Driving Profitable Growth of a Large Division at a World Class CPG Company

The Home Care division at SC Johnson included venerable brands Pledge, Shout, and the newly purchased Windex and Drano brands. Each brand was managed separately with a strategy that focused on its particular category. Overall Division sales were stagnant even though each brand was the #1 or #2 player in its category, and profits were lagging expectations because several new product launches had fallen short of financial goals.

 

Strategic Action:

 

  • Formed a cross-functional leadership team and led development of a new vision and strategic plan for the division, which was renamed Home Cleaning.
     

  • Launched regular town hall meetings to communicate the plan and progress, drive transparency and open dialogue, and motivate the workforce.
     

  • Developed a division wide priority list aligned to the strategic plan, and used a resource scorecard and milestone management process to align all resources against the plan, and measure progress.
     

  • Analytics required during the strategic planning process revealed significant opportunities to extend existing brands into adjacent categories. It also prompted acquisition of a competitor to satisfy salient consumer cleaning needs that existing brands could not address.
     

  • Acquired Dow Brands, which included Dow Bathroom Cleaner and Fantastic All Purpose Cleaner.
     

  • Re-branded Dow Bathroom Cleaner as Scrubbing Bubbles, and quickly seized leadership of the bathroom cleaner segment behind several new product innovations and a breakthrough marketing campaign.
     

  • Dusted off the fantastic brand after years of neglect, and returned the brand to leadership of the All Purpose Cleaner category. Developed and leveraged an advertising campaign that persuasively demonstrated improved product cleaning performance, and launched several line extensions.
     

  • Fueled explosive growth of the Windex brand by revitalizing the base business with a new marketing campaign, extending the brand into adjacent categories, and launching several new-to-the-world products such as Windex Outdoor.
     

  • Stemmed declines in Pledge market share with line extensions that expanded usage occasions to new surfaces, and new products that penetrated adjacent categories.
     

  • Grew Drano market share and financial results by improving product performance, launching a new product form, and persuading consumers to switch to Drano with a new marketing campaign.
     

  • Improved profit margins significantly behind an extensive cost savings program, and more than doubled marketing support by reallocating less efficient trade spending, and reducing gross-to-net-sales deductions.
     

  • Led a high performing team challenged with restructuring the entire SCJ marketing department, working closely with The Boston Consulting Group on a company-wide effort to increase innovation, speed, and empowerment.
     

  • Led significant improvements to MBA recruiting program, as measured by hit rates, image ratings on campus, and diversity metrics.

 

Result:

  • The Home Cleaning Division experienced sustained sales and profit increases behind this new strategy, and it became one of the largest divisions at SCJ.
     

  • SCJ moved from the #3 player in Home Cleaning to a leadership contender.
     

  • Workforce commitment improved from 52% to a company-wide high of 82%.

 “Jude has the unique ability to create a vision for growth AND the right plans to achieve them…His engaging leadership style helped make his team the place to be at SCJ for development and success.”

- Patrick O’Brien, CEO at Paris Presents Incorporated , Chairman and Co-Founder Patina Solutions

 “Jude is one of the most dynamic and successful business leaders for whom I have ever worked. During our time together on Home Cleaning at SC Johnson, Jude accelerated growth through a combination of focused innovation investment, smart portfolio spending choices, and a commitment to strong advertising development and support. Jude built a very strong team spirit and was an inspirational coach who put in place strong career development processes and professional training.”

- Chris Bauder, CEO Weiman Products LLC