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Meridian Success Story: 7

Kimberly-Clark Logo

Kimberly-Clark Corporation: Kleenex Facial Tissue Division

When Kimberly-Clark R & D Efforts Failed to Produce a Softer Tissue than P&G’s About-to-be-Introduced New Puffs, Our Consulting Team Recommended that Kleenex Capitalize on the #2 Attribute of Importance to Consumers – Tissue Box Design – a Strategy that Helped Kimberly-Clark Maintain Market Share on Introduction of New Puffs

  • Client Issue:
    Maintaining Kleenex Market Share and Brand Contribution Margin in Face of Introduction of a New, Softer Tissue from Puffs: P&G was about to take the lead over Kimberly-Clark in the two-company race to develop the softest facial tissue on the market. As tissue “softness” was the most important of all category attributes to consumers, and Kimberly-Clark R&D was still some time away from matching, let alone surpassing, the ‘touch / feel’ quality of the new P&G tissue, Kimberly-Clark was extremely concerned about this latest development
  • Consulting Team’s Contributions:
    1. Design and Implementation of Targeted Consumer Research: In addition to design and implementation, Consulting Team’s role also included the upfront development of research objectives and follow-up multivariate analyses of study results. The following were undertaken:
      1. Study of Facial Tissue Attribute Importance
      2. Tissue Box Design Segmentation Study
      3. Perceptual Mapping Analyses of Segmentation Study results
    2. Conclusions and Recommendations Reached by Consulting Team Included:
      • While a “Softness / Strength” Combination is the #1 Driver of Consumer Brand Choice, Tissue Box Design Follows Close Behind: While the combination attribute of tissue softness and strength does indeed drive brand preference and purchase, we were surprised to learn the very strong importance of “box design attractiveness” as a driver of brand selection. In fact, a critical insight discovered was that female purchasers considered tissue boxes to be design components in rooms in which they were displayed
      • An Important Opportunity Existed for Kimberly-Clark to Substantially Improve Tissue Box Design Offerings: Drawing on segmentation study findings that demonstrated strong preference for unusual designs not currently being used on tissue boxes, Consulting Team recommended that Kimberly-Clark be the first to exploit this opportunity
      • Exploration of New Designs Should Follow Specific Guidelines: Study findings provided clear guidelines about designs that should be avoided, current designs that should be extended, and new design concepts that should be pursued
  • Results:
    1. Kimberly-Clark Maintains Kleenex Market Share: Implementation of Consulting Team’s recommendations allowed Kimberly-Clark to maintain Kleenex market share on competitive launch of new Puffs
    2. Out-Performance on a Secondary Product Attribute Was Key: Even though K-C’s competitor, P&G, owned the key product attribute (tissue softness), K-C was able to out-deliver on a secondary attribute — creative, elegant tissue box design — and thereby maintain a strong position in this important Kimberly-Clark category
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