Yes, their name’s Gamble.
Seems like after spending the last couple years preaching on how marketing will be turned upside down, and experimenting with the first marketing-driven communities (Vocal Point, Tremor), P&G is acting on its words.
Their stated goal is to grow solid relationships with some 60 million families, and given that relationships are one of the two only strategic assets I foresee for companies in the future (with the other being reputation), that sounds like a promising effort.
The first, encouraging step is probably the most traumatic for the company that invented brand management: screw brands. At least, when it comes to segmentation.
Up until now each and every P&G brand has its own way of clustering consumers: Procter has now realized that consumers of Tide, Crest, Swiffer, Febreze and the alike are, well, the same persons. That just buy a bunch of products.
So, and that’s good news no.1, they have a shared segmentation model at company level, that is leading them to about 10 clusters.
Good news no.2: these clusters are not mutually exclusive, and people switch from one to the other, and back. And that makes a lot of sense, in an era of multiple identities (or “liquid modernity“, as defined by Zygmunt Baumann)
Now P&G is left with one dilemma: consumer segmentation (and management?) is moved from a brand up to a company level.
But, consumers are not interested in the P&G company. They’re interested in how products, and therefore brands, can make their life better (and their teeth whiter).
So, now “consumer managers” at P&G know how to reach consumers.
But it’s the brand managers who know (or should know) how to get consumers interested.
How are they going to speak with each other? Who runs the game?
Final Burp: A target is not something you engage. A target is something you shoot at. (Quote from around the web)