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The origin of Kleenex dates back to 1920s, where Kimberly-Clark paper manufacturer, was expanding its venture’s and had developed creped wadding for its first ever consumer product, kotex, during this time the female hygiene pad had not been highly accepted in the market place so the company had to come up with ways to use up its large supply of creped wadding. Changing its components and using different pulp the researchers were able to make a softer crepe and from this the idea of Kleenex facial was hatched. Initially Kleenex was envisioned as a disposable cleaning tissue no one had a clear idea of what it would be cleaning. The team that had developed it was similar to that of the kotex and they were thinking wide on how to market the new cleaning tissue. They had in mind the woman’s needs with emphasis on the increasing use of cosmetics by the women; they designed it with the effort to replace the unsightly cold cream towel that was hung in the ladies washrooms in those years. This idea was more hygienic and also prevented communicable skin diseases.
In 1924 the tissue was given the trade mark Kleenex on its launch and it was labeled as a cold cream or make up remover, a disposable substitute for face towels. The name Kleenex is got from a combination of the word cleaning replacing the letter c with capital k and the ex ending was from kotex. In 1925, they launched their first ad and it appeared in the ladies journal as the new secret of keeping a pretty face used by movie stars. From their ads were in all major women magazines of that time. By 1927, the ads stared incorporating movie stars and they were shown on screens and stage performances and they emphasized on it being the latest beauty secret. Around this time Kimberly-Clarks head researcher also started using the tissue in place of a handkerchief to help deal with his hay fever symptoms. He brought the simple genius idea that they should market Kleenex tissues for sneezing and other nose needs rather than cold cream to the head of advertising. The concept stuck and in 1930, the idea of Kleenex tissue as a handkerchief substitute was launched and due to these sales of Kleenex as a handkerchief substitute made sales double within this first year. In this strategy they made the product Kleenex not only be used by women but now incorporated men into the picture and some sales to children. The key to a good reliable global market is adequate marketing. Marketing can be defined as the use of name, sign, symbol or design or a combination of all of them with the intention to identify a product from one seller to another seller who is different. In short, marketing is seen to see you as the only one that provides a solution to a problem. The Kleenex product has been marketed widely over different countries hence yielding different good results (Heinrich, 2004).
The group has also made consumer packaged goods such that the goods become super brand. The brand identity becomes too strong such that it ended up being the reference for tissue paper. This prompted the company to use Kleenex brand to refer to its product. The company has also improved the products such that they have ventured into designs such as the fruity design of the product. This is how most consumer products are categorized into to consumer convenience, these product categories, convenience goods tend to most competitive with consumers often seeing little difference between competing brands. Consequently pricing is often the pricing is often considered as the key marketing decisions for convenience goods. Such pricing is almost always relatively low with markets obtaining extremely small margins on each product sold. Some marketers feel the only way to effectively compete in the convenience market is to be the low price leader. The notion that the consumer is using a high quality product priced at a convenient rate is what is making the Kleenex brand a good competitive brand in the global market (Peng, 2009).
The company has also conducted a global market research to ascertain the commodities that the international market requires and this has facilitated the innovation of new products to cater for this demands. The need for face towels that was more hygienic to use in the 90’ lead to the use of Kleenex to cater for those who were hygienic to avoid diseases. This later become used for supplementing handkerchiefs and the innovative market research have now developed to cater for hygienic pad for the women and pad that are disposable for kids. Their material has also been used as a surgical pad for those simple injuries and simple cleaning activities. The research into market trends has also enabled the company to know how to design their products so as to avoid producing goods that are seasonal. Kleenex has been searching for ways of building revenue during the summer, which is a slower selling season for tissue products compared to winter. To grow sales during this slower time, Kleenex is using packaging as a way to spark interest. The company is tapping on the interest of consumers to display tissue dispensers in the living space as a decorative item. To address this trend makers of Kleenex introduced colorful shaped boxes that have attracted customer attention and they have seen the product to be attractive and will pay more to obtain it. This strategy has helped the company to make sales and attract foreign market and avoid being seasonal. The packaging of the tissue also played a part in the globalization of the products as it was the first brand to introduce boxes into its packaging with the introduction of performed cartons, upright cartons, pocket tissues, colored tissues, printed tissues, paper towels, man size tissues eyeglass tissues, junior tissues.
Customer’s insight is also a key strategy in ensuring a truly global product. When the product changed its identity from being a tissue paper to a hand kerchief it made its customers aware of the change. They involve the customers in evaluating the new product and trough adequate marketing of the product the company is able to make their product better. The Kleenex product have been varied and reinvented over the last eight decades continually, such variations inject new life into the brand and ensure that it has continuity and this comes with no cost of extending it into inappropriate categories as a result Kleenex is solely associated with tissues. Diversity also helps in the globalization of the product due to the needs of various people. The production of different types of commodities to favor particular groups of people is what has made the brand popular. The product has increased its following and some people have become loyal to the brand to the extent that the only purchase goods from a particular manufacturer. This takes years to perfect and use to benefit the company since it must under go years of maintaining high standards of production and the quality must be high. The confidence of the customer must be won to acquire such a following.
The use of popular events such as the supper bowl and even coming up with a key phase Kleenex moment to market the product made it appealing to the football fan, a Kleenex moment was defined as a sad or tear drawing moment such as a very happy event. This was seen as linking the brand to emotion rather than product attributes, as a result, Kleenex has out paced even private label gains in this category. The use of emotions associated with a particular product has been a huge success when used as a selling mechanism since man is an emotional being he will tend to buy a product according to what he fills at that particular time. The strategy has worked for Kleenex because the company has been able to make sales in some of its product that are associated mood. They have co sponsored events that draw big clouds and this masses have been used as advertising tools selling the products in the events, making sure there is enough advertisement in form of free gifts and souvenirs in the event. Running commercial is also a strategy as part of advertising (Yip, 1995).
Using a two tier marketing plan in place is also a good marketing strategy that Kimberly-Clark Corporation has used to raise market for its products, the use of two top of the line bath tissues brands from previous mergers come up with the product Kleenex cottonelle bathroom tissue. The company also had promised to produce a premium line extension, Kleenex cottonelle ultra soft, which they claimed would be the softest bath tissue available. The ability to sell the image to customers is vey idea for any consumer good. The company has used its reputation to brand its commodities and this has been fruitful the name Kleenex is used and the various customers associate it with softness. The character its products portray ride on the notion that they are superior.
Beating their competitors is a strategy that Kleenex has used to ensure global market maximization in that the company has ensured that Kleenex becomes a brand recognized by families in more than a hundred and fifty different countries. The development and research into quality materials has been ensured to guarantee the customer base is well supplied with the products they want at no extra cost. The company has become a major retailer in cosmetics around the world and is a key player in the cellulose business with an assortment of products. The use of environmental friendly means to obtain raw material is a way of reducing destruction of rainforests due to logging. Kleenex signed a deal that prohibits it from using cellulose that have been certified by the forest stewardship council and has made it focus more on recycled fiber. The material also comes from ecologically sustainable forest operations. This fact that the paper from this product from environmentally safe sources makes people prefer the product more as due to the recent changes of weather parterres the world is focusing more on environmentally safe options to save the planet from destruction. Its products due to this feature also don’t dear fines from the governments of other countries that give fines to commodities that are environmental friendly. Less taxes also means lower pricing so giving it the competitive edge over other unsafe products (Cheverton, 2004).
From the paper it can be seen from the paper that different strategies have been used by Kleenex Company to ensure it acquires a global market for its products and also ensuring that this market is maintained and expanded to provide a constant demand pool. The company has undergone many innovative changes to now incorporating the best research to ensure that newer better products are provided to this demand pool. The older products are also redesigned to suit current consumer’s needs and life style. This has also helped keep alive the brand name for a long time. To create a global market the company has had to deal with competitor over a long period of time and ensuring that the products produced are good enough and well advertised to make sure they have the competitive advantage. Over time the brand has become a standard in comparing the various competing products in the same class and removing the goodwill the product rides on is a tough task for the competing products. The brand name Kleenex has withstood the test of time so the strategies implemented by the management over the numerous eras are a success.
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