Gone were the days when washing of clothes was considered a burden not only to the person cleaning, but also to the environment; this is mainly because of the chemicals in some of these laundry detergents tend to break down the skin’s natural barrier and the water after being rinsed on is already considered useless. Lucky for all of us, Victoria Natural Herbal Laundry Powder is here.
Its self-proclaimed “Super Cleaning Power” is considered to be gentle and safe. There are four characteristics of Victoria that helped it win international awards for product excellence. First, it is 100% natural: there are no synthetic chemicals in the product, no skin irritants that will be left in clothes after washing, no need for fabric softeners and bleaching, and amazingly the used laundry water may be used for plants.
Second, it is made out of 100% active ingredients: soap made from – Coconut oil, Alkali and herbal essences; it is also economical since you may use 50% less powder than before for your laundry. Third, it is 100% biodegradable: it is coconut oil based, therefore not harmful to nature and definitely a non-pollutant. And fourth, it is purely herbal: plant essences give clothes a fresh scent even without sun drying.
Victoria Natural Herbal Laundry Powder have won awards from all over the world namely: Grandprix-Best Foreign Invention in Bulgaria for the 5th East-West Euro Intellect Exhibition of Invention, Silver Gild Medal Award in Switzerland for the 24e Salon International and Invention, Gold Medal with Mention in Morocco for the World Exhibit for Invention and Innovation, and Special Award of Recognition in Morocco for the 2nd Morocco World Exhibition of Invention Under the Domain of Water and Environment. This product is proudly invented and made in the Philippines.
It is distributed by the Federated Distributor Inc and manufactured by Daila Herbal Community Enterprises Inc. today. Maria Aleli Pansacola was the inventor of this product way back in the year 1988, what started out as a backyard testing project has evolved to a more marketable product now found in groceries around the vicinity (Shoemart, Shopwise, Landmark, Makati Supermarket, Cash and Carry, Trinoma), it is also made available in bar or powder form. The product is gaining consumers and also starting to be known worldwide.
However, aside from the world wide recognition and its rising consumer base, what is most important is the kind of help this brand has offered the poor communities in Laguna. Poor farmers from Laguna are the ones who are in charge of picking coconuts and growing crops necessary for the essential oils in Victoria.
Aleli B. Pansacola and Boy Fajardo were the ones who had a vision to come up with a globally biodegradable laundry soap that will be environment friendly at the same time create an industry in the Philippines that would make use of Victoria’s major raw material which is coconut oil.
According to various sources, coconut oil based soap is the best soap in the world. Victoria found a way to harness the full potential of our coconut industry. The following are the corporation’s advocacy:
- Give livelihood to the communities by buying raw materials that are needed in the manufacturing of the soap such as coco oil and essential oils that are planted by the cooperatives in the community.
- To produce an internationally bio degradable soap that would be of the best quality.
- Through one of its marketing scheme this soap is supposed to be distributed for the community.
III. Product/Product Line Victoria soap is the only biodegradable laundry soap in the world. It is bio degradable as compared to other detergents that has high hard alkyl benzene, sodium Silicate and Carbon compound derivative that are not biodegradable and insoluble to water. This pollutant congests our rivers and lakes that prevent the growth of plankton that are food for marine life. Victoria was primarily envisioned to come up with a clean environment, because it is a pure herbal soap and since its biodegradable it is not harmful to the environment.
Aside from Victoria Herbal Soap being environment friendly and biodegradable it also could be used as an insecticide to neutralize insects and cockroaches because of Citronella essential oil in its formulation. Since it is all natural and contains no fillers and additive, you do not need to add fabric softener in your laundry, it does not have precipitate of silicate and carbonate because of its biodegradable property. It was observed that it can also neutralize prickly heat, fungus, and rashes if used as bath soap. It neutralized body odour because of its natural essential oil present in its formulation.
It’s very natural that you can use it to water the plants after. The product is being made in Baryo Mohon Pila Laguna, the company Daila community herbal enterprise has a social commitment and an advocacy for the poor communities, especially the farmers residing there. Daila Herbal Products Enterprise produces the product. The soap is put in a plastic bag that is placed in a box like the other normal detergents available in the market; this is to ensure the product’s quality. Victoria Laundry Soap is available in powder form, sachets and bars.
Victoria Detergent is sold and promoted with the use of distributors, feature articles, and through participation in different bazaars. Victoria communicates to the public that it is an environment friendly laundry soap.
We were able to interview Ma. Victoria T. Zapata, a working mother in her late 40’s. She is currently working as a treasurer for Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines. Victoria has been using Victoria Laundry Powder for only a month now, she shared that she converted to Victoria from her old brand because she wanted to try something new.
Her Sunday routine was to go to the grocery and stock up for the days to come, it was also during this time when she saw Victoria Detergent soap on the stall. What attracted her to it first was the product’s packaging; the packaging specifically states that it is natural and herbal. Next is the promise that the brand makes that the used laundry water can be used for watering the plants; she said that this is proof that it is safe and not harmful to her sensitive skin, since she normally has allergic reactions to other ordinary laundry powder.
During the interview, Ms. Victoria was kind enough to let us witness her experience in washing with Victoria Laundry Powder. In her own words, she said that washing with Victoria detergent is very sudsy, what she likes about it is the bubbles, since more bubbles, according to her usually translates to cleaner clothes. The next consumer that we were able to interview was Lera C. Penero, she is a housewife with no children, and is in her early 40’s. According to Lera, she has been using Victoria Detergent soap for years now.
The product was recommended to her by her cousin, after trying it she didn’t go back to her former detergent brands anymore. Lera repeatedly told us that it feels good to do something helpful for the environment.
For our beneficiaries, we contacted the company’s factory in Laguna, and we were able to interview Sheila Rosario through the phone. Sheila is one of the workers who pick coconuts and grow the crops necessary for the ingredients of Victoria. From our conversation with her, we found out that Ms.
Sheila has 2 children and that her husband is not able to help her anymore. However, through the jobs that she has through picking coconuts, growing crops and packaging Victoria, is able to help her pay for her daily expenses like food for her children and herself. It is also evident that she enjoys working more in their factory among her other jobs because she says her boss and other superiors are nice to the people, and from this we could conclude that she has a healthy working environment and that her salary is enough to get her through her daily expenses.
Overall Summary of Program
All in all, the program is successful just because of the positive returns/profit gained by the company and also by the advocacy group behind it. However, this may still drastically improve if Victoria will make use of communications more; this is an opportunity that the company hasn’t made use of to the fullest. Although Victoria Detergent Soap has already gained awards from other countries like Bulgaria, Switzerland and Morocco, it is still yet to gain more popularity here in the Philippines.
The company gains its consumer base more through testaments and word of mouth than through advertisements aired on television and radio or printed on paper. Like what was stressed above, the weakest point in their marketing mix is their use of communication media. The product already has everything: affordable price, world recognition, helps the environment and most of all it’s for a good cause: helping the impoverished communities in Laguna.
What they need to do now is to communicate all of these good qualities to their potential market. One suggestion is to have their own website at the least, in this way they can post there the different awards Victoria Detergent Soap was able to get, the latest promotions, brand updates, personal experiences of the customers in relation to using the soap, and most importantly the website should contain the benefits one can obtain and how much is given back to the communities in Laguna for each Victoria Detergent Soap a customer buys.
According to the customers Victoria Detergent’s packaging is attractive enough with its unique and eye catching colours, it is fine as it is. However, we saw how one of the customers we interviewed had some difficulty in pouring the desired amount for the detergent in the water. Thus we feel that the way Victoria packages their powdered soap may be improved by putting a measuring container/cup put inside the box. Next we noticed is that the product doesn’t indicate about the Laguna community and farmers that they are helping in their packaging. We feel that the image of the product will be heightened if they would put this information at the back of the box/sachet/bar.
First, we propose for Victoria to have their very own slogan so that their product and its message will be able to communicate more to the market; we were aiming for something short and sweet and direct to the point. The slogan we suggest is “Be clean, be green. ”; this is a very appropriate slogan for Victoria since it is after all a laundry soap and at the same time it is also earth friendly.
Next step is to be able to be more visible in the public’s eye. Victoria is now sold in different supermarkets and groceries, however they still lack exposure since some of the people we have talked to doesn’t know of the product yet. We propose for Victoria to have more exposure through advertisements in television, radio, newspapers if their budget permits them. At the least they should have posters to be printed and posted onto the different locations to gain publicity.
Also they should be able to develop a website, as what was stated earlier, it will help Victoria’s consumer base expand and would also aid into making more people aware of Victoria and the good that it can do for themselves, the environment and the community in Baryo Mohon Pila, Laguna. Upon gaining exposure, it will be easier for Victoria to entice advocates and benefactors into their advocacy. We have thought of a program package that would help the poor community in Baryo Mohon more. The program will be entitled “Stick Together”. What is this all about?
For every Victoria products (the box of granules, sachets and bar of soap) a sticker will be put on it pertaining to the sub-programs that the consumer would like to support. This may be for the out of school youth in Laguna, for the unemployed people in their community or for the funding for the new materials needed by the farmers working there. Since most of the farmers that are employed by Victoria have children that aren’t able to go to school, we thought of the sub program entitled: “One-ting Education”. For every single Victoria product that you buy 40% will go to the child scholars in Laguna that are supported by Victoria.
Another under the “Stick Together” program is “One-ting Work” this is for the employment for the unemployed workers in the Laguna community, Victoria will ensure that the newly employed workers will also be educated about farming and the importance of incorporating environment-friendly methods in their everyday lives, 30% of the customer’s purchase of Victoria products with the corresponding sticker will go to this. And last but not the least is “One-ting Materials” program. This is for the much needed new supplies by Victoria’s current farm workers in Laguna.
New technology is needed for them to be more productive and efficient. 40% of the customer’s purchase will be contributed to this program. It is entirely in the hands of the consumer which of the sub programs he/she would like to support, all they have to do is choose the Victoria product with the corresponding sticker. The essence of this program is the importance of “sticking together” and helping each other in surpassing the hardships. It is pleasing to know that participants of this program are helping the poor community in Laguna and is at the same time saving the earth.