How Added Value re-invented the female hygiene sector

07 Dec 2003|Added Value

Strategic marketing and branding experts, Added Value, were responsible for giving Kotex the confidence to revive the brand with a radical new pack design for its product range.

The change has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers, driving profitable growth and re-shaping the women’s hygiene market.

“We needed to revitalise Kotex’s brand image and tap into a younger market”, explains Theo Mhlambi, Marketing Manager of Feminine Care at Kimberly-Clark. Research into the old packaging revealed that it lacked synergy with the proposed positioning, and lacked master brand synergy across the whole product range appearing frivolous with no sense of style. As brand awareness was low, the timing was right for introducing a revolutionary change in the packaging design to re-build this brand from scratch.”

Using Added Value’s insight we set about consolidating the range by launching revolutionary, ground-breaking packaging that appeals to younger consumers.

In a dramatic departure from the traditional, pastel-toned branding of female hygiene products, Kotex have boldly embraced provocative colours and imagery. The new packaging boasts visuals of sexy women’s underwear and the associated female imagery of lipstick, flowers and candles to position the brand as the product of choice for today’s modern, stylish woman.

When Added Value tested the global positioning, which centred around ‘individuality’ and ‘celebration of women’, and ‘the desire for women to shape the future’, they seized on the opportunity to provide local relevance. Using a “hot recycling” approach, whereby concepts rapidly evolve and are re-worked after each research group, Added Value refined the brand values and brand promises and turned the whole project around; taking Kotex from zero to hero.

The end result saw the new packaging move the brand on from “Kotex Fits”, which was quite functional, into the emotional arena of “Celebrating women as they shape the future.” By positioning competitors’ products as “old fashioned”, Kotex claimed the high ground and regained their position as an aspirational product for modern young women.

Says Mhlambi, “The decision on whether or not to follow an international packaging design route, which was a radical departure from the category locally – and internationally, aimed at reviving the brand and countering strong competition – required serious deliberation. Through the sound and convincing results that Added Value presented, we were inspired to make this leap of faith. The re-branding has been a resounding success since its launch, with exciting in-store promotions, magazine sampling and adverts.”

Says Fiona Ross, Project Director at Added Value, “Introducing a revolution requires courage. Fence-sitting is never an option. With an average of 75% of consumers responding extremely positively to the impact of this re-branding project, the results speak for themselves. We applaud Kotex for their courage to challenge the branding rules in this category and hope to continue building their brand through strategic marketing.”

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