Why P&G’s Swiffer Continuous Clean Is A Game Changer

P&G have launched, in the US, a very exciting home cleaning product. The Swiffer Continuous Clean is an air cleaning system, not dissimilar to other home air purifiers. So why is it so exciting? We took a closer look and discovered exactly what it is that makes this so different from other air purifying propositions.


Sell Benefits Not Features

a print ad for philips air purifier and a print ad for the haze air purifier
Examples of air purifier messaging. (Image source: Philips & Haze)


Rather than focusing on the air purification function of the Continuous Clean, P&G have focused on the tangible benefit to consumers. While other air purifiers’ messaging (see above examples) ranges from the vague, the mystifyingly technical, to the downright scary; Continuous Clean bucks the trend. They lead with the rather arresting promise that because it sucks dust, dirt and allergens out of the air, you don’t have to clean your surfaces as often. In fact, only half as much!

To the time-poor homeowner (aren’t we all?) this is an enticing, and possibly irresistible, promise. 


Find The Real Consumer Need

a print ad for panasonic air filter depicting a menacing cloud of smoke next to a young girl and a print ad for blue air filter, featuring a family sat on a couch
Examples of air purifier adverts. (Image source: Panasonic & Blue Air)


The average air purifier ad risks insulting customers by implying their homes aren’t clean enough, or terrifying them with threats of previously unknown pollution that could be killing their loved ones (see above examples).

Conversely, P&G have taken the time to understand their customers, and their needs, and have even gone so far as to talk to them like real human beings. They are homeowners who keep a clean home, but who have real time pressures, so a gadget that helps them to achieve that goal of a clean home, is a very welcome one.

It’s reminiscent of the great Febreze turnaround of 1998. When it launched it was sold as a spray to eliminate bad and embarrassing odours, and it bombed. When it was repositioned as a spray to give a fragrant finishing touch to your cleaning routine and targeted at consumers who already kept a clean home, it was a runaway success.

Our article on Consumers’ Unmet Emotional Needs has some more great examples of how brands have done this successfully.


Make It Look Good To Boot

advert for Swiffer Continuous Clean showing the filter in a home with details of the filter technology
Image source: P&G


As if this wasn’t exciting enough, the Swiffer Continuous Clean is also rather good looking. Compared to its competitors, which could easily be confused for spare parts from a small aircraft, the Continuous Clean would sit well in the average modern home environment.

P&G once again proving that they have made an effort to understand their customer. She’s likely to be a female (still the main household spender) homeowner, preferring a gadget that is discreet, as opposed to a techie enthusiast interested in the latest filtration technology.


Key Takeaways

So, P&G’s Swiffer Continuous Clean seems like a solid proposition. But what lessons can be taken for other brands?

  • Don’t lose sight of the product design and the fact that it needs to be sympathetic to the needs of the person using it. People buy with their eyes as visuals are a short-cut to our emotional decision making.
  • Find an emotional benefit with which to engage the consumer with the features of your product. This will invariably involve spending time with your consumers to really understand their lives, their niggles and frustrations.
  • The name of the product is critical to conveying the proposition, so keep it simple and easy to understand. This is especially true in the case of an innovation which is challenging the way consumers currently think or behave, or where there is an education job to be done.


Talk to us about how to make your innovation a runaway success.