The fiscal year 2009 (ending June 30th) was difficult for P & G. Its overall sales volume fell by 3%, the turnover in the U.S. fell by 0.7%. The reaction was quick.
In early September, during a meeting between P & G and its agencies, Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer of P & G, presented Procter's new brand marketing strategy: "Store Back".
"Store Back" means that marketers must ALWAYS have the store in mind when developing a new product, a new idea, a new statement: "If it does not work at the store, it's a miss". "Store Back" means that brands have decided to place the consumer at the heart of their approach and asking itself simple questions that euphoric growth had simply obliterated from their minds. I propose to review two of them, illustrated by recent examples:
- Have offers that are straightforward, consistent with the values of the brand and in line with consumer expectations: Pampers - often accused of a "dominating position" and of creating artificial needs in consumers – is working on its image, taking into consideration that the chief"1 Pack = 1 Vaccine" offering the price of an anti-tetanus vaccine to the UNICEF for every purchase made. This resulted in 230 million doses of vaccine distributed - out of which 45 million were in the U.S. in 2008 and 30 million in 2009.
- Make packaging the principal vector of brand communication: SoftSoap (a Colgate Palmolive
The national brands are thus returning to the basics. They are driven by two actors:
- The consumers themselves who, for example, increasingly use applications available on cell phones to scan bar codes and thereby gain access to all product information available on the Internet (including the opinions of other consumers).
- Distributors who are currently engaged (in the USA) in a drastic scaling-down of their collections (see strategy "Win, Play, Show" from Walmart) ...
The 21st century will be exciting indeed... for marketers!