Best Practice. Case study, how did a global concern increase the sales of its product?

Febreze - an air freshener manufactured by the global concern Procter & Gamble Company (hereinafter P&G). The sale of this product turned out to be a failure at first. As Charles Duhigg points out in the book entitled “Strength of habit”, the company spent several million dollars to launch a spray air freshener that removes odors from almost any space and fabric (the technology itself that was used to develop the solution was also captured by NASA for interior cleaning ships after they return from outer space).

The problem that P&G faced when launching Febreze on the market was related to low customer interest, i.e. low sales.

To meet this challenge, researchers from the Procter & Gamble Company department began to analyze the causes of the problem, went to the field, and interviewed clients. Thanks to these activities, it was found that the most interested group of people are not (as assumed) the owners of animals (especially cats) or mothers of adolescents, but those who want to emphasize the efforts put in cleaning.

The reason for the failures leading to low sales was a wrong starting point. The producers assumed that we use the air freshener at the beginning of cleaning, thus directing the marketing to the wrong target group. Lack of observation, thinking according to the usual patterns did not allow for achieving high levels of sales (in this case, potential customers did not want to be associated with "uncleanness" / "dirt”).

It was only thanks to intense efforts, an attempt to investigate the causes of the problem, the question of why this is the case, to drill down and observe the topic, that P&G changed customer habits and solved the problem of small sales of Febreze brand products.

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Drilling, complex problems

Bibliography: (Access: 2021 10 29)
Duhigg Ch. (2012). Siła nawyku. Dlaczego robimy to, co robimy i jak można to zmienić w życiu i biznesie. (ang. “The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business?”). Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.