Procter and Gamble was formed in1837 by William Procter and James Gamble as partners in Cincinnati, Ohio to produce and sell soap and candles. William Procter immigrated to England after he lost his woolen shop in fire and burglary while Gamble came when famine struck Ireland. The partnership was suggested by their mutual father-in-law, Alexander Norris who highlighted the fact that both men used the same raw material, lye to make candles and soap. Despite tough competition in its initial years, the partners managed to expand their operations into neighboring counties of Hamilton and Butler.
P&G grew later as Cincinnati was linked to some of the major eastern cities via railway system. Procter & Gamble’s Star emblem was drawn on candles for identification. Later the star was encircled and 13 stars added to represent the original U. S colonies. The emblem changed over the years until 1930 when Ernest Bruce Haswell developed the modern day version of it. P & G introduced Ivory soap in 1878 followed by Crisco in 1911, Tide laundry detergent in 1946 and Crest in 1955 and Pampers in 1961.
Other products include Pantene, Always, Ariel and many more. Growth of Procter & Gamble P&G is operating in approximately 80 countries with 300 brands in more than 160 countries. It is the leading brand in consumer goods facing fierce competition from Unilever; Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive Company. . The main types being fabric care, home care, beauty care, baby care, family care, health care, snacks, and beverages.
Procter & Gamble grew rapidly during the 1850s. It moved to a bigger factory which gave the company better access to stockyards.Procter & Gamble’s annual sales were more than $1 million and it employed approximately 80 people. During the initial years the company grew internally.
With links to the eastern cities, the market share and size grew. It started branding the candles with an emblem which was soon copied by other companies. It used one of the most aggressive marketing. It grew because of the many practices it introduced like brand management system, employee profit sharing schemes and bonuses, aggressive advertising and market research.The company took a proactive approach in many of its dealings.
One of P& G’s most important raw materials, rosin which was supplied from the South was bought in large quantities from New Orleans before the Civil War. This enabled the company to stock up on it and to continue the supply of soap and candles to Union Army when other competitors cut down their production due to a shortage in wartime. This helped the company to grow and become a brand of the soldiers. The company also invested in research and technology and introduced alternatives to rosin.
As the war went on and raw material became scarce, new ways of manufacturing was introduced. New method was introduced to produce stearic acid which was later used for cooking compound and hence Crisco was introduced. The business was divided in different units and the company was committed to superior quality products and services to improve the lives of the consumers. It believed that this was the way the company would be rewarded in terms of high sales, revenue and shareholders.The clear goals led to further internal growth.
Apart from internal growth, P&G spread further due to the various acquisitions which started from Charmin in 1957, 20 years after P & G’s birth. Folgers coffee brand was acquired in 1961; Norwich-Eaton Pharmaceuticals in 1982; Richardson-Vicks Company in 1985; Noxell Corporation in 1988; Max Factor and Betrix cosmetic and fragrance lines from Revlon, Inc in 1991. Other acquisitions included Clairol, Tampax, Wella and recently Gillette.