The Devil Is Sometimes In The Detail

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I heard an interesting marketing story this week that I wanted to share.
I thought it raised an important issue about marketing. It’s not a story of success, but one of spectacular failure.  What it does is highlights an important point about marketing – that often failure is due to the lack of attention to detail.
The story was about the failure of Proctor and Gamble to successfully launch the Pampers brand into the Japanese market. I’m told they spent 2 billion dollars on the launch (sounds like a lot to me…but anyway) and failed. Out of that 2 billion, I’m certain there was quite enough marketing budget to make it a success.  So why did it fail so spectacularly?
Well it turns out the nappies they marketed to Japanese where the same as sold in the American market – and more than likely most western countries.  What P&G failed to realise is that Japanese babies have smaller bottoms (makes sense now you say it) than American ones.  And they didn’t realise that Japanese parents are far more finicky than American ones. You see, the nappies were too big for the Japanese babies and mothers just didn’t buy them.  A fairly obvious oversight don’t you think?  Well is was a very costly one at least….
So it makes you think – what are the reasons customers aren’t buying your product.  You might think you’re not spending enough on marketing, but it might be something more obvious that is turning customers away.  
How do you find this out? Well it couldn’t hurt to ask your customers could it?  You could save yourself a lot of time and money.
Let me know your thoughts…

About the author

Chris Dale Chris Dale is the founder and Managing Director of MarketingHQ. He is a Certified Practising Marketer with over 15 years senior marketing experience. He helps small and medium sized businesses create great marketing strategies and systems that grow their businesses. You can connect with him on or on LinkedIn.

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