Swiffer

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Having done two tours of duty in the new business development group of Procter & Gamble Co.'s laundry and cleaning business, Kevin Kuchinski has had a hand in many new products.

As global marketing director for Swiffer the last two years, he led the marketing effort behind the biggest of them all so far: Swiffer electrostatic dust mops.

On pace for more than $300 million in U.S. sales and $400 million globally its first year, Swiffer could become the biggest new package-goods brand in more than a decade.

Swiffer rolled out in August virtually simultaneously with S.C. Johnson & Son's Pledge Grab-It, which licensed it from Japan's Kao Corp., whose original product pioneered the category. Despite Pledge's established brand name, Swiffer seized a 2-to-1 lead in the U.S.

"We anticipated the competition was going to come quickly," says Mr. Kuchinski, 31, who also cites the "team passion" of the small group that launched Swiffer.

"We really set the goal of being first in the minds of consumers," he says, using teaser ads from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, pushing retailers to stock Swiffer in stores the week they were shipped and staging 100,000 hours of demos in North American stores.

"Sometimes a new brand can have an advantage against an old brand when you're fundamentally transforming the experience of a category," Mr. Kuchinski says. "Swiffer is not just an incrementally better product. Our goal was to transform the cleaning experience."

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