Tide plots nationwide ambitions for mobile on-demand laundry service
- Tide announced the launch of Tide Cleaners, an on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service, according to a news release. The Procter & Gamble brand plans to make the offering available in more than 2,000 locations nationwide by 2020.
- Tide Cleaners offers several laundry solutions, including 24/7 drop-boxes in urban areas that are located inside high-rise apartment buildings, offices and storefronts. Consumers can download a dedicated Tide Cleaners app to submit cleaning instructions and receive notifications when their clothes are ready to pickup. Drop-boxes will also be added to existing retail locations where Tide has a presence, such as supermarkets.
- College students can also purchase a monthly laundry plan and drop off their clothes at one of the Tide Cleaners laundry trucks that visit campuses. The service is already available at more than 20 campuses and 125 standalone stores. Tide Cleaners comes, in part, as a response to U.S. Department of Labor data that show Americans spend up to 375 hours per year on laundry-related tasks, the brand said.
Tide has had an out-of-home laundry business for several years, but rapidly expanding its footprint in the space now and uniting its offerings under the new banner of Tide Cleaners shows how on-demand services are becoming a bigger deal for marketers in the mobile era and as consumers increasingly value convenience.
Key younger demographics, like Gen Z and millennials, have displayed a strong willingness to pay for on-demand services, especially around areas like food delivery, where companies such as Doordash, UberEats and GrubHub have experienced a boom in growth. By targeting urban areas and college campuses and integrating Tide Cleaners into a personalized mobile app, Tide might be able to drive some of that digitally savvy market toward a similar business model built around laundry.
The broader rollout of Tide Cleaners, with plans for comprehensive, nationwide operations by next year, shows how Tide parent company P&G is adjusting to an uncertain future for packaged goods marketers. At CES in January, executives from the company, including Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, pinpointed four factors creating a state of "mass disruption" for brands, including accelerated urbanization, resource scarcity and the continued dominance of digital. Tide Cleaners could be read as response to any of these market drivers.
The expansion of Tide Cleaners additionally follows other P&G initiatives around sustainability and consumer convenience. Last month, the company announced a partnership with Loop, an e-commerce platform created by the privately owned recycling firm TerraCycle. P&G plans to bring 11 brands, including Tide, into Loop this year and test the service's delivery system in New York and Paris. P&G is also introducing more reusable, refillable and durable packaging options for the brands that are part of the pilot.
Behind the scenes, the world's largest CPG is experiencing some major changes in the coming months as well. Starting in July, P&G will streamline its management structure into six industry-focused business units, each with its own CEO leading brand communications, product and packaging innovation, consumer insights, cost management and supply chain.
The company last year also said it will create a standalone agency combining talent from rival holding groups Publicis, WPP and Omnicom to cover its fabric care business, which includes Tide. The unit accounted for $525 million in U.S. media spending, or about 20% of P&G's total spending, last year, according to Kantar Media data.