“Cut off at the branch’s roots”

Consumer products giant Procter and Gamble sold its hair products business and its fragrances division, including the struggling German brand Wella.

But some criticism of Wella had been going in the other direction, namely that innovations happen too impatiently, and that Procter and Gamble thinks in the same fast terms as in the drugstore-based consumer products business.

Hairdressers in Germany, however, want to use the products they know over the long term, providing that they have had positive experiences with these products. Too many new things annoy them.

When it acquired Wella, Procter and Gamble bought its way into an unfamiliar field, namely the hair salon business, said a manager with a competitor. Then the company cut off the brand’s roots by closing Wella’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, thereby losing institutional knowledge and the confidence of its vast network of hairdressers.

According to the manager, a former strength of Wella, namely their sales reps’ good relationship with hairdressers, was lost.

Source: Handelsblatt Global Edition. June 10, 2015. “The Great Brand Sell-off.” By Christoph Kapalschiniski.