At the start of 2020, no one could have predicted that certain categories of business were going to suddenly boom: grocery delivery, video communications, and cleaning products, among them. The lucky businesses in these categories weren’t just spared the economic hit of the pandemic, they have grown their business when consumers needed it most.
Microban 24 is one of them. The P&G sanitizing product is on track to hit $200 million in sales this year, more than double initial projections, after its launch in February, just weeks ahead of pandemic lockdowns that sparked consumer demand for cleaning products.
It hasn’t been an easy year. “We’re still working on capacity and supply chain,” says Lindsey Felder, R&D director for Microban 24, who first spoke with us about such issues in May. “We seem to hit one ceiling and then we find the next one and we have to bust through that.” Near the top of the list: Sourcing enough triggers for the spray bottles that contain Microban 24, a search that has required going beyond P&G’s usual host of suppliers and enlisting the help of P&G buyers to collaborate with partners in new ways.
Finding creative solutions has been central to the Microban 24 team’s success. Team roles became fluid, for one. Brand managers jumped in to support logistics issues, while technical teams worked on the product’s messaging.
“The team has really exhibited a mentality of business first, function second, or acting in a kind of a functionless capacity,” says Rohan Patel, brand director for Microban 24.
Still, it would have been easy for the business to go off the rails from the onslaught of demand, but Felder says that good preparation and the right culture of flexibility and empowerment laid a stable foundation underneath the chaos.
“You can’t choose the time of a crisis to decide that’s the time to build culture,” says Felder.
Here’s a look back at our May conversation with Felder, below.