Tide Detergent’s President of Marketing Defines the Company’s Typical Customer.
BY SETH REISS
The typical Tide customer is a woman between the ages of 18 and 64. She’s educated, but not too educated. She has disposable income, but not too much disposable income. She likes fun, but definitely knows the difference between what’s fun and what’s not fun. For example, she’d rather watch a movie than watch her house burn down. She loves her children, but she’s not obsessed with them to the point where she wants to murder them. I would say she’s more inclined to pick up her children from soccer practice rather than, say, drive her car onto the field and run them over during soccer practice.
Also, a Tide customer doesn’t necessarily have to be between the ages I stated above and could be between other ages, like between 18 and 28, or 36 and 37, or between the age when she starts washing clothes and the age she dies.
Does the typical Tide customer eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner? The answer is “yes,” BUT—and this is a big but—she’s not this breakfast, lunch, and dinner freak. In the morning, you won’t find a Tide customer going berserk and running around her neighborhood in her nightgown, screaming, “I want my breakfast!” while blood drips from her ears, nose, and eyeballs. But that doesn’t mean Tide customers are inactive. They are very active, but not so active that they’d ever legally change their name to “Active.” Our research indicates that not a single Tide user is going to be named “Active Anderson” or “Jane the Active” or has ever said, “Hi, my name is Jane. Well, it used to be. It’s Active now.”
Is a Tide user aspirational? Of course she is! But not too aspirational. She would prefer to visit Mt. Rushmore than chisel her own face on it, watch a documentary about a concentration camp rather than manage a concentration camp, and pet a giraffe rather than go through all the effort of getting up there to chop its head off.
You know what I mean?
So just to recap: The customers we need to be going after are females between clothes-washing age and death who don’t enjoy watching their houses burn down.
Now, I’ll tell you who a Tide customer isn’t. She isn’t the type of person who likes performing cardiothoracic surgery when she’s had no medical training whatsoever. She isn’t the type of person who enjoys getting whipped around by an F-5 tornado, especially if there are tires and tractors in the vortex along with her. She isn’t the type of person who likes having to un-knot big balls of wires and cords. She isn’t the type of person who enjoys it when her clothes are still dirty after going through a wash cycle. And our research suggests she wouldn’t be happy if an 18-foot anaconda were wrapped around her body. In fact, when we ask Tide customers, “Would you be happy if an 18-foot anaconda were wrapped around your body?” they say “no.”
But here’s what they do like. Tide customers like sitting down when they are tired; they like being able to use telephones, especially when they want to make a telephone call; they like when their cancer goes into remission and never comes back; they like when clothes are clean after going through a wash cycle; and they like Paul Simon, unless they don’t.
I REPEAT: TIDE CUSTOMERS LIKE PAUL SIMON UNLESS THEY DON’T. KEEP THAT IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE MARKETING TIDE.
And real fast: Some Tide customers enjoy couscous-based meals.
Also, men use Tide.
SUGGESTED READSWelcome to Our Branding House
by Frank Ferri (6/29/2009)
Courageous Blast: The Legacy Of America’s Most Radical Gum
by Jack Pendarvis (6/22/2005)
Truly Groundbreaking Ideas In Direct Mail
by Dan Kennedy (5/2/2006)
RECENTLYEight Excuses I Have Told My Son to Use for His Failure to Hand in English Homework, Excuses I Have Learned are Acceptable During a Thirty-Year Career in Journalism, Books, and Film
by Nick Hornby (2/5/2016)
Fear, Inc: Part Two: Alarmed and Dangerous
by Susan Schorn (2/5/2016)
Women Who Should Be Pretty Pissed Off: Frankenstein’s Stepsister
by Amy Watkin (2/5/2016)