Cloyd, retired Procter & Gamble executive, presents to class
Students in Fisher’s Consumer Packaged Goods Industry Cluster received an insider view of product innovation at Procter & Gamble from retired Chief Technology Officer G. Gilbert Cloyd.
A member of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees, Cloyd explained to students all the different factors that determine the company’s innovation strategy, such as competition, shareholder return, volume and revenue growth, as well as consumer value and experience.
He told students that continual innovation and speed to the marketplace are critical missions for the consumer products company.
P&G’s continued success relies on “consistent organic growth through volume and dollars,” Cloyd said. “They must provide consumers with superior values and experiences and lead in margins for shareholder returns.”
Part of the innovation model may mean creating entirely new business categories, he said. He gave the example of Oil of Olay, which was just a face-cream product company when the multinational acquired the brand. Through P&G’s innovations, Olay, as it is now simply known, is now a multi-product beauty system.
Market segmentation is also playing a huge role in innovation strategy. “It is important to understand the anthropology of a globally driven world,” Cloyd said. “Some of the new approach to consumer segmentation is understanding consumer psychology.”
Cloyd gave an example of the three differing marketing segments in China for Crest toothpaste. The premium tier is very motivated by science and technology behind the product. The second-tier, the family brand and mid-priced consumers, is driven by product effectiveness and safety. The entry price point consumer segment is interested in taste and is often tied to traditional Chinese medicine.
Another important strategy Cloyd singled out was “disruptive innovation.” “Those are the products that are new to the world and do something that you couldn’t previously do before,” said Cloyd, who concluded his presentation with a question-and-answer session with students.
P&G is one of the three Consumer Packaged Goods industry clusters companies, along with J.M. Smucker Co. and Kroger. Leading the cluster for Fisher is Vasu Unnava, senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing and Logistics.
Launched in the autumn of 2010, Fisher’s Industry Clusters program, open to undergraduate students, provides intense exposure to a specific industry through course work and projects led by corporate executives, experts in the fields and Fisher faculty. The autumn semester is devoted to lecture and course work. Students will work on projects during the second semester.
Many of the students participating in the clusters will also take part in visits to corporate partners’ operation sites. Fisher also has clusters in business analytics, manufacturing, energy and sustainability, financial services and health care. To learn more, visit Fisher Industry Clusters.