The days of hiding cleaning wipes are over?

If you are as perplexed as I am, read on. I thought product development was all about solving consumers’ problems. Not giving consumers a solution to a problem that never existed.

Yesterday, Clorox announced it launched a new line of cleaning wipes in eight designs –Clorox Disinfecting Wipes new Décor canisters. My response…. big freaking deal. I was never worried about placing my cleaning products in the cabinet, and honestly I don’t want to keep cleaning wipes out on the counter in the kitchen, bathroom or even the laundry room. In fact, I have a hard time keeping clutter off the counters.clorox_wipe_packaging2_v2

Unless Clorox knows something I don’t, I’m not really sure why they decided to launch wipes in decorative packaging. Especially in light of the economy and the fact people are looking for more value in products now than in the past 20 years. According to the news release, the suggested retail price is $5.99; however, I couldn’t find how many wipes are in each canister. Currently, Clorox sells 75 wipes per canister for $5.99 with their traditional wipes line. clorox_wipe_packaging_v21

Perhaps there is a market for moms that pack wipes in their purses or diaper bags or send kids to school with wipes for their lockers; however, Clorox’s marketing focus is using the products in the home. The company even hired Kelly Edwards – from HGTV’s Design on a Dime – to promote the new product line.

Also, as part of the product launch, Clorox is hosting a “Redesign Clean” contest “where design enthusiasts can try their hand at inspiring a future round of canister designs.” The prize: “Grand prize for the winning design includes: a trip to New York, an opportunity to shadow Macy’s creative team, and a $1,000 shopping spree at Macy’s. The winning design may also inspire future canister designs. Two runners-up will receive a HP TouchSmart computer.”

Macy’s? Computers? How does this tie into home design or cleaning? Why not have Kelly Edwards redesign a room in the winner’s home?

Clorox is certainly a great brand – I have their wipes under my counter – and they have already made a very big impact in the green cleaning category in less than a year. But decorative cleaning canisters… I expect more from the Clorox brand.

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