What happens when a major company aims to refashion itself as a disrupter?
PMI (Philip Morris International) is known for the biggest brand of cigarette in the world, Marlboro. But the company is now shifting its focus dramatically, following its public commitment to create a smoke-free future.
Executing this vision by pioneering research and development of risk reduced products to one day replace cigarettes, PMI is on a mission to break boundaries in innovation.
Part of this journey has seen PMI launch a new global initiative by the name of Mission Winnow and, as PMI’s President of Science & Innovation, Miroslaw Zielinski, explains, its aim is to drive change on a large scale.
“Mission Winnow is about us using the power of science, innovation and technology as leverage to transform our company and, crucially, the lives of our customers.”
From Player to Disrupter
PMI has invested 4.5 billion dollars in research and development as part of its new focus on science, technology and innovation. It has built a resource of over 400 experts in these areas, and in product development.
In effect, it is shifting its brand emphasis from being a major player in tobacco to becoming a disrupter, operating from the inside out to transform an entire industry.
Why Mission Winnow?
“Winnowing is a process to remove something unwanted, such as separating chaff from wheat. We’re discarding old approaches and looking to the future.”
It is a mission for change.
Establishing the Brand
PMI has a long association with Formula 1 and MotoGP, and at one time the Marlboro logo was a familiar sight at sporting events.
However, times change, and PMI is actively initiating a shift in its brand involvement and partnerships.
“For PMI, Mission Winnow Ducati symbolises what it is aiming to achieve. The Ducati Corse team is both inspiring and resilient, representing some 70 years of skill and achievement”
Miroslaw Zielinski, PMI
“With its passionate drive to develop, innovate and create new designs and new technology for better motorbikes, the Ducati Corse team embodies the spirit of Mission Winnow.”
The key here is brand exposure. MotoGP and Formula 1 reach global audiences of around 400 million.
“PMI has a long, well established relationship with both Formula 1 and MotoGP, so it made sense for us to partner Mission Winnow in this way.”
With its shift in priorities, PMI is being very open about its willingness to change, and to learn from its past activities.
“We learn from the past, including mistakes we’ve made, and use this insight to continuously improve. We’re striving to achieve a vision of a smoke-free future.”
To discover more about PMI’s Mission Winnow partnerships, click on the links below: