Swiffer Continuous Clean SystemA collaborative effort brings an innovative consumer product to market
The Swiffer Continuous Clean System quietly removes dirt, dust and dander from the air, reducing the need for dusting. Many people are concerned about air quality in the home, but not everyone needs an expensive purifier, so the Continuous Clean meets an unmet demand. But the real story behind its development is about relationships.
The Consumer Product Design Challenge
P&G had developed the concept. But because it didn’t fit neatly in the Swiffer floor care product line, P&G opted to partner with longtime collaborator Nottingham Spirk to incubate the product. Together, we’ve brought many products to market, including the popular Swiffer Sweep + Vac. We licensed P&G’s patented technology and the Swiffer trademark, and started planning to take the idea the last mile, beginning with customer insights and market positioning research.
Collaboration Was the Key to Commercialization
Separately, NS had been looking for an opportunity to work with New Jersey-based World and Main, which develops, markets and distributes products to leading retailers. World and Main’s commercialization experience and distribution channels made it the perfect addition to the team.
“Our companies really complemented each other very well, ” says Barry Jacobs, Senior Director of Home and Environment at World and Main. NS handled insights and most of the design and engineering, while World and Main focused on commercialization, marketing and distribution. “NS has a fantastic attitude and ability to turn things around quickly. That’s critical for us. We’re pretty lean here, and can’t spend a lot of time on long-term plans.”
The two companies worked together on a challenge revealed in focus groups: communicating what the Swiffer Continuous Clean does without comparing it to air purifiers, which are in a different product category. With testing, NS determined that the phrase “dust management system” resonated, especially combined with the trusted Swiffer name and the value proposition of keeping home surfaces clean twice as long.
Users of other Swiffer products will recognize the filters for the Continuous Clean, which use the same patented triple-layer design to trap dust, dirt and pet dander. The nearly silent fan draws air through the filters, which are fitted with a computer chip on a tab that locks into the base. The chip works with small LED lights to remind the customer how many weeks the filter has been in use. The Continuous Clean System will work only with these filters, which are much less expensive than the HEPA filters of air purifiers. The whole system stands just under two feet tall, and its lamp-like design blends easily into most rooms.
The Product Launch
The product was launched on Amazon, and customer reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. “If you love the Swiffer brand this does not disappoint.” “I put this on the nightstand next to my bed and it’s so quiet I basically don’t even hear it when I’m sleeping.” “For the money, it seems so far like this is the best deal going for allergy or asthma folks.” “I bought this because the house I rent gets extremely dusty very quickly, repeatedly, and I wanted to see if this helped with that problem any. It does! A lot! More than I even thought possible!”
NS is testing additional features for future models, World and Main is working with major retailers on versions for their stores, possibly in a range of colors.