Monday, June 26, 2006

Great interview with the chairman of Church and Dwight

This week's episode of History's Business on the History Channel had a great interview with Robert A. Davies, III , the current chairman of Church and Dwight. They are the makers of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, a 160 year old company.

Three key insights I took away from this interview.

1. They are a green company - since the beginning they were a "green" company. The founders were avid outdoorsmen.

2. "She has a secret in her refrigerator" - The right marketing idea and creative can change a company overnight. In 1972 they rolled out a commercial on the West Coast telling people to keep a box of baking soda in the refrigerator. This increased sales overnight by 80%!! They had to wait 6-7 months before rolling the commercial out across the country. They needed 6-7 months to build up enough inventory. One year afterwards 90% of consumers had a box in their fridge. Asked how they found out about this trick? They learned from their grandmothers. Interesting...

Where did they come up with this idea? A young woman in the marketing department was looking around in an attic of a factory at product packages. There was a old package from the 1920s with a list of uses, this being one of them.

3. #1 Rule for Success - "Face reality as it is, and then bring huge debate to the subject amongst talented people who care." - Robert A. Davies, III

This is a great rule for success: it encourages open dialogue and candor, then leverages the passionate people in your company to work out a solution.

Click here to read Church & Dwight's principles - right on their website.

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