floors in U.S. homes
About “three-quarters of the floors in U.S. homes are carpeted”, this posed a unique challenge and a significant opportunity for Procter & Gamble after launching Swiffer, a floor sweeper, in 1999. P&G decided to open up a whole new market, which would be Blue Ocean, by the new Swiffer for use on carpet. The idea was a new to the world product, so P&G had to create Swiffer for carpet from the scratch. P&G turned to IDEO, which was a design consultancy and had a long-standing relationship with P&G, for help in the design. In late 2003, P&G started the project and set a targeted launch date of mid-2005.
The Big Idea: “A real need and opportunity of 75% of the U.S. floors”
How it Works: (Apply to #11 question p.66, 67 and Concept to New Product)
Idea concept– an effective sweeper without a lot of noise and pick up anything on the carpets.
Fully screened concept- By the end of the first two-day period in November 2003, crude prototypes were created. The P&G’s chief technology officer was impressed by the prototypes and wrote out a check for several hundred thousand dollars.
Tested concept- No, they didn’t have it. They took lickety-stick approach (against #4). By early 2004, a refined version of the prototype was designed. But due to manufacturing cost reasons, it was given up.
Prototype concept- By later September 2004, the prototype was being beta tested in 350 homes. But the beta test household noticed a drawback-the sweeper couldn’t pick up hair. (against #8)
Unfortunately, the team missed #4 and #8. One of the main reasons is that the team did not ask customers’ feedback for the tested concept. That is why, a drawback was found out later during the beta test.
Eliminate: Noise. Electric power. Risk of allergy, unlike conventional vacuums.
Reduce: Space. Weight. Price (which is against vacuum cleaner)
Raise: Mobility. Interests (colorful design, catchy naming)
Create: Convenience and Flexibility. (e.g. clean even at night as quick as possible)
Next Steps: P&G now have Swiffer for floor a CarpetFlick for carpet. Why don’t they introduce for both uses? I would like to suggest that P&G launch a convertible Swiffer for both flooring and carpet.