Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Procter and Gamble

Day after day we see, hear, and use the names of leading businesses in many industries as though they were family members. In a way, I guess they really are. We use their products and services daily and have done so most of our lives … so much so that we often take them for granted and don’t realize how little we really know about them. We drive their cars, eat their food, wear their clothes, fly their airlines, stay in their hotels, rent their cars, watch their movies, and the list goes on and on. What would we do without them? Yet we know so little about them. We hope to change that with this particular feature. We’ll delve into those unknown but interesting facts about many well-known companies.


  • Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Procter & Gamble community consists of over 135,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide.
  • What began as a small, family-operated soap and candle company now provides products and services of superior quality and value to consumers in over 180 countries.
  • William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, immigrants from England and Ireland respectively, might never have even met one another if they hadn’t married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.
  • Since both their industries used similar resources, the “Panic of 1837” caused intense competition between the two and, as a result, it led to discord within the family. Alexander Norris, their father-in-law, decided to call a meeting where he convinced his new sons-in-law to become business partners. As a result of the suggestion, a new enterprise was born in October of 1837: Procter & Gamble.
  • The company prospered during the nineteenth century. In 1859, their head count reached 80 and their sales reached one million dollars.
  • In the 1880s Procter & Gamble began to market a new product, an inexpensive soap that floated in water. The company called the soap IVORY. It seemed to be an instant favorite for consumers and seemed to kick off an aggressive development and marketing program that placed P & G in a leadership role for decades to come.
  • In April 2006 the company’s operations were categorized into three “Business Units” with each unit divided into “Business Segments”:
    • P & G Beauty & Health Unit (Beauty Care segment — Health Care segment)
    • P & G Household Care Unit (Pet health, snacks, and coffee segment — Baby Care and Family Care segment — Fabric Care and Home Care segment)
    • Gillette Unit (Duracell & Braun segment — Blades & Razors segment)
  • While hundreds of millions of consumers world-wide are very familiar with the many P & G brands, those same patrons may not be aware that their favorite brand belongs to the P & G family of growing products.
  • The following 21 brands have reached the level of MORE than a billion dollars in sales annually!
    (Always – Bounty – Braun – Charmin – Crest – Dawn – Downy – Duracell – Folgers – Gillette – Gillette Mach 3 – Head & Shoulders – IAMS – Olay – Oral-B – Pampers – Pantene – Pringles – Tide – Wella – Fab)
  • Procter & Gamble produces close to one hundred other very well-known products you see on your grocery shelves every day. That list would include popular staples such as Bold – Bonus – Bounce – Camay – Cascade – Charmin – Cheer – Clairol – Comet – Cover Girl – Dash – Dreft – Dryel – Febreze – Fixodent – Gaub – Gleem – Ivory – Joy – Loving Care – Luvs – Max Factor – Metamucil – Mirage – Miss Clairol – Mr. Clean – New Wave – Nice’n Easy – Noxema – NyQuil – DayQuil – Old Spice – Pepto-Bismol – Prilosec OC – Puffs – Safeguard – Scope – Secret – Sure – Swiffer – Tampex – Tempo – Thermacare – Vicks – Vidal Sassoon – Wash & Go – Whisper and Yes to name a few.

Their ability to meet the needs of today’s consumer world wide seems to be as strong as ever. God Bless Fathers-in-Law.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

One thought on “Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – Procter and Gamble

  1. Is there ever a request for “The P&G Girls” who traveled throughout the United States and Canada interviewing housewives for market research. It was during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. I worked from 1953-56 and it was the most fascinating job that a young woman could have.
    I would imagine that many of us are ‘dying out’ and I think is fabulous history for Procter and Gamble.
    We were the first to use computer cards, which we filled out after our interview.
    Many of us were lucky enough to live at “Montgomery House” while training.

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