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The Customer-Driven Playbook by Jessica Rich, Travis Lowdermilk

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Chapter 6. The Problem

When Procter and Gamble (P&G) acquired Gillette, maker of razors and grooming products, P&G’s president of men’s grooming, Chip Bergh, became responsible for the new strategy. Although Gillette was already a successful company in the United States, Bergh was looking to leverage Gillette’s existing capabilities while identifying new growth opportunities. As part of his growth strategy, he wanted to expand Gillette’s business into new, emerging markets. This strategy led him to focus his attention on India.1

P&G, which is known for their customer-driven research, thought it would be best to take the entire team to India for two weeks. For the Gillette team, ethnographic research was a new practice; they’d built a very successful company using quantitative metrics to understand their customers. The idea of traveling all the way to India to learn more about customers seemed like a waste of resources. The Gillette team felt that they could easily gather the same insights from Indian men living in the United States, without having to incur the costs of a trip to India.

Even though he was met with resistance, Bergh was finally able to convince the team to go to India. During their visit, the team spent time observing the mundane routines and practices of men shaving throughout the week. While many of the practices were the same as those of American men, the team quickly learned that there was one fundamental difference: many of the men in India were shaving without ...

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