The customer is always….?

Consider a story told by Procter & Gamble Chairman A.G. Lafley about his own learning while working on the Tide brand in the 1980s:

“Every year consumers would rate the Tide powder cardboard package as excellent; excellent to shop; excellent for opening; excellent in use — on, on, on. So, I’m in basements in Tennessee, in Kentucky, doing loads of laundry with women, and after three or four or five of these one-on-one sessions, I’ve realized that not a single woman has opened a box of Tide with her hands.

Why not? How do you open a box of detergent? Why don’t you open the box of detergent with your hands? You’ll break your fingernails! You’re not going to subject those nails to a box of laundry detergent. So, how did they open the box? They had nail files; they had screw drivers; they had all kinds of things sitting down on the shelf over their washing machine, and they thought our package was excellent! And you know what? We thought our package was excellent because they were telling us our package was excellent.”