Power play the Procter & Gamble way

Kieran Levis
Cortona Consulting

Playing to Win is indispensable for marketers in large companies who are trying to generate growth from mature brands.

The title Playing to Win might sound like a mindless sporting platitude, and lips may curl at 'masstige', the name Procter & Gamble gave to a new segment in the first case described in this book. But this is a very thoughtful discussion of what strategy means for large companies and how to approach it. Given that it is co-written by one of the most successful CEOs of the biggest brand machine of all time, it deserves to be taken seriously.

P&G's idea of winning is subtle and not at all macho. Drawing on its Pampers experience with film, P&G had developed some outstanding plastic technologies. Consumers loved the new products in tests, but it became clear that challenging the incumbents in cling film and trash bags directly would be immensely expensive and potentially disastrous. P&G decided a better way of 'winning' with these technologies would be to license them to Clorox, so it took a 20% share in a joint venture that by 2008 was worth more than a billion dollars.