As firms engage in strategic planning, they often need to guard against “marketing myopia” a term introduced by Theodore Levitt in the 1960s referring to the nearsighted focus of companies on producing goods rather than seeing the “big picture” of what consumers really want.
Here is a nice article from HBR that summarizes the concept with a short video (~2 min) halfway through: https://hbr.org/2016/08/a-refresher-on-marketing-myopia
For this reflection, I would like you to read the Marketing In Action Case at the end of Chapter 3: Real Choices at P&G. P&G’s Tide brand has been the number one laundry detergent since 1949. In a major extension of the brand, P&G has moved into laundry service with its Tide Cleaners initiative. Younger consumers have shown a willingness to pay for on-demand services like food delivery and transportation and P&G believes these busy people will choose to have someone else do their laundry. Tide Cleaners offers drop off and pickup at lockers in office buildings and its Tide University will come pick up a student’s bag of dirty clothes at select universities. The dry-cleaning industry has been declining in recent years, and while Tide Cleaners is not yet profitable, P&G believes its expanded set of services is a ground floor opportunity as more people choose to outsource their fifth least favorite chore.
Here is a link to the website for Tide cleaners: https://tide.com/en-us/our-commitment/tide-cleaners-laundry-service
Answer the following questions in your reflection:
- What factors in an evaluation of the external environment might have led P&G to pursue the Tide Cleaners initiative? What other factors should it consider as it further develops and promotes Tide Cleaners?
- What are the main benefits Tide Cleaners offers that would be attractive to those in either the Millennial or Gen Y generations?
- Review the Product-Market Growth Matrix in Figure 3.4. Which of the four approaches is P&G using with its Tide Cleaners initiative? What other growth strategies could it use to stimulate further growth?
- Do you think this is a good strategic move for P&G? Explain your rationale.
- With the Tide Cleaners venture, P&G is responding to consumers’ choice to spend their money on a service to realize the benefit they seek, rather than through the purchase of a product. What other industries are – or should be – taking a similar approach?