Some entirely new and innovative lines have cropped up from S.C. Johnson, including three that are among the highest-rated by consumer panels in the past two years.
Shout Wipes comes in versions for instant removal or instant treatment of stains, and Windex Outdoor attaches to garden hoses and is supposed to clean outdoor windows, even through screens. Both received the highest purchase probability ratings available from consumer panels of AcuPOLL Precision Research, a concept-testing service.
Last year, the company's Windex No-Drip Glass Cleaner, which sticks to windows rather than running down when sprayed, also ranked in AcuPOLL's top 10.
"They've had a pretty good year," said Tom Vierhile, president of Marketing Intelligence Service, a new product testing company that works jointly with AcuPOLL. "To come out with two major innovations in one year is not bad."
ONLY ONE FROM P&G
By contrast, Procter & Gamble Co., almost 10 times S.C. Johnson's size, had only one product in the top 10 last year-Bounty Rinse & Reuse paper towels.
S.C. Johnson's new products appear to have boosted sales in both categories.
For the 52 weeks ended July 27, Shout sales were up 13.9% to $78 million in the $202.9 million stain remover category, according to Information Resources Inc. Shout overtook Dowbrands' Spray & Wash for category leadership during the period, at a time when both brands were under pressure from Lever Bros.' new entry, Wisk Away, now No. 3.
Windex sales were up 9.7%, to $140 million, growing more than twice as fast as the $459 million counter and window cleaner category.
ATTRACTED MOST SPENDING
Windex No-Drip and Shout Wipes accounted for the bulk of marketing spending for both brands during the past year. S.C. Johnson backed Shout Wipes with $6.7 million and Windex No-Drip with $6.3 million in TV and print ads through May, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, is the agency.
Windex Outdoor, which got $1 million in support through May, remains in test market in parts of 20 mostly Southern and Western states.
S.C. Johnson Media Director Pat Penman said the company has a philosophy of trying to produce something that's better than what's already on the market, something founder Sam Johnson himself articulated.
"I think a commitment to that goal is what's paying off," she said.
Ms. Penman would not comment on prospects for a national rollout of Windex