Procter & Gamble is one of the world’s [premier consumer-goods companies. Some 99 percent of all U.S. households use at least one of P&G’s over 300 brands, and the typical household regularly buys and uses from one to two dozen P&G brands.
P&G sells multiple brands of laundry detergent, bath soap, shampoo, dishwashing detergent, tissues and paper towels, deodorant, fabric softener, cosmetics, and disposable diapers worldwide. Moreover, P&G has many additional brands in each category for different international markets. For example, brands unique to Asia include Attento, Bonus, Cutie, Muse, Perla, Rejoice, and Whisper. A touch of Sun, Hairpainting, Inner Science, and Ultress are offered in North America and Asia, while Loreto is marketed in Asia and Latin America. (see P&G’s Web site at www.pg.com for a full glimpse of the company’s impressive line-up of brands.)
These P&G brands compete with one another on the same supermarket shelves. Why would P&G introduce several brands in one category instead of concentrating its resources on a single leading brand? The answer lies in the fact that different people want different mixes of benefits from the products they buy. Take laundry detergents as an example. People use laundry detergents to get their clothes clean. But they also want other things from their detergents – such as economy, strength or mildness, bleaching power, fabric softening, fresh smell, and lots of suds or only a few. We all want some of every one of these benefits from our detergent, but we may have different priorities for each benefit. To some people, cleaning and bleaching power are most important; to others, fabric softening matters most; still others want a mild, fresh scented detergent. Thus, each segment of laundry detergent buyers seeks a special combination of benefits.
In Asia, Procter & Gamble has identified at least four important laundry detergent segments, along with...