Procter & Gamble’s Tide Dry Cleaners Case: Leveraging the Brand to Provide a “WOW” Experience

We are excited to share the CSL case at the Case Center. Featuring Tide Dry Cleaners, a franchise developed by Proctor & Gamble’s subsidiary Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc., the case study discusses key aspects of translating a successful product brand into a new service. The case was developed by Wolfgang Ulaga, AT&T Professor of Services Leadership, Kathryn Eaton, Clinical Assistant Professor and Darima Fotheringham, PhD student, Graduate Assistant Associate, in collaboration with Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc. The two-part case is accompanied by a detailed Teaching Note, video interviews and supporting PowerPoint slides. Below is a summary and an interview excerpt from the case. To access the case and supplemental materials, visit the Case Center website

We would like to thank Thomas Flaherty, President & CEO, Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc., Jeff Krall, Franchise Business Director, Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc., and Neville Moses, Entrepreneur and Tide Dry Cleaners Franchise Owner, for their support and contribution to the case.

CASE A: “LEVERAGING THE BRAND TO PROVIDE A “WOW” EXPERIENCE” discusses how consumer-packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble disrupts the U.S. dry cleaning industry with Tide Dry Cleaners, an innovative franchising concept built around Tide, P&G’s iconic billion-dollar brand. Based on consumer insights and a thorough understanding of the customer “jobs-to-be-done”, the company translates a unique and differentiated customer promise into a “wow” guest experience that stands out in a highly fragmented dry-cleaning market. To help understand the value proposition and customer journey, Case (A) first provides a brief background about P&G, its expertise in marketing and sales of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), and its bold strategic move into new service business models to reignite growth and profitability. With Tide’s brand identity in mind, the case then allows participants to explore the Tide Dry Cleaners concept and discuss each of the critical steps of the customer journey. Based on understanding the concept and customer experience, Case (A) finally culminates into a call for decision whether the company should invest in a large-scale dry cleaning plant and a satellite network of small stores, or stick to Tide Dry Cleaners’ tried and tested store concept as a basis for building a better customer experience.

CASE B “BRINGING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE TO LIFE WITH A DISRUPTIVE BUSINESS MODEL” provides deeper insights into the Tide Dry Cleaners franchising business model and illustrates how Agile Pursuits Franchising Inc.’s (APFI) entrepreneurial culture and unique values differ from its parent company’s historical roots, established corporate culture, and value system. Case (B) first explains why APFI decided against the investment opportunity presented in Case (A). To explain the decision, both the franchisor’s and franchisees’ contributions to the business model are discussed. The case further explains why P&G opted for a franchising model. Finally, it sets the stage for a discussion of future avenues for revenue and profit growth in an industry affected by changing consumer trends, overall stagnant sales and looming “uberization” through disruptive new entrants. In conclusion, case (B) offers different ideas for future growth – each with a number of pros and cons.

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