At a conference this week, Lafley said P&G now ‘has to start to nail it with the company’s brand promise,’ while predicting that the selected unprofitable brands will be sold by the end of July 2016.
“We have to understand the different consumer needs and wants and we have to nail it with the brand promise,” he said.
“We get in trouble when we don’t start with a consumer and some of the time we get in trouble because we chase competitors, and some of the time we get in trouble because we chase whatever the latest thing is in the trade or with customers, and, moving forwards, we have to now stay single-mindedly focused on consumers.”
P&G has discontinued 35 underperforming brands to date, including premium pet food Iams and battery brand Duracell.
Chief financial officer Jon Moeller, however, said it had identified 15 additional unprofitable brands than the 80 previously announced and would now accelerate the process with up to 95 brands expected to be culled.
“The businesses we’re exiting are not bad businesses. Most simply do not play to our strengths,” said Moeller, P&G’s chief financial officer, at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference. “We have had a lot of interest in the assets we want to dispose.”
In a blow to investors, Moeller also revealed that the divestitures would take a 14% chunk off of annual sales, up from an original projection of up to 10%.