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A naming rice agreement

May 23, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Tide is testing a detergent subscription

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jul 21, 2016
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Procter & Gamble is launching an initiative in Atlanta called the Tide Wash Club.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Unilever is buying Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion, and it’s not the only company betting on subscription success. Procter & Gamble has decided if you can get millions of subscribers to sign up for razors, maybe you can do the same thing with … laundry detergent.

Those Tide pod things you put in the machine are the latest in company subscriptions. P&G is calling its initiative the Tide Wash Club and is test marketing it in Atlanta.

Michelle Grant of Euromonitor International said selling detergent this way is an experiment, but it’s right for the times. She said the company has seen retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target launch subscription services selling household goods, and it knows its customers are time-strapped.

“I think it’s more of a broader way to adapt to what consumers want and expect nowadays from their buying experience,” she said.

Liz Cadman, the founder of review site MySubscriptionAddiction.com, said P&G is in a prime position to start a service like this.

“They already have that reputation and connection with the customer,” she said. “So that hurdle of getting them to subscribe is so much less than for a typical startup subscription company.”

Still, she added, Tide pods are pretty mundane. To succeed, she thinks the company needs to mimic other subscription boxes, and add a surprise to each package to keep up consumers’ interest.

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