Views from the Hills by R. E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail

Two Moments of Truth

Within the Twin Towers of Procter & Gamble, you frequently hear reference to the Two Moments of Truth.  Much of P&G's focus is on meeting consumers' needs at two critical decision points.  First, whent eh consumers stand in front of the store shelf and make a purchase decision.  Second, when P&G brands are used by the consumer.

If you think about it, the Two Moments separate the 5 Ps of a brand (product, positioning, packaging, price and promotion) into two groups.  The second moment is mostly consumed wiht the efficacy of the product.  The first moment on the other hand, involves 4 of the 5Ps, the packaging, price, promotion and positioning of the brand.

Most companies have in place research methods to evaluate the efficacy of the product.  However, I have found that many companies are very lacking int he resources to handle the remaining 5 Ps as they relate to P&G's First Moment.  Promotion research is almost non-existant.  The promotions are usually conducted in a Hit or Miss environment utilizing judgment based on past experiences.  When packaging, price or positioning research is conducted, it is almost always conducted in an environment totally unrelated tot he First Moment.  That is, the purchase environment is totally ignored.  The research is frequently conducted in a Mall setting or through the Internet.  While these mehtods are fast and cheap, they totally ignore the Moment of Truth Setting, that is, the environemnt of competition.  What looks good sitting on a table in the back room of a Mall or on a computer screen may take on a totally different appearance on the store shelf in the presence of competition.

My recommendation is that we conduct more Brand Research.  More Brand Research in Home Use Testing and more Brand Research in Spot Testing, conducted in the purchase environment.  We do a substantial amount of Blind Testing but usually ignore Brand Identified Testing.  After all we don't sell products, we sell brands, therefore, why do we not do more Brand Testing?  And are there still companies who do no Brand Identified Testing at all?

Purchase decisions are made in the store aisle in the presence of competition and in a physical environment much different than in a Mall or on a Video Screen.  It seems to me that it would be in our best interest to know how our brand fares in the presence of all the alternatives the consumer encounters and under the conditions where the comparisons are going to be made.

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