Procter & Gamble, the global CPG giant, is focused on making first impressions count as it believes instant gratification will become a more influential buyer motivation in coming years.
Why it matters
In crowded categories such as household goods, product superiority is essential to driving repeat purchases and minimizing price sensitivity among buyers over time.
“We believe instant gratification will become a significantly bigger component of how consumers perceive our products. We call it the ‘immediate wow’ or the ‘first use wow’,” said Andre Schulten, P&G’s chief financial officer, at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference.
“The idea is that the product has to be so good that when the consumer uses it for the first time, it's obvious to them that they have bought the best possible proposition – in terms of efficacy and use experience – that they could possibly get in the market,” Schulten added.
An evolving definition of superiority
Even as P&G seeks to maintain superior products, the definition of what counts as superior will remain multi-faceted and “dynamic”, in line with market and consumer expectations.
P&G has defined five vectors for product superiority: product, package, communication, in-market execution, and value for both consumers and retailers.
The ‘immediate wow’ in practice
That wow factor will be different across different brands and categories, but is focused on first impressions, especially sensory ones, such as smell or feel.
“When we think about Olay Moisture [one of P&G’s skincare products], for example, the way the texture feels and the perfume evolves needs to lead to an immediate wow effect when she uses it for the first time,” Schulten explained.
The same applies to Fabric enhancer, one of P&G’s laundry products. The first use needs to be “overwhelmingly refreshing” when it comes out of the dryer, added the CFO.
“Those types of ‘immediate wows’ are something we want to focus on. It's also relevant because that's the way that consumers share their experience with our product in social media, which becomes a bigger and bigger part of the social influence of marketing.”