BUS 508 – Contemporary Business
November 2, 2012
Competitive Strategies: Huggies vs. Pampers
Huggies versus Pampers is a dilemma many mothers face standing in the aisles as they ponder what is most cost effective, the most leak protective or simply the better product. These are two of the most popular brands of disposable brands. They are comparable in concept, price and variety. Huggies is a brand of Kimberly-Clark, INC. Pampers is a brand of Proctor & Gamble, Company. They both share a significant percent of the global market. We must take a look at the companies themselves to understand the success if the products
Huggies is the foundation of Kimberly-Clark 4.7 billion diaper business. ("Leading the world," 2012). The company launched the Huggies Brand in 1978. Since, the introduction of the brand it has made major improvements and changes to the product that continues to be the brand of choice for many parents. In 1978, they introduced Huggies. They continued to make improvements, until finally in 1985, they took the lead in competition and has remained in a leading position since 1995. Both Companies have access to a “growth market” with babies being born every day and people in constant need of household and hygiene products, the markets are ripe for the taking. (2003, America's Greatest Brands)
Kimberly-Clark’s company culture has a lot to do with the brands success. As highlighted in an article in NYSE magazine, President of Kimberly-Clark Joanne Bauer felt sustainability and growth could be improved by “by breaking barriers through open innovation.” (McReynolds, 2012) This has proven to be true in many of the products that they have introduced. Huggies success can be also contributed to collaboration with a technology from Velcro USA, Inc which made it easier for parents to adjust and check diapers at will. This was an improvement to existing tape technology that if reopen would tear and rip leaving the diaper no longer useful. (2003, America's Greatest Brands)
They have also made collaboration with CVS Caremark Corp and its ExtraCare Card. When a woman makes a purchase for neonatal vitamins or baby products they receive coupons for Huggies and other Kimberly-Clark products. (McReynolds, 2012) They also monitor and host many blogs taking in the concerns, complaints and needs of their consumers. This is apparent by their new line Huggies Slip-Ons, similar to the Pull-up but due to the younger age of the intended market holds more. This came from parent concern that children as they grow older become less incline to lay down for a diaper change but yet are not old enough for potty training.
Another philosophy conducive to Kimberly-Clark Company’s culture is “putting consumers and employees first.” (McReynolds, 2012) This has been a constant philosophy over the past 130 plus years the company has been in business. In 1875 when the four founders established the company they had four tenets: “to manufacture the best possible products; to serve customers well and deal fairly to gain their confidence and good will; to deal fairly with employees; and to expand capacity as demand for product justified, financing that expansion out of earnings.” (McReynolds, 2012) This has lead to sustainability of the company by financing expansion out of revenue as oppose to debt, allowing the company to stay in business through many of the economic downturns throughout the years.
Marketing and innovation is another intricate part of the company’s culture. I do not mean your average commercial or billboard. CEO Thomas J. Falk felt part of continued success meant increasing marketing and innovation. He hired the Anthony J. Palmer to run the new department former managing director of Kellogg co (U.K.) and made him senior vice president and chief marketing officer. That department is driven by this philosophy:
“A brand is a promise, and a product...