Cheaper Tide or Bad Branding?

Classic Tide, Stay Tuned to See What Tide Basic Looks Like.
Classic Tide, Stay Tuned to See What Tide Basic Looks Like.

The Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday it has begun trying out a lower-cost version of Tide laundry detergent in a bid to regain lost sales.

“Tide Basic” is hitting shelves in some 100 Walmart and Kroger stores in southern and southwest US. states. P&G spokesman Kash Shaikh said the new Tide product sells for some 20 percent less than the regular Tide powder, which generally retails for around $8 for the smallest container.

The six-decade-old Tide brand has more than $3 billion in annual sales, but it and other P&G products have lost sales to other less expensive National Brands and rapidly growing Private Brands

The Cincinnati-based consumer products maker has reported good sales during the recession for lower-cost “Basic” versions of Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels.

Although I certainly understand the need to retain sales and attempt to salvage profits in a bad economy, this seems like a desperate move that can only devalue the iconic Tide. It has certainly become a key value item for many consumers, however of late it has joined Coke and Breyers ice cream as price plays. In this economy if you pay full price for any of the three you simply aren’t paying attention.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.