menu

How Long Can P&G Last?

Advertising
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 13 june 2008

Travel through Europe looking at new ‘local’ brands made the team at PSFK wonder about modern brands and whether ‘holding companies’ like P&G and Unilever can really last doing business the way they are.

More and more consumers appear to be attracted to ‘real’ brands – brands with soul, history and substance – brands like Innocent Drinks or Method soap. These brands live because they reflect the values of the management and staff and the transparency generated by the web helps fuel the love of them.

Meanwhile over at P&G and Unilever brands appear to still be run from brand books by an army of brand managers who aren’t connected with the values each brand is supposed to contain. They sell faux brands that were created in an age of control – control of media and message.

Sure, P&G ‘got’ design recently but design is just lipstick – it might make a consumer look twice but the he or she is smart enough to work out whether that brand is truly pretty quickly.

What is the future for these companies? Well we could argue that there are plenty of products that just don’t need soul and that there will be no brand Armageddon. But what we will probably see is a war of attrition – as time goes on, new valued brands will come into Unilever and P&G’s duller markets and attack marketshare. Remember that Method changed a boring cleaning market just because no one cared.

Something that might be worth remembering is that while they will struggle building modern brands with soul, comapnies like Unilever will continue to wield great logistical power. Could they somehow support brands we consider authentic? Maybe they could take inspiration from the fashion sector: Recently H&M bought stock in hip denim brand Cheap Mondays – allowing the brand to grow fairly independently with the financial injection but offering a distribution network they didn’t have before.

It would be naive to think P&G and Unilever are in grave danger – but maybe the way they work may change from marketing organizations to distribution networks that support and even co-own real brands with the management and their consumers who believe in their values.

Advertising
Trending

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Advertising
Syndicated Today

Banned Books Week Urges People To Seek Out Controversial Works

Joining the annual celebration of the right to read, US author Jessica Herthel called for 'more information, more voices' to protect diversity

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Travel Today

Boeing Wants Passengers To Control Their In-Flight Experience Through Their Phones

The airline manufacturer is embracing automation through a new generation of mobile travel apps

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

VR Surgery Videos Offer Interactive Medical Education

Dutch startup MDLinking hopes to globalize communication between students and medical care professionals with virtual reality content

Related Expert

Pam Scheideler

Convincing Early Adopters

Culture Today

Use Twitter To Learn A New Language

tDict is an app that uses the social media platform to help you search for words in local dialects

Mobile Today

This Startup Wants To Digitize The Loose Coins In Your Pocket

CoinOut is a new app that lets you save your extra change from cash transactions as electronic funds

Advertising Today

McDonald’s Is Accepting Trash As Currency In Exchange For Burgers

An initiative in Stockholm is trying to keep streets clean while satisfying hunger

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Culture Today

Google Is Using Virtual Paper Airplanes To Bring People Closer Together

The tech giant released an app that lets people throw their good wishes out into the world on the International Day of Peace

Advertising Today

Get Paid For Traveling In San Francisco After Rush Hour

BART Perks rewards commuters who take early or late trains by giving them extra points to trade for money

Culture Today

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional 'Specious Books,' the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Food Today

Bringing Food Innovation To America’s Crowded Milk Market

a2 Milk's Blake Waltrip, Chief Executive of the USA region, discusses how the distributor plans on bringing the popular drink for the dairy-sensitive to the States

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Financial Services Today

Device Makes Digital Currency Feel Tangible

The concept gadget wants you to experience the highs and lows of spending money

Design & Architecture Today

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

No search results found.