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Thought of the Day: Why Diaper Companies Might Not Want Us to Potty Train our Kids

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Yesterday, I posted an idea about how a diaper company, such as P&G could really improve the way that potty training happens, and thus potentially increase their market share.  But then I immediately started thinking about if they really want to improve potty training, even though they say they do.

The reason I ask this question, is that successful potty training reduces their sales, so while a diaper company would want to have the appearance of helping with potty training, it is in their best financial interest to not have that potty training work.  Although purely conjecture, maybe this is why current systems in diapers, like the Huggies Pull-Ups medal that fades, really is pretty bad, even though on the “surface” it seems like a good idea.

This is a similar problem with cars, and other items where planned obsolescence makes the most financial sense.  On the other hand, a company like Toyota or Honda who focused on quality, took over the market share of Ford and GM, because even though they might not get as many sales in the shorter term, because their cars lasted longer, they clearly have received more sales than Ford and GM because consumers want quality cars that don’t break down.   Thus, maybe P&G would want this idea, because even if they sold less diapers within their market share, if they gained the market share back from Huggies, then the increase in market share could offset the other…  Or maybe it would take a third-party to break the current oligopoly of Huggies and Pampers.

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:59 am

Posted in Economics

One Response to 'Thought of the Day: Why Diaper Companies Might Not Want Us to Potty Train our Kids'

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  1. I don’t think there’s a “might” about it. Historically, going back a hundred years or so (likely longer, but I don’t have firm research for beyond 100 years ago), children potty-trained between 18-30 months. Then about 20 years ago, it started being delayed. Kids have not physiologically changed (other developmental milestones have not also been delayed), so there is clearly something else at work. Or, a few things—–diaper companies tell parents, “they will show signs of readiness”, but it seems many parents take that as, “Johnny will come tell me he no longer wants to pee in his diaper”, which is NOT the case. Potty training is work for everyone, there is little reason (in the mind of the child) to stop using diapers. It’s something that needs to be encouraged, taught, and helped with.


    22 Apr 14 at 12:17 pm

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