What Procter & Gamble gets right and what you can learn from them

If you’re a small business in a saturated market, you’re going to find yourself up against a goliath. These giants have a huge market share in your industry including powerful positions in your customer’s minds. You can raise the odds of competing against these juggernauts by understanding the reasons for their overwhelming success. If for example, you’re selling toothpaste, soap, or dishwashing liquids, you’re going to find yourself up against Procter & Gamble. Here are 7 things you can learn from the goliath of FMCG:

  1. Discipline – P&G’s guiding philosophy is to plan thoroughly, minimise risk and stick to proven principles. They won’t enter small markets unless they expect them to grow and set out to dominate every category they enter.
  2. Quality – They create products that are superior to their competitors. If customers don’t perceive any real benefits in the brands, no amount of genius marketing can save it.
  3. Testing – They use research to find the most effective strategy, and never change a successful strategy. Once they find an angle that works, they keep it running for a long time – often for ten years or more.
  4. Tone – Their brand speaks to their customer, using language and situations familiar to them. If the product is for use in the bathroom, they show it in a bathroom, not a laboratory.
  5. Naming – Most of their brand names are short and simple. Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Oral-B, Olay, Vicks, and Tampax to name a few.
  6. Communication – They believe that effective communication is more important than being original or entertaining.
  7. Delivery – They deliver their promise verbally alongside visuals, usually ending with a repetition of the promise.

Whether you’re in the FMCG market or not, there’s plenty to takeaway from P&G. The other great thing about leading brands is that they are consistent and always predictable. This makes it easy to see what works well for them, how you can win battles and how you can anticipate your competitor’s strategy.

To be continued…