I Don’t Understand

It’s been super-obvious that direct to consumer subscriptions are a “better business model” and yet, P&G, J&J, and their peers after all this time still don’t have an offering. Why?

I Don’t Understand
Photo by Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

You know, a toilet paper company should realize that when you're using their product you're doing usually nothing but sitting and thinking.

I'm absolutely a creature of habit, and realize not everyone is like me. But in a world where people are proud to wear the same outfit to minimize the "thinking energy" that goes into choosing clothes I find it hard to believe that people re-evaluate their care-products purchases (like toilet paper or toothpaste) on each purchase. That is, except people who, like how I grew up, buy whatever's on sale when they're shopping. I understand that too (all too well).

I don't understand why, after all these years, I'm still going to the store or to Amazon to buy toilet paper.

Why aren't I buying it directly from P&G?

Why doesn't P&G want a direct consumer relationship?

Why doesn't P&G want to be a subscription company, a business model that can increase business valuation?

Why can't I just set and forget a subscription, and never think about buying toilet paper, or toothpaste again?

I know I could buy from Amazon, setup a subscription, etc... but it's not really about me (as much as it pains me to say that). It's about the company. Why don't they want a stickier business that puts them closer to their customers? Plus, I'm never sure what I'm actually buying on Amazon when I buy consumer staples from premium brands. It is a legit reseller, or some grey market thing? It doesn't seem right to me, and I still go to the local non-chain pharmacy to pickup toilet paper, and all those similar types of purchases. The automatic purchases from brands I recognize for products we hardly notice in the backgrounds of our lives.

Thats's why I like that J&J is splitting out their consumer business. I hope they lean into the direct to consumer subscription business. That's the opportunity.