I started my career at Procter & Gamble in the Packaged Soap and Detergent division—laundry and dish soaps. Even then, the crown jewel was Tide, which as a powdered detergent in a few scents still dominated the category. Some things change. Some remain the same.
The latest addition to the Tide brand behemoth is Tide Pods—a laundry detergent plus stain remover that you toss into your machine. One load, one pack; whatever the temperature or load size.
“Nature loves simplicity,” declared 17th century mathematician Johannes Kepler, and so do consumers. Tide Pods make laundry a little simpler again, reversing a trend of complexity that was, admittedly, created primarily by Procter. That’s why Pods also include “brighteners.” So you agonize a little less over which Tide line extension to buy. Maybe Tide is getting too big and too complicated. But the brand is a trusted American icon and you can hardly blame P&G for continuing to leverage it.
We should note that there are other products taking the same approach. Purex has its own Triple Action Ultra-Packs, as well as a 3-in-1 sheet that includes “Stain-Blocker Technology” and fabric softener, as well, which is simpler yet and is probably next up for Tide. Also recall that the idea of a throw-in tablet goes all the way back to Salvo in the ‘60’s. Still, the current iterations feel very contemporary and are more relevant than ever.
Why we like this innovation: Tide Pods ride the most dominant consumer trend across nearly all categories in the past 100 years: Convenience. But combining ease of use with simplifying the decision-making process is a winner. Plus, the Pods look really cool—with something of a yin/yang design and a gushy yet durable feel. And even though most will be sold by the bagful, the fishbowl jar available off the web makes grab and go all the easier. Plus, each time you throw one in you’ll be reminded of how much better it is than measuring out a cup of powder or pouring a capful of liquid.
Another innovation win from Procter & Gamble.