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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Procter & Gamble Trip.

It's taken me close to a week to unwind and unreel from my whirlwind trip last week. Are you wondering what the heck I was doing in Cincinnati?

Procter and Gamble invited a select group of media to come to their Innovation Live! event at their Beckett Ridge Innovation Center {BRIC} in West Chester, OH. BRIC is one of 52 innovation centers around the world that P&G uses to develop, innovate and research products.

After a media breakfast with CEO Bob McDonald {in which he shared about the sale of Pringles to Kelloggs and I felt like a real-imposter in a room full of real business news journalists} the first group to go see the BRIC was the small group of traditional media invitees from the breakfast. In the afternoon, a group of eight "internet" media invitees visited. This was the first time P&G has allowed media into one of their innovation centers and they allowed less than 20 of us.

The innovation center is like nothing I'd ever seen, a complete 137,000 square foot building with two real, working houses inside, a mock grocery store, a baby center and even a virtual reality center. P&G uses the building to talk with consumers, see how they actually use products, how products are purchased and also showing retailers their innovations and technical aspects of products and additionally what works in stores and what doesn't. Over 20,000 consumers come to that specific facility for different consumer testing events.

The BRIC did not disappoint. If anything, it made me so much more aware of all that goes into the research before a P&G product hits the shelves. Not just the scientific process which obviously is a big part of product research and development but also the process in which they see what it is consumers and retailers want.

Several faces from P&G were on site including Vice President of Fabric Care, Alex Keith who unveiled the newest product, eight years and 6000 consumers in the making and finally launching at the end of the month, Tide PODS.
procter&gamble 008

Tide PODS have plans of revolutionizing the way we do laundry. The product is a three chamber liquid capsule in a polyvinyl package that completely dissolves with no residue. Another innovation is that the product has 90% active ingredients in it. The POD is to be thrown into the laundry drum (top or front) at the same time as the water (cold or hot!) followed by the clothes. The product completely eliminates the need for heavy jugs of laundry soap and any measuring. In the end, use of the POD will both make laundry soap use more effective (no over and under use) and also save time (P&G expects up to an hour a year of lost time).

Not only is the product expected to help laundry usage in our homes but also brings hope for sustainability. Currently 45% of consumers do their laundry in cold water. The POD is good in both cold or hot, so the hope is that more consumers decide to use cold water. And due to smaller, light packaging, transportation costs and usage decrease, leaving a better environmental footprint for P&G.

I, for one, am excited about the new product and was given a sample. I like the idea of throwing one in and throwing the laundry in. I get excited about the possibility of T & M also being able to do laundry and not having to worry about measuring and messes in the laundry room from the soap.

It was a really neat experience to see the underworkings and meet some core P&G people. I enjoyed hearing Bob McDonald speak and was especially interested in their Olympic sponsorship next summer in London. He shared with us some of the ads that will be airing and of course, I'm excited about his belief and support of moms.

My favorite line he shared, "Don't forget your mom who got you where you are today." Well said.

My write up on the trip posted this morning as well and you can see that here.

Thanks to P&G and DeVries PR for the opportunity.


Blogger Gina said...

Sounds like you had a good time on your trip. Those Pods sound like a really neat idea. I already use cold water to wash my clothes, I might have to check that out.

February 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous dadio's said...

Looking and sounding so good.

Nice opportunity this blog has got you to.


February 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great trip for you. I would have loved to have seen the inside of BRIC sounded very interesting. wonderful opportunity for you.
I have always use Tide Powder. I may just try out these new Pods will be watching for the coupons.

Love you all
Auntie Laurie

February 24, 2012 at 9:47 AM  

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