In 2004, the “little company that could,” San Francisco-based Method, took a lot of water out of laundry detergent to create ultra concentrates---and started a revolution in the category in the process.

The concept was a winner all the way around. It required less packaging, was cheaper to ship (less weight), and the more concentrated detergent went further for the consumer. Then every laundry detergent jumped on board as a result.

In 2010, Method Laundry Detergent with Smartclean Technology™ debuts in packaging as unique as its new patent-pending formula, eight times more concentrated than conventional detergents and 95% plant-based. One sleek 20-ounce package will do 50 loads of laundry.

The pump-top package is so light, it can even be dispensed with one hand. There are two scented varieties and one dubbed Free + Clear (unscented). The packages are color-coded by variety and convey only the most important selling points on the front: 4 pumps = 1 load. 50 loads. Powered by plant-based smartclean technology™.

According to Method, the packaging for its new detergent requires less energy to produce and creates less waste. The “new bottle uses over 36% less plastic compared to traditional 2x detergents and 50% of that comes from recycled plastics.” The website states,  “This is the world's first Cradle to CradleCM certified laundry detergent, thanks to its comprehensive green design.”

Now this is the way to create marketplace buzz! When innovative product concepts are paired with packaging that’s just as innovative, consumers sit up and take notice. But am I plugging the product? No. As a design consultant, I’m bullish on all ground-breaking consumer products and packaging.

Question is: Will consumers ditch their old laundry detergent jugs and pick up the new pump tops? My guess is that, as usual, the early adopters and the environmentally conscious will right off the bat. Other consumers will make use of the manufacturer’s coupon, save $2.00 and give it a try. The whole concept is new, so why not?

For the rest of the consuming public, it will likely come down to WOM. Word of mouth from family and friends has the power to sway them to try the product. If they’re enthused by its ease of use and its efficacy, that is. That’s what I call the second moment of truth. If the brand doesn’t deliver on its promise, it’s over for a new product. Finished. Kaput. But knowing Method’s track record, I’m betting on this to be a winner.

• Have you tried Method cleaning products in the past?
• Do this new laundry detergent and its new packaging delivery system excite you about trying the product?
• Do you think consumers will ditch their jugs and opt for even more concentrated detergents like this in the future?

I’d love to hear from you.

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A New Method of Laundry: Concentrating on Packaging

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Ted Mininni is president and creative director of Design Force, a leading brand-design consultancy.

LinkedIn: Ted Mininni