Is P&G rewriting history?

“And one of Kotchka’s first acts was to embed top designers in brand teams to help rethink not just the superficials—graphics, packaging, product design—but, more importantly, how consumers experience products.”

Kotchka now teams with such outside design firms as Palo Alto, Calif.-based IDEO. Their m.o.? Don’t interview consumers—go home with them. Observe, for example, how they use diapers.

suspect that story is flawed. in the late 90’s i and most everyone in R&D received training. that training was implemented at my former employer by the new VP of Marketing - who was hired away from P&G. iirc we called it “Home Encounters” - an observational tool. great method (funny too; one team met a consumer at home and they all discovered her son hiding in a closet skipping school).

more and more i dont know how much of what i read is true. maybe this is something different. but i’m not reading anything different and doubt thats the case.

someone care to elaborate what was done differently starting in 2000? hate to believe someone is rewriting history here.

Besides Samsung, P&G is the only major manufactuer to have a “chief design officer” (that I’m aware of.) The June Fast Company article also hilights their “bet the future on design” strategy.

That’s all that’s different–It’s not the methods, it’s the emphasis.

I agree that this might be more buzz than substance, but, during this time P+G has quietly built one of the worlds largest design staffs (over 200 worldwide I believe) all devoted to creating ‘gadgets’ to deliver/repackage thier core products.
They certainly use IDEO-U methodology, and this is where (I believe) the hype is coming from. IDEO’s terrific knack for self promotion has convinced journalists that they invented ethno-graphic methods and that this is the ultimate skill for creating consumer-desire.

Interesting: I believe Samsung has this order of magnitude as well (300+ I believe I heard at one point.) Is this the magic threshold where “chief design officer” becomes viable?

i’m very aware of P&G’s design focused efforts (and how that can potentially be a bad thing for partnered companies) but that article brinks on falsehood from my perspective. look at the title: “Going Home With the Customers”. they make it sound like all this is her doing. “This fresh approach goes hand in hand with another of Lafley’s innovations”. another (as if knocking down walls is an innovation)? what was the first? from the article’s tone its these home visits - designers interacting with consumers. come on. we didn’t need her to figure that one out.

happy to have design be an important issue that gets some press (just like it was on all the covers back in the late 80’s), but honesty would be nice too.

(wonder if Newsweek got more ad dollars from P&G for this issue)

I bet they did, but not as much as they got from anti-war liberals. Hopefully ex-P&G employees won’t riot as much.

Two weeks ago, in our issue dated May 9, Michael Isikoff and John Barry reported in a brief item in our Periscope section that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that American guards at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had committed infractions in trying to get terror suspects to talk, including in one case flushing a Qur’an down a toilet. Their information came from a knowledgeable U.S. government source, and before deciding whether to publish it > we approached two separate Defense Department officials for comment. One declined to give us a response; the other challenged another aspect of the story but did not dispute the Qur’an charge.

Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur’an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence. So we published the item. > After several days, newspapers in Pakistan and Afghanistan began running accounts of our story. At that point, as Evan Thomas, Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai report this week, the riots started and spread across the country, fanned by extremists and unhappiness over the economy.

Last Friday, a top Pentagon spokesman told us that a review of the probe cited in our story showed that it was never meant to look into charges of Qur’an desecration. The spokesman also said the Pentagon had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them “not credible.” Our original source later said he couldn’t be certain about reading of the alleged Qur’an incident > in the report we cited, and said it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts. > Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.

By Dorothy Kalins

May 23 issue - Maybe you’ve noticed, if you’re a teenage girl and these things matter to you, that the Tampax you sneak into the bathroom stall no longer makes an embarrassingly loud noise when you open the wrapper. Maybe you’ve noticed, if you’re a guy with a thing for washing your car, how Mr. Clean’s butch power-gun sprayer now yields self-drying, spotless results. Or maybe you’re surprised, if you’re a woman with skin-care issues, that you’ve somehow stopped buying $100-a-jar creams at department stores and are hooked instead on Olay products from the drugstore.

None of these and a thousand other changes at Procter & Gamble, the nation’s No. 1 consumer-products powerhouse, has happened by accident. Until A. G. Lafley was made CEO in 2000, P&G was in a downward spiral—a classic case of an aging company with mature, gold-standard brands (think Pampers, Tide, Crest) suffocating from lack of innovation. One of Lafley’s first acts was to appoint Claudia Kotchka, a 27-year P&G veteran, as the company’s first vice president for design innovation and strategy. And one of Kotchka’s first acts was to embed top designers in brand teams to help rethink not just the superficials—graphics, packaging, product design—but, more importantly, how consumers experience products.

P&G’s Kandoo wipes have ‘empowered’ some very young consumers
Damien Donck for Newsweek
P&G’s Kandoo wipes have ‘empowered’ some very young consumers
Kotchka now teams with such outside design firms as Palo Alto, Calif.-based IDEO. Their m.o.? Don’t interview consumers—go home with them. Observe, for example, how they use diapers. “They’ll tell you,” Kotchka says, chuckling," ‘I want it to work better.’ But our products always work. What we discovered is that parents don’t feel good about putting plastic on their babies. The fabric’s got to feel stretchy and cottony; the tapes have to be round and soft. We have a fashion designer working on Pampers now—it’s really underwear we’re designing."

A high-end look for Olay
Damien Donck for Newsweek
A high-end look for Olay
P&G isn’t neglecting slightly older consumers, either. “Look at kids who are toilet training,” Kotchka continues. “Their line is ‘I want to do it myself.’ So, we said, ‘OK, we know how to make a great wipe—what can we do to empower kids to use it themselves?’ We made this clever pop-up box that lets a kid grab a wipe with one hand. And the kids went nuts for it.”

This fresh approach goes hand in hand with another of Lafley’s innovations: blowing out the stuffy walls of P&G’s executive floor in its Cincinnati headquarters, letting in light and color and a new institutional transparency. It might be a stretch to credit the company’s turnaround to good design. Then again, it might not.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

eat me.

yep they definately got more ad bucks from from P&G. Had the anti war libs gotten to em there would be rioting in Iowa…

ass meet hat

i love stuttering incoherency



More anti war liberal bullshit from a jackass who was beleiving there was WMDs and now lookin stupid cuz he gets it wrong again. They checked it so maybe the Defense guys paid for that article. :laughing:

Last month in Business 2.0 they had an article which was pretty interesting about P&G. It was all about how they turned brands they already had into bigger money makers through innovation and new technology (these are the guys that started marketing teeth whitening products)

I tried to find it online but was unsuccessful- it was a really good read if you can find it.

I love homeless hippies who kept their mouths shut for 4 years. yay bitch and moan, nay proactivity.

WMDs are the letter W in a alphabetical order of importance. No one cares whether they exist or not, nor did they know or not X years ago. I’m sure the homeless knew they never existed all along. Place your bets after the ball lands on the Roulette wheel.

I for one love other people’s oil. Rumsfeld 2008.

RMFJUYFTGLOL (or any other net nerd acronym)

this one Pezzy?

not that it matters, I happen to know the engineer to worked for the toy company that created the ‘spin-pop’ and ‘spin brush’. When P+G bought it and put thier Crest brand on it (and the dish brush) they made $millions!
Its great Branding and pays a lot of mortgages but the point I want to make is: you can’t replace the batteries or bristles, in fact all thier gadgets are made on the same ‘consumables’ principle as the soap etc you use them with.
I know for a fact P+G has fully developed highly sustainable alternatives to some of their core products - yet here they are continuing to set newer low standards for our disposable society…