Loyalty Baby Steps

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Aug 02, 2005
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By John Hennessy


Kimberly-Clark has announced the launch of a new online network, Huggies Baby Network, that delivers information and a support community for moms and moms-to-be.

Billed by the company as a one-stop information resource for women on their journey from pregnancy, through birth and into motherhood, the Huggies Baby Network features two sites, “Happy and Healthy Pregnancy” and “Happy Baby.”

Kimberly-Clark has developed the site to meet what it sees as a growing market need. According to a recent study of expectant and new moms, nearly half agree there is no single Web site that currently guides them through the journey of pregnancy into motherhood. In addition, 73 percent are looking online for fun activities to play with their baby or young child.

Among the features on the Huggies Baby Network Web site are the:


  • Activity Playhouse including a search function by age, skill, duration or keywords

  • Keepsake Storybook, an online scrapbook

  • Virtual Room Creator, to design and decorate nurseries

  • Information Central online advice center

  • Sharing Space interactive community



“Understanding our consumers’ needs and exceeding their expectations is our priority,” said Bruce Paynter, president of North America Baby Care at Kimberly-Clark. “We listened and delivered Huggies Baby Network to meet that need for moms by providing them relevant information, support and activities that allow them to spend more time with their babies.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are some other ways to build loyalty to your brand or store by identifying and satisfying the unmet needs of specific shoppers
groups?


It’s great to see Kimberly-Clark investing in services and content that is relevant for soon-to-be moms and current moms. How about some help for the
dads?


Expectant moms and moms with toddlers seem to find each other and connect easily. They share information. They seek advice. They set up play dates. They
develop strong support groups.


Dads, on the other hand, are largely left to fend for themselves. And dads are far less likely to phone up another dad for advice… on anything. Having
a Web site with advice, tips and information from a trusted supplier is a real opportunity to address the unmet needs of a large group.


Moms are the obvious audience. Repurposing the content and making it dad-friendly might be even more impactful for Kimberly-Clark.
– John Hennessy – Moderator

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8 Comments on "Loyalty Baby Steps"


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Karen Ribler
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Karen Ribler
15 years 7 months ago

John makes a very good point! Fathers need as much support as moms do. As a culture, we are somewhat schizophrenic…we say dads need to equally share in childcare, but in fact culturally we really place the majority of information and support firmly in the mom’s corner…leaving dad cold.

Kimberly-Clark has a great opportunity to be gender neutral and/or become a source of information for the dad to be or new dad. And those who say — well it’s the female who of course would be inclined to go to this site — might reconsider. Having information out there…focused on the male’s perspective of becoming a new parent has plenty of loyalty building potential.

Bruce Vierck
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Bruce Vierck
15 years 7 months ago

Building loyalty by connecting with consumers outside the store is great. But there is still lots of opportunity to build loyalty by connecting more effectively with consumers inside the store. Retailers can build loyalty through improved product assortments, value added services, and by wrapping experiences around their offering…Home Depot home improvement classes, PETsMART pet training…and hasn’t Starbucks done a nice job of building a community with a physical versus a virtual experience? Brand Marketers have vast opportunities to use the in-store environment in ways that will engage with consumers, build brand affinity and sales, and help their retail customers. Great marketing has multiple touch points, but the physical retail environment still holds perhaps the biggest potential for making connections between people and solutions.

Mark H. Goldstein
Guest
Mark H. Goldstein
15 years 7 months ago

As a subscriber (i.e. I’m a new dad!) to Huggies news, I can say first hand, they are doing as good a job as can be expected although ‘loyalty and community’ around one diaper vender to me isn’t a big enough idea. Programs like this need retailer involvement and multiple vendors to be truly successful over the long haul. That said, good start Kimberly-Clark…let’s expect to see many more of these over time….

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 7 months ago
We, too, are in the parents-to-be website business, and our service department discovers new concerns and questions almost daily. Our FAQ can hardly keep up with them. Further, many of our inquiries are from couples for whom English is a second language, and their concerns are totally unpredictable due to their culture. They also have difficulty reading the FAQ or composing a coherent email question. Yet, they are customers, and their needs must be met. The customer loyalty rewards are tremendous. We provide some very personal products and services; and thoughtful, quick responses to intimate (and sometimes desperate) questions create trust. It’s almost as if we’re holding our customers’ hands as they try to conceive. As contrast, I recently bought a (flamethrower) Dell laptop; my fifth in the last ten years. I’d say that was loyalty. I purchased my first based on the wonderful reports of Dell’s service, but now I buy based on reliability – not service. That’s because their service stinks. The horror stories are all over the web, so I won’t bore… Read more »
Anna Murray
Guest
Anna Murray
15 years 7 months ago

In point of fact, Kimberly-Clark took a long time to do what J&J did years ago with BabyCenter.com. I think what it shows is a new world — one in which the line between content and advertising is much less clear than it ever was.

In my opinion, brands will see great benefit from getting into the content arena online. Sites like Baby Center, Nabisco World, Home Made Simple, and the Kraft Interactive Kitchen took a lot of flack 4 or 5 years ago. People said such content efforts by brands were expensive and would not work. Yet Nabisco World is one of the most popular game sites on the internet.

Not every brand has the type of product or “relationship factor” with its consumers. But I believe we will see more content-type efforts with those who do.

Herb Sorensen
Guest
15 years 7 months ago

The online community feature of Kimberly-Clark’s outreach is very reminiscent of Hallmark’s community building with their idea exchange (Idex.) In Hallmark’s case, the community provides a rich research resource for the company. It appears that Kimberly-Clark’s is geared more to one-way communication from the company, albeit with targeted helpfulness. The Hallmark program is outlined here: http://pressroom.hallmark.com/idea_exchange.html

Mark Burr
Guest
15 years 7 months ago
John makes a great point and I agree. So much of the ‘baby’ marketing (as likely it should) is focused on the mother. However, there seems to be a gaping hole in the market when it comes to dads. Being back a few years now, I remember the feeling when my wife handed me the child in passing me at the door. (We worked opposite shifts at the time.) I felt lost. But that’s a fairly typical place for me, as those that have read my comments may surmise. My real point, however, is about value. From my point of view, as Doc relates as well, there are factors such as service, reliability, and many others that add up to a quotient that equals loyalty. Kimberly-Clark may be on to something with their website, however. Whether it be mothers or dads, value will need to be found there. The sources of information are boundless and bombarding today. It will need to be much more than that – much more. In this case, where you are… Read more »
Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
15 years 7 months ago

While there is lot’s of information online and in magazines, an authority who you can trust to give you a balanced understanding of what to use and what to do is invaluable.

10 years ago, I went through an adoption process. While there were plenty of people offering to help, most had a vested interest in either advancing their charity, or making money off of us. My wife spent an incredible amount of time weeding through all the data to find what was reasonable for us.

There are many aspects of life that could use a concierge; someone you could trust to help make decisions, decipher information, and help deliver what you need to know. Can this be done online?

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