Is the P&G Innovation Well Running Dry?

14 Sep

For many decades, Procter & Gamble has been the leading consumer products company in the world. (Today, it battles Unilever for global supremacy.) Among P&G’s best-known brands are Bounty, Charmin, Cover Girl, Crest, Duracell, Febreze, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Mr. Clean, Old Spice, Oral B, Pantene, Pepto-Bismal, Swiffer, Tide, and Vicks. The company originated the product manager system.

But, despite its market-leading position in many categories, product innovation is more challenging now. As Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Carol Hymowitz report for Businessweek:  “There’s been a dearth of pioneering brands emerging from the world’s largest consumer-products company. Spending on research and development in fiscal 2012 ended June 30 was $2.03 billion, or 2.4 percent of sales, the same as the prior year and down from 3 percent of sales in 2006. P&G’s most recent homegrown blockbusters — Swiffer cleaning devices, Crest Whitestrips, and Febreze odor fresheners — were all launched at least a decade ago. Says Peter Golder, a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College: ‘P&G is built on creating new categories, and innovation is in its DNA, but they need to rediscover it.’”

Read more by clicking the chart from Businessweek.

2 Responses to “Is the P&G Innovation Well Running Dry?”


  1. P&G: No Longer the King of Innovation « Evans on Marketing - October 14, 2012

    […] largest consumer products company, has been facing some tough sledding for quite a while now (see our September post). Many critics — and some disgruntled stockholders — remain unimpressed with the […]

  2. What’s Next for Proctor & Gamble? | Evans on Marketing - February 28, 2013

    […] we have reported before (see, for example, 1 and 2), P&G — the pioneer of product management and the world’s leading consumer products […]

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