I recently had occasion to contact the consumer products office at the Clorox Company. Everyone knows that Clorox makes bleach, but I did not realize that their portfolio extended to PineSol, Tilex, Liquid Plumr, Glad, 409, SOS and Kingsford Charcoal.

If you take a look at that list, you would be hard pressed to find a more stodgy set of products. I think all of them were around in my childhood and are pretty much the same today: the bag of charcoal is the one I remember from campfires as a kid and I think that Clorox is the same formula grandma dumped into the manual washing machine.

So I was surprised to learn that the Clorox Company spends 2% of its annual sales (about $100 million/year) on research and development. It may look like the same product on the outside, but the cleaning effectiveness has actually been enhanced, the bacteria-fighting formulas updated and modifications made to ensure that the products remain market leaders.

Clorox has been #1 in providing professional cleaning and sanitizing products since 1913, but they don’t rest on their laurels. Take a lesson from them and continually invest in improvement to keep yourself fresh.

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