Kimberly-Clark ‘solidifies’ marketing investment as Huggies embarks on a new strategy

Huggies is launching a two-part strategy to appeal to a wider range of ages and increase penetration, as its owner Kimberly-Clark commits to investing in and growing its brands despite the pandemic.

Huggies is embarking on a new strategy as it owner Kimberly-Clark “solidifies” marketing investment propelled by strong sales during Covid-19.

The premium nappy brand is launching a new product as it looks to increase penetration and cater to children across a wider age range.

Kimberly-Clark has experienced an increase in sales of its products, which span baby wipes, Andrex toilet roll and Huggies, which has pushed the company to “solidify investment” in its brands.

Marketing Director, Kimberly-Clark UK, Matt Stone, explains: “We are maintaining and looking to solidify our investment. We are committed to growing our brands. Ultimately we make premium products so making sure the value perception consumers have is vital.”

Although Huggies and other Kimberly-Clark brands need to be “accessible in terms of price”, Stone notes that marketing is crucial in order to ensure “we are making the best products and ensuring consumers believe in them”.

Part of this is an 18-month extensive study into the baby category, which led to a new two-part strategy that saw Huggies divide products into the training and pre-training phases.

Stone explains: “There’s the training phase, which sees parents looking to move their child through the potty training category, and also the pre-traing phase, which is where you recognise your child is training and you want them to explore the world but you don’t want to begin the, sometimes very difficult, journey of potty training.”

It sees the brand expanding its portfolio to cater to first movements (nine months) to potty trained (three years-plus) with the hope that more families will be able to engage with the brand.

“Parents start looking at their child differently the moment they stand up because as soon as you go from horizontal to vertical and they walk off you have to baby proof house and start to see other developmental milestones,” Stone says.

This led to new product Pull Ups Explorers, which allows kids to explore and move more while still not being fully potty trained.

The new product comes with a multi-millionpound campaign launched today (10 August) that celebrates the milestones children reach on their journey to becoming a big kid.

The ad, Big Kid Game, was shot during lockdown in May with Huggies working with 15 different directors and photographers, each using their own children, to shoot the ad.

In addition to TV, the campaign will launch online and in in-store activations. Huggies is also inviting families to mark each milestone of child development, allowing them to share and celebrate their achievements on social media or with friends and family, by using hashtags and special ‘Big Kid Game’ digital stickers .

Stone notes that the “journey on baby is different to every other FMCG category” because “the end goal is for consumers to leave” but that the new strategy allows the brand to have a more trusted and larger role in parents’ lives.

The Huggies portfolio, he says, as well as it other categories, are growing ahead of the market but in five years: “I see it playing a much bigger role in the category beyond what it is today.”