Tag Archives: innovation

P&G Introduces New Detergent ‘Swatches’

Tide Pods were a revolution when they launched in 2012 and have since spawned a new look for many detergent and soaps as pods took over the laundry room. But what’s next? Could P&G top the Tide Pod craze? Perhaps. And the answer may be in producing a new product line without using a key ingredient – water.

The innovative products are not in the old soap and detergent forms; instead, they come in small swatches that look like fabric, but foam when water is added during washing and cleaning. The new product form substantially reduces the size and weight of detergents, making them lighter and smaller to package, ship, and store. There are eight types: hand soap, face wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, surface cleaner, and toilet cleaner.

Think about it. Instead of carrying home (or shipping) a gallon of detergent that can weight upwards of eight pounds, the new product can be carried home in a small box that weighs ounces, and is packaged in biodegradable boxes. This new size would allow P&G to sell direct to consumers. Pricing is higher than standard products though. A box of 60 body wash swatches are $19, while laundry detergent costs $29 for 30 swatches (compared to 81-pack of Tide Pods at $19).

One remaining topic is how to brand and name the new product line. It is currently being called EC30. P&G is still considering whether to create a new brand, or use another well-known P&G product name.

What is your opinion of the new product line?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show the IndieGoGo campaign that P&G used for proof of concept: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ds3-next-generation-cleaning-for-body-and-home#/
  3. A video of the product can be found at https://youtu.be/ToPjozrz6ME
  4. The product can also be found on Web site: https://ds3clean.com/
  5. For this product, what is the target market? Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc. (Note: Can the product be sold to organizations also?)
  6. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  7. Poll students: How should P&G brand/name the new product line?

Source: Terlep, S. (22 April 2019). Forget Tide Pods. P&G bets water-free soap ‘swatches’ are the future. Wall Street Journal.

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Tesla Keeps Shifting Tactics

Once again we examine Tesla. Ok, ok, we know we covered it last month when the company announced it would be closing stores, and then reversed the stores closing. Also last month, the company announced price increases for all models except for the Model 3. And that seemed like a lot for a relatively short period of time. But, Tesla still wasn’t quite done.

Later in March, Tesla announced a new vehicle named the Model Y, a compact sport-utility vehicle with an expected price of $39,000. Model Y will begin production in 2020, have a range of 300 miles/charge, and go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Larger than the Model 3, Model Y will sell for $47,000 in fall 2020 with a $39,000 version expected in spring 2021. Tesla is now taking orders for Model Y with a $2,500 refundable deposit.

Next, in mid-April, Tesla announced that it is halting online sales of the Model 3 at the $35,000 base version. (Wait – wasn’t last month’s tactic shift about moving buyers to use online shopping? What’s happening?) Buyers can order the $35,000 priced version only by telephone or at Tesla’s retail stores. If buying online on Tesla’s website, the minimum price for the Model 3 starts at $39,500, 13% higher than in stores. This is the fourth price change already this year for Tesla.

Another point of confusion concerns test drives. On Tesla’s website it states that customers can drive a car for a week, or less than 1,000 miles, and still return it. Some stores have told buyers that is they test drive before buying, they only have a single day to return the car.  Also according to the website, car delivery should happen within two weeks, but stores have stated that it can take much longer in some areas, particularly if customers want the $35,000 base model.

It’s not good to confuse consumers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss Tesla’s distribution model and compare it to other automobile manufacturers’ models. What are advantages? Disadvantages?
  2. Show the Model Y in class: https://www.tesla.com/modely
  3. What are the key differentiators for this model versus competition?
  4. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for Tesla.
  6. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  7. Debrief exercise.

Source: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Assoc. Press, other news sources

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2019 NCAA Championship Games Bring in Revenue

Ah, there is nothing like spring. The days get longer, the weather warmer, and the hoops get a workout!

March is madness indeed when the NCAA basketball tournament games get underway. Instead of working (or studying) fans stealthily watch games at work, home, on TVs, computers, and phones. Brackets get filled out, hopes rise; and then inevitably, hearts get broken. While not the largest total viewership of any sporting event, nonetheless the Men’s NCAA championship game draws a large audience – and with it, a lot of advertisement and promotion. This year’s championship game between Texas Tech and University of Virginia drew 19.6 million viewers (according to Nielsen), a 23% increase from last year’s game.

As far as advertising revenue, the tournament brought in an estimated $933 million to CBS and Turner (according to iSpot.tv). Of that total, $114 million (12%) was spent on ads during the championship game alone. Cost for 30 seconds of air time range around $1.4 million. Who were the biggest spenders?

  • AT&T Wireless – $68.0 million
  • Buick – $42.5 million
  • Geico – $36.4 million
  • Capital One – $31.6 million
  • Progressive – $27.9 million

These numbers are just for TV commercials. Now add in additional revenue for sponsorships, signage, events, and more!

How did your bracket do?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Poll students: Who watched the NCAA men’s basketball games? How much did they watch? On what devices?
  3. What ads can they recall seeing?
  4. Show a highlight video of the final game: https://youtu.be/cm3OA8NRib4
  5. For the NCAA games, who is the target market? Is there a secondary target market?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for NCAA games. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  7. Based on the target market profile, what makes this event unique for these viewers and advertisers?

Source: Jerde, S. (9 April 2010). NCAA championship game averages 19.6 million viewers. Ad Week.

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