Procter & Gamble's downsizing to increase price – what would you do?


WSJUsing an old tactic, Procter & Gamble will reduce the number of products per package to increase profitability. (‘downsizing’)

According to the WSJ, this is in an attempt to recoup costs of innovation without increasing per package price for consumers in these difficult economic times.

Does this have anything to do with IP Strategy?

Should it?

Strategy is about achieving objectives, and whilst you need to adjust your strategy from time to time, it can be pretty hard to achieve what you set out to if the business alters key assumptions along the way.

Here we have a brand built on the message of quality and backed by a large IP Estate.

What message are you giving to consumers who now get less diapers in that brand they trust and always buy?

If you’re that in-house IP Strategist, you may not have any input on whether such tactics will be used, but you may be involved in optimising the strategy from the IP perspective.

Perhaps it would be good to ask why are we adding expensive technology in a price sensitive market?

Perhaps we should deploy the new technology with a different strategy?

For example, perhaps it would be better to give people a choice. Consumers can purchase the same product with the older technology and pay the current price, or, if they want the improved performance, they can pay more for it. Clearly there are some IP Strategy opportunities right there – the new sub-brand for the higher performance version, etc. (Perhaps even use a three tiered approach.)

Another approach would be to take another look at innovation designed to lower manufacturing and other costs that are built into the product.

What would you do?

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