“Historically at P&G we looked at product performance. We didn’t pay as much attention to product experience,” says Claudia Kotchka, vp, design innovation and strategy at P&G. “Obviously the product [the P&G Gain detergent] cleans fabulously, but this is all about joy. When consumers open the bottle, they like the smell. The bottle itself is much more whimsical. It’s about taking the elements people wouldn’t think are important and having them add up to the overall brand experience.”
The article goes on to discuss the role of design in the company:
“Design at P&G is not a centralized function,” says Kotchka. “All of the designers are in the business units. We have them sitting with our R&D working on innovation from the beginning, sitting with our marketing folks, working on branding from the beginning. That’s a big change from the historical approach of handing it over the wall at the end. … Looking at design as part of the total consumer experience is critical.”
However, design is just “one piece of the overall product development and marketing challenge—albeit an important one”.
“If you look at design as part of the entire consumer experience, it’s critical,” notes Kotchka. “But we don’t try to quantify design as something different from something else; we measure what is the total consumer experience with this brand and this product. It’s very holistic.”