CONSUMER ORIENTED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Innovation is all about connecting "what's needed" with "what's possible"- superior consumer understanding with leading edge technology. Superior consumer understanding doesn't just happen - and we recognized long ago the need to deeply understand consumers' habits and attitudes. Consumer oriented product development is core to P&G’s innovation strategy That is why R&D has a dedicated function we call product research - together with our marketing and market research colleagues, P&G researchers observe consumers using our products at home, looking for ways to improve and simplify the overall in-use experience. With their product background, they can make connections between what the consumer needs and what our products can deliver.

These prototypes are tested with consumers to check that the product design works. The cycle of learning is iterative. We design a product and test it with consumers, modify the design based on what we learn, and then test the modified product again until we get it right, as judged by the consumer.

To deliver this, we have more than 8000 scientists and researchers worldwide, many of whom have PhDs. We hold more than 40,000 active patented technologies for products that are on the market and continue to register patents on a daily basis.

  • Technology Transfer Within P&G

    Taking advantage of new technologies
    Because of its large portfolio of product categories, Procter & Gamble has great opportunities to take advantage of the fact that a new technology, on occasion and if well guided, travels very productively from one application to another. Some examples of technology transfer include:
    • Non-woven substrate technology was applied in baby care, feminine hygiene and home cleaning products.
    • Oral Care (toothpaste) and bleach technology from Fabric Care paved the way for the development of a new oral care product (Crest Whitestrips).
    • Knowledge of how to control calcium in solution (from Fabric Care) allowed P&G to develop calcium-enriched juices/beverages.

    Connecting Technologies to Build New Brands
    Surfactants, the critical components of synthetic soap products are built into detergents, then shampoos… and dishwashing liquids… and a variety of cleaners.
    Synthetic soaps taught us how to control calcium, which led to Crest and fortified beverages and medicines for osteoporosis treatment. Paper product technology was combined with cleaning know how and Swiffer was born.

  • Identifying the Need

    Identifying what's needed begins with understanding the consumer. We need to find out exactly who our consumers are, why they choose to use certain products, why they prefer one product over another, how they use these products, how they evaluate current products and what improvements they would like to see.

    In order to develop such an understanding, Procter & Gamble is constantly conducting consumer research, using a variety of tools and techniques. We send our people out to observe our consumers in real-life situations, in their homes, while they clean, while they do the laundry. We organize focus groups to ask our customers what the ideal product would look like to them.

    Equipped with what they learn, our product developers are much better able to design products against a benchmark of what our consumers are telling us would be ideal.
  • The Connect + Develop Innovation Strategy

    Connect + Develop: A Critical Part of P&G’s Innovation Strategy
    P&G is built on partnerships. It is how the company began, and continues to be a key component in our growth. In 2001 P&G fully embraced the concept and potential of Connect + Develop, focusing on forming partnerships to increase innovation and to touch more consumers’ lives. We are accelerating our internal research and development efforts by partnering to develop the ideas, talents and innovation assets of individuals, institutes and companies around the globe. Through our global networks, we continually search for products, packaging, technologies and commercial opportunities that can be reapplied to our brands and rapidly introduced to better meet consumers' diverse needs, while delivering win-win results for our partners and P&G. As a result, we are developing mutually beneficial relationships with the talents and technologies of today's most inspired minds. Connect + Develop helps P&G tap the innovative power of the world.

    The game-changing results have touched all areas of P&G, from Olay Regenerist to Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to Oral B Pulsonic. For more information, see: www.pgconnectdevelop.com

  • Innovation Examples

    For more success stories from our Connect + Develop programme, go to www.pgconnectdevelop.com and click on “Connect + Develop Examples.”

    • Technologies

      Oral-B Pulsonic Toothbrush: P&G Oral Care was looking for a strategic expansion of its dental care line. Through C+D, the company found a Japanese firm with a product matching P&G’s vision. The partnership, coupled with additional P&G R&D, resulted in the Oral-B Pulsonic Toothbrush. It launched in less than a year.

      Olay Regenerist: P&G scientists learned of a new peptide developed by a French SME, Sederma. With the resulting partnership, Sederma’s work became a key component in the blockbuster product, Olay Regenerist, which quickly became a global market leader, beating $350 boutique creams. Additional upstream projects are underway.
    • Products

      Procter & Gamble introduced Bounce, the world's first dryer added softener, after acquiring the product technology from the independent inventor who developed the innovative fabric-care solution.

      In 2009 Bounce was again the focus of a C+D relationship. P&G R&D partnered to create an in-home version of a commercial dryer bar invented and sold by Ecolabs. A market innovation, the Bounce Dryer Bar delivers fabric softener, static guard and freshness in the dryer - and lasts for 2-4 months. The product won the 2010 Edison Silver Award for new product innovations.

    • Commercial Partnerships

      Procter & Gamble found the perfect complement to the Swiffer brand in a hand-held duster developed by a Japanese competitor. The researchers liked the sleekness and user-ease of the Japanese product – as did consumers in market testing. The company, Unicharm, did not have the manufacturing, distribution or marketing scope to take their product into other markets. The resulting partnership enabled P&G to take the Japanese innovation global under P&G’s established Swiffer brand. Now a market leader, Swiffer Dusters are sold in 15 global markets.

  • We Want to Connect with You

    Do you have a new product, technology or process that addresses an unmet consumer need? Can you offer a significant new benefit to one of Procter & Gamble's existing product categories? Do you have a game-changing technology or approach?

    If your answer is "Yes", then the next step in the Connect + Develop process is yours – visit pgconnectdevelop.com to submit your innovation. Get connected and make a difference. Please note that all discussions should be of a non-confidential nature. For more information, see: www.pgconnectdevelop.com

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Illustrations from P&G's Science-in-the-Box website can be used freely for educational, non-commercial purposes provided that the source will be published as follows: "Obtained from www.scienceinthebox.com (P&G website)"

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