Warc Blog

Targeted innovation is key for P&G

22 November 2012
CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is seeking to divide its latest innovation output so that 60% helps it progress in large, established sectors and 40% creates entirely new categories.

According to Jorge Mesquita, the organisation's group president, new business creation and innovation, it is planning to roll out about 30 offerings in the near future.

"Not all of these will make it to market," he said, as reported by the Cincinnati Business Courier. "Such is the reality of disruptive innovation. But we are confident that many will."

"Over 60% of our ideas would play in markets that are over $5bn in size today," Mesquita continued. "About 40% of our ideas are single-product, disruptive solutions that create new categories and are pure 'new jobs to be done.'"

More broadly, the firm, which makes brands like Tide, Pampers and Bounty, is hoping to triple the volume of new lines it delivers going forward versus the amount of new products launched in the last five years.

One examples of P&G's success in this area is the Swiffer, a cleaning line introduced in 1999, and now yielding $900m in annual sales, Deutsche Bank has estimated.

Febreze, the air freshener, became a billion-dollar brand in 2011 after hitting store shelves in 1998, indicating that rapid growth is achievable for the right products.

A third such idea came in the form of Crest Whitestrips, which improve the appearance of teeth, and show how to "obsolete existing segments by better meeting consumer needs," Mesquita said.

Procter & Gamble spends around $2bn on research and development every year, and recently gathered together executives from its innovation, marketing, insights, technology and design teams to source new ideas and potential intellectual property.

Among the items the firm has already announced it will launch in early 2013 are Pantene Age Defy in the beauty category, Cascade Platinum dishwasher tablets that clean the inside of machines as they work, and Mach3 razors for sensitive skin. 

Bob McDonald's, Procter & Gamble's chief executive, recently placed a similar emphasis on new product development as a means of improving the company's performance.

"We've got some outstanding technologies that are going to result in new-to-the-world products very soon," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "New categories. New brands. Just some unbelievable new technologies.

"We're going to want to strengthen our innovation program so that there are no gaps ... so that we're constantly bringing new products, new brands, new categories to market."

Data sourced from Cincinnati Business Courier/Cincinnati Enquirer; additional content by Warc staff

 
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