Does the mere mention of Procter & Gamble zap your will to live? I understand. I do. But I also think that's a sorta outdated mindset. I mean, look at this interview with global marketing officer Jim Stengel. Here's what struck me:
"I hate it when someone says they're in a commodity category. We don't accept that there are any commodity categories. We are growing Charmin and Bounty very well, and if there is any category that people could say is a commodity, it's paper towels and tissues. We have developed tremendous equities, tremendous loyalties from our consumers. So, no, I think that is a cop-out. That is bad marketing and an excuse. We are not in any commodity categories[....] If you go back at Procter & Gamble, and in a lot of the industry, we often thought of our brands in terms of functional benefits. But the equity of great brands has to be something that a consumer finds inspirational and an organization finds inspirational. You know, our baby-care business didn't start growing aggressively...until we changed Pampers from being about dryness to being about helping Mom with her baby's development. That was a sea change. Or look at all the different areas we are in at Olay. That's because Olay is not just about being a pink fluid that moisturizes. It is about helping women look better and feel better as they age."
Yes, "sea change" is a poor choice of words when discussing the diaper business but I take his point. All this reminded me of a Seth Godin post which I have taken to heart every single day since I read it. Really. Except for weekends.
And by the way, search Godin's blog for "how you make people feel" and, well, gosh. Seems to be important to the guy.