Kimberly Clark Overhauls Huggies Brand In India As It Seeks Market Leadership

Kimberly Clark has overhauled the Huggies brand in India as it seeks to return to the number one market position. The Drum spoke to Kimberly-Clark India marketing director, Saakshi Verma Menon about how the brand is evolving.

No child’s play: the changing diaper market

The Indian baby care market is going through a rapid period of change and growth. With over 25 million babies born each year in India, it represents huge opportunities for brands.

The growing middle-class population with its high purchasing power, combined with the growth of innovative new hygiene products, has helped propel the category.

Not too long ago, Indian parents had limited options when it came to selecting diapers for their babies. Not only were there limited options, but the market was also significantly smaller.

The proliferation of e-commerce platforms has, however, made it easier for consumers to access a wider array of products and brands, and an increasing number of people are choosing to purchase diapers online. In fact, one in every four rupees spent on diapers in India is online, according to Nielsen.

All of this is great news for the baby care market. And more and more brands have flooded in to help meet Indian parents’ growing baby needs. From large international brands such as Huggies and Pampers, to MamyPoko, Himalaya and many smaller players in the category, the market is now estimated to be worth $8bn.

Huggies was an early mover in the market, first launching in India in the 1990s and it has enjoyed the benefit of being a recognised and respected international brand.

However, despite once leading the category, recent years have seen it relegated to a challenger brand position. This is something that Saakshi Verma Menon, the marketing director of Kimberly-Clark India is hoping to change.

Huggies’ changing gameplan

To rebuild its category-defining status, Huggies has embarked on a rebranding journey which comprises includes a new proposition as well as unveiling refreshed packaging to reflect what the consumer of today wants, Menon tells The Drum.

In a bid to better understand what the new-age mother wants for her baby, the brand undertook an intensive consumer immersion study. “We arrived at the brand’s revised positioning on three pillars: product offering and the core proposition, brand identity and the communication tonality,” says Menon.

The challenge was to combine these three pillars into one seamless positioning, which Menon says was the driving force behind the brand relaunch, which includes a new identity, visual language and packaging design across the entire Huggies product range.

Central to the redesign and relaunch was the introduction of the positioning, ‘Huggies Complete Comfort’, a 5-in-1 comfort proposition offering Indian consumers multiple benefits in one product.

The creative task for the challenger brand

Menon says the core strategic focus for the brand is to generate greater awareness. “Huggies is a brand that is very high on awareness, but the key challenge is to drive the consideration.” Menon says instead of incremental change, the brand needed to break the clutter and stand out in the competitive market.

The creative partners Ogilvy India were tasked to craft a communication strategy that would disrupt the market, for the challenger brand – Huggies. Adds Sukesh Nayak, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India, “Our job was to make the mothers understand that a perfect diaper is the one that gives complete comfort and not incomplete comfort.”

The agency established the ‘We got you, baby’ campaign, which brings the idea of comfort to life, through Huggies key audience – the babies. The ad shows the user’s discomfort with the diaper brands and then shows how Huggies comes to their rescue.

The digital-first campaign, which aims to be hyper-personalised and contextualised is running across the platforms where parents spend the most time.

“As a challenger brand in India it is imperative for us to break clutter and stand out,” says Menon. The ad is an “enjoyable and distinctive way of landing the key message which is sure to cement our position in the hearts of our consumers”.

Brand Campaign

To decision to use babies as the voice of the brand was deployed in a bid to break the clutter and generate greater awareness of Huggies’ new positioning.

Says Nayak: “Babies are shown going on a boycott protest against incomplete diapers that do not have full comfort – with the idea of getting the attention of the parents”.

About working with the kids and the experience, Nayak says, it was a delight to work with so many of them. “Working with babies is always fun and comes with its own set of discoveries. While some babies are just born actors, many just make everyone wait and wait for them to be truly comfortable first”, he adds. After all, babies teach people to be super patient as well.

Credit: The Drum


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