ZEVO

Eliminate Bugs without Harsh Chemicals!

Brand Story | Reading time: 4 minutes

The Zevo team all grouped together in their offices.

Plenty of traditional insecticide sprays on the market kill flying and crawling insects we don’t want around the house. The problem is, people don’t feel great about spraying them inside their home, particularly around kids and pets for fear of chemical residues and their potential effects.  Moreover, bug-blasting sprays typically require both clearing a room before use, and staying out until the spray dries – not very user-friendly or convenient.

With Zevo, P&G Ventures aims to reinvent people’s experience with home pest control.

It started with P&G Ventures acquiring a small plug-in device from a startup company in the Boston area.  The trap lures flying bugs with light and captures them in a replaceable cartridge.  P&G Ventures partnered with entomologists [bug experts] at the University of Cincinnati to test and improve the trap design.  They made a little and sold them online and at some Home Depot stores to test and refine the proposition.

One of the most important findings was the expressed need for a complementary product to kill bugs on the spot.  With over 90% of people concerned about having bugs in their home, it’s no wonder bug killer sprays make up over half of the U.S. home insecticide market.   They set out to partner with experts in the field and find technologies that could deliver effective spray formulas without the use of traditional pesticide ingredients.

Two people with lab gear are taking notes and looking at a chart.
P&G Ventures and Envance conducted extensive lab tests and user research with consumers to better understand the problem.]

P&G Ventures partnered with Envance Technologies, a North Carolina company with top know-how and capability in essential oil based insecticide formulations. Their scientists had studied certain substances like Lemongrass Oil and Geraniol, and found they can affect nerve receptors specific to bugs’ unique biology.  This was a really smart approach to home pest control because it created a solution that is deadly to bugs, yet safe for use around people and pets when used as directed. The technology was a perfect fit for the Zevo proposition.

So, P&G Ventures struck up a custom arrangement with Envance to bring Zevo Sprays, with BioSelective TechnologyTM, to market.   Unlike the insect trap inventors who were looking to sell the trap outright, Envance wanted to stay involved in the business.  A joint development and licensing agreement was the right deal in this case.   This arrangement has enabled continued access to Envance’s development capabilities to fuel brand growth into the future.

In the end, instead of just going to a venture capital firm, getting seed money, and having to figure out how to do the marketing, supply chain, and R&D on their own—both sets of Zevo entrepreneurs, with very different needs, decided to go a different route with P&G Ventures.

Through partnership with Envance, P&G Ventures had Zevo Sprays in limited distribution at Home Depot and online at zevoinsect.com in less than 12 months.  Creating the brand and messaging, and leveraging our packaging and manufacturing strength were important assets that P&G Ventures brought to the table in this case.  For example, they used the same contract manufacturer who supplies the Febreze business.  This supplier’s expertise helped P&G Ventures quickly move through qualification and into production.  While Zevo’s aerosol package stands out among the current shelf set, they wanted an option that would look even more disruptive.  Most spray products in the category have very aggressive package visuals [picture dark colored cans with lightning bolts and dead bugs].  That needed to change.  So for our Ant, Roach and Fly Spray, they used a plastic bottle so the consumer can see the clear product inside.

In the end, instead of just going to a venture capital firm, getting seed money, and having to figure out how to do the marketing, supply chain, and R&D on their own—both sets of Zevo entrepreneurs, with very different needs, decided to go a different route with P&G Ventures.

They needed capabilities they didn’t have, like consumer insights, brand building, manufacturing scale, sales and distribution networks, product development, regulatory and legal know how. P&G Ventures was privileged to provide it, and kickoff the process of trying to create another iconic brand.   Zevo is growing quickly behind a strong consumer proposition fueled by new technology and smart partnership.

 

Zevo's line of products
P&G Ventures partnered with entrepreneurs in custom ways to create Zevo, a brand of home pest control products that kill bugs without using harsh chemicals.