Herbal Essences

Let’s grow old together

2 min read

P&G + Ziba

Designing Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) should be pretty straightforward, but in some ways it’s the most challenging category of all. CPG means a bar of soap, a roll of paper towels, or a box of diapers, but it’s also the way we take care of our families, our homes, and ourselves.

Nothing could be more intimate.

So when Procter & Gamble first connected with Ziba in 1994, looking for a new way to dispense Downy fabric softener, we knew the challenge was bigger than it first appeared.

That design—a plastic ball that you fill with softener and toss in the wash—earned P&G some serious market share, and kicked off a 25 year relationship that’s transformed us both.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Ziba grew up with P&G, starting with fabric care and paper goods, then moving on to feminine products, household cleaners, beauty and hair care, and even pharmaceuticals and coffee. Along the way, we grew our capabilities, built relationships within P&G, and made their challenges our own.

By 1999, we’d graduated from individual products to forecasting entire categories, and by 2001, Ziba was P&G’s agency of record and strategic design partner. A Ziba-designed packaging and brand strategy revitalized the Herbal Essence brand. The Febreeze Dual plug-in created a new product category. At one point, P&G made up a quarter of all the work we were doing.

For P&G, the evolution was just as dramatic. They acquired and developed new brands, and built their own design capabilities in house, often in collaboration with trusted Ziba partners. By 2010, we’d both grown to the point where Ziba became a trusted advisor rather than a source of new designs. “Can you have Ziba come in and look at this?” and “Can we set up an innovation workshop?” were common refrains, even among P&G’s most seasoned design teams.

Today, there are designers working at Ziba (and P&G) who weren’t even born when we first collaborated on that little Downy ball. But they all know the history, and more importantly, they know that P&G and Ziba will always be able to rely on each other for creative insight and a fresh eye. That’s what happens when you evolve together.

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