co., Nestlé and Unilever. As such, he's seen a variety of takes on how to run global marketing, and his unique perspective is this: No single solution will work universally, even within the same company.
Beginning July 1, the largest advertiser in the world will integrate all brand functions at the corporate level. That means Marc Pritchard will add design and PR to his control and the moniker of global brand-building officer to his title. Here Mr. Pritchard talks about how Procter & Gamble organizes itself globally and what it asks of its agencies.
Beauty is poised to be Robert McDonald’s sweet spot. The new chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble Co., say analysts, will surely look at the division to provide the growth profit drivers it needs to power through the tough economy. Its game plan going forward, as characterized in recent days, will have the firm growing beauty both horizontally and vertically, a strategy the industry is applauding.
P&G are launching an innovative new approach to TV advertising this June. The ‘Max Factor MakeoverBreak’ will three 90 second advertisements shown over consecutive commercial breaks, which see a consumer made over by experts using a range of P&G Beauty & Grooming products. Throughout the series of adverts, experts share tipsfrom how to select the right hair colour to applying moisturiser properly.
The first quarter of 2009 will be remembered for many things, mostly bad. But it may also mark a turning point when the world's biggest marketer and its broader industry finally got serious about digital media.
Undeterred by recession or getting into a retail business with which it has little experience, Procter & Gamble Co. is buying the Art of Shaving, seller of pricey men's shaving products at upscale shopping malls.
The biggest challenge confronting marketers is how to deal with the Meineke mind-set consumers have adopted as a result of the recession.
Step into an Office Depot these days and you'll see crayons, markers, glue sticks and other items from Scholastic. Best known as a publisher of children's books and educational materials, Scholastic initially linked with Office Depot for an exclusive branded product line of schoolbooks for teachers, but now it's a sort of house brand for the chain. "Sort of" because such licensors are expanding the definition of private label and, along the way, providing a bright spot in the otherwise moribund licensing industry.
Mary Pryor was doing pretty well until January, when she got laid off from her web-project-management job at cable channel Fuse. Now she's replenishing her wardrobe at clothing swaps, eating on $25 a week, living without cable TV and doing her laundry in the bathtub. "My gym membership is gone," she said, "so I'm running around outside and doing jumping jacks in my living room."
Procter & Gamble Co.'s "Tide Thursday" looks a bit less dramatic than Philip Morris' price-slashing "Marlboro Friday" 16 years ago, but it also bodes much better for ad spending.
Analyst conferences are rarely exciting, but when P&G Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley appears at one next week, some believe the near-term future of package-goods marketing -- and the long-term future of Procter & Gamble -- may hang in the balance. Some are even billing the appearance as "Tide Thursday," a reference to "Marlboro Friday" in 1993, when Philip Morris, battered by value-brand incursions on its Marlboro brand, cut prices 20% and stepped up consumer marketing in a move that was ultimately copied by many in the consumer-goods industry, reshaping the way many marketers approached pricing and advertising.
Josh Bernoff is vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and co-author of the book "Groundswell." Keynoting the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Social Media Conference this week, he discussed how major marketers such as Procter & Gamble are using social media in increasingly potent ways. With the social-community effort detailed in this video, P&G significantly increased sales of its feminine-care products.
Many marketers are talking up their good deeds and social responsibility projects in advertising. Some now think the way to stand out in the clutter of look-at-me, do-gooder messaging is by featuring some of the people they say they are helping through social programs or business practices. If consumers like these projects, maybe they'll feel better about the brand.
Procter & Gamble has embarked on what it's calling "the most ambitious expansion plan in company history" - an aggressive campaign that will extend the reach of the consumer goods company into some of the world's poorest countries.
Procter & Gamble knew its Swiffer brand couldn’t just be any dirt picker-upper on a stick. While the brand had revolutionized cleaning for many people, not everybody was a fan. Those who snubbed their noses at Swiffer generally weren’t attracted to the product because they perceived traditional cleaning methods to be far more superior. So, Swiffer needed to up its ante against that old standby: the mop and broom. This redesign—which was implemented in-house at P&G—was designed to draw more consumers to the product.
If you ever think about how your job stinks, remember the researchers at P&G Beauty. In a building overlooking the leafy, pastoral campus of the Sharon Woods Innovation Center in suburban Cincinnati, they are intently focused on what can only be called armpit science.
Procter & Gamble Co. is giving its beauty and grooming division a dramatic makeover. As sales falter in its $27.8 billion global division, P&G plans to restructure the unit to make a greater play for men and could develop new products for high-end retailers, salons and spas, according to an internal company memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Perhaps no word in the marketing lexicon has been abused as much in the past six months or so as “value.” Marketing messages of this stripe are one strategy for addressing the fact that consumers are loath to open their wallets these days. But they’re also only one alternative to cutting prices. It seems like marketers aren’t exploring others.
Although it's been nearly six months since he left his post, these days, Jim Stengel, the 53-year-old former global marketing officer at Procter & Gamble, is as busy as ever. Stengel is working on a book, Packaged Good, due out next year, and is a marketing consultant to clients in the healthcare, retail and food industries. (Stengel didn’t name names, but since he signed a three-year noncompete agreement with his former employer, they don’t conflict with P&G.) On top of that, he recently joined the advisory board of marketing analytics firm MarketShare Partners and has access to more than 350 designers at his office (within LPK) in Cincinnati. Now a free agent, Stengel was able to speak freely on P&G’s competitors, other brands he admires and the state of the industry.
Vicks Cough Syrup with Honey started out as a Latin American product, but Procter & Gamble saw an opportunity to offer it in richer markets.
Gretchen Vogelzang and Paige Heninger are much like other suburban mothers, with seven children between them and busy schedules. The difference is they also have a high-powered Hollywood agent, ad campaigns with some of the world's top brands and distribution through Google's vast network. Welcome to the world of mommy blogging, where women juggle the demands of childcare with building audiences online.
Every company wants to find the secret sauce for social media success, and last night, Tide took a stab at it under the guise of charity work. The company hosted 40 social media buffs from Facebook, Google, and other agencies at the Proctor & Gamble headquarters for a contest to raise money for Tide's Loads of Hope campaign. The campaign gives 100% from Tide t-shirt sales to disaster relief agencies in the United States.
Procter & Gamble Co. paired 40 digital media and agency executives with 100 of its North American marketing directors in a contest to sell Tide T-shirts for charity last night as its much-awaited "Digital Hack Night" became a four-hour reality show aired largely in social media.
The question of who will succeed A.G. Lafley at the head of Procter & Gamble may have been answered with the imminent retirement of one of the top two candidates. Susan Arnold’s announcement Monday that she will retire in September leaves chief operating officer Robert McDonald as the clear candidate to take over the leadership of the world’s largest consumer products company, industry analysts say.
Models at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show last week drew stares with their see-through dresses, leather-ruffled stockings and wedge-heeled shoes. Another risky look on the runway was "Dahlia," a deep crimson lip color the Milanese brand has been developing for two years with Procter & Gamble Co.
Procter & Gamble, which has made the “value” argument to consumers in this down economy, is adding another one: Buy our products and some of the money will go to charity.
Focus groups, the beloved method of many British and American marketers, are under attack in the US.
Procter & Gamble will host a digital meeting of the minds next month at its downtown headquarters as senior executives from the emerging world of online social media meet with marketing executives from the Cincinnati-based company.
Mr. Clean is embracing multitasking. New ads from Procter & Gamble breaking this week show the product doing the work of three brands combined.
For many years retailers have been increasing their dominance over brand owners. Well, at least one company is doing something about this, rather than just getting spanked. P&G are experimenting with online retailing to sell their brands direct to the consumer.
The makers of Tide, Ajax and other common household cleansers are being asked to come clean about their ingredients. Environmental and health activists announced plans Tuesday for a lawsuit to make Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and two other major firms reveal the chemical ingredients of their cleaning products and their research on the products' effects.
IT is a recurring motif in deodorant advertisements that no matter how stressful the situation — sprinting to jump onto the ferry as it pulls away from the dock, pointing to a chart during the big sales presentation — the product keeps you dry and fresh. So it is perhaps fitting that even as everyone else is sweating bullets during this economic downturn, major deodorant brands are actually experiencing a bump in sales, thanks to recent introductions of stronger “clinical” formulations, which can cost more than twice as much as conventional deodorants.
One epistle in the branding canon concerns the extension of brand names to products and activities that may not be so obviously connected to the origins of said notoriety. And the gurus said let there be a Mr. Clean Car Wash.
Can a brand as scientific as Pantene also be natural? Procter & Gamble claims it can. The packaged goods giant has launched a new Pantene hair care collection called Nature Fusion, and a campaign that touts the collection's naturally derived nourishing properties.
A week after its COO asserted that Procter & Gamble would continue to maintain its marketing spend, the nation’s top advertiser is quietly pulling back on its second-quarter upfront options, a move TV sales bosses are characterizing as “comprehensive.”
Now Procter & Gamble Co. wants to wash your car. The giant manufacturer of household staples including Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste and Gillette razors is forging a new business model: franchising car washes. To jump-start plans for a nationwide chain of Mr. Clean Car Wash franchises, P&G in December acquired the franchise assets of Atlanta-based Carnett's Car Wash, which has 14 locations.
Procter & Gamble is working with Goldman Sachs to identify potential buyers for its pharmaceuticals brands or find other ways to pull out of the business, people close to the matter said on Wednesday.
When Procter & Gamble lowered its sales outlook in the middle of last month, it offered up the most traditional, generic excuses for what was wrong...and what it intended to do about it. The one novel item in the announcement garnered no more media scrutiny than the lame rationale that surrounded it. The company is suffering from pantry deloading.
Procter & Gamble is unveiling its first big campaign for Downy fabric softener since this summer's launch of Tide and Downy Total Care. Only this time, emotion will be the central theme of ads that invite consumers to "Feel More."
Google and Procter & Gamble are promoting their "innovative" collaboration to find ways to draw more online attention, having already done so for viewership of a video for Tide's "Talking Stain" commercial (which I thought was absolutely hilarious). So does it make sense to be hunting for the future of Internet marketing? Or should they be gathering?
These recessionary times are supposedly causing consumers to go back to the basics. And what's more basic than fruit? If that's the case, Del Monte, one of the world's largest distributors and marketers of fruit, is well positioned.
A $7.5 million investment in an online grocer in the United Kingdom will be an opportunity for Procter & Gamble to learn more about direct sales over the Internet, something still relatively new in the consumer packaged goods industry.
Web content distributor Studio One Networks has partnered with Procter & Gamble’s Bounty brand to launch Ideas That Spark, an original editorial package aimed at women looking to bring creativity to everyday household projects.
So far, about two-dozen staffers from the two companies have spent weeks dipping into each other's staff training programs and sitting in on meetings where business plans get hammered out.