Growing with Girl Power

By Karen Bitz McIntyre, Editor | June 1, 2012

It seems that tweens, or teens, are becoming major influencers in the feminine hygiene market. In the past couple of weeks alone, both major U.S. fem hy producers, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, have launched new products geared exclusively at younger consumers and are reinforcing these launches with major marketing efforts.

Targeting younger women with products geared specifically toward them is a strategy that Kimberly-Clark adopted two years ago when it launched the U by Kotex brand. Since the 2010 introduction, the company has credited U by Kotex, which features brighter color packaging and bolder marketing campaigns than older generation products, with driving growth for the brand. In just two years, the sub-brand achieved more than four points of marketshare and has quickly become one of K-C’s fastest growing brands. This growth will surely continue with the recent launch of U by Kotex Sleek Tampons featuring a first-of-its-kind  ‘Perfect Touch Grip’ applicator that is soft, smooth, and slim to provide an easy hold for  “just right”  placement, and  U by Kotex CleanWear Pad, which has a revolutionary MemoryFlex core that keeps its shape and fits closely with a woman’s curves, improving flexibility.

Never one to sit out on an opportunity to drive growth, last month P&G combined its two major fem hy brands, Tampax and Always to create the all-new Radiant Collection, a complete offering of premium tampons, pads, liners and wipes that meets all of a woman’s feminine care needs. The new collection stands out on shelves and features designer packaging and wrappers that complement any girl’s unique style, making these products must-have accessories any time of the month, according to marketing materials.

In sync with this launch, P&G is using real girls in its advertising, showcasing the uniquely awesome women who inspired the Radiant Collection. The campaign will feature stylish and talented girls like a street artist, yarn bomber and a self-proclaimed balloonatic. Additionally, Radiant is partnering with PopSugar—the leading pulse on everything entertainment, style and living-related. PopSugar is featuring Radiant in a contest encouraging girls to share what makes them stand out—their style, talents, smarts and interests. Winners have the chance to star in a PopSugar video and receive $5,000.

In addition to driving growth today, these new products represent an investment in the future for these companies. Experts say that brand loyalty is extremely strong in the feminine care category so capturing a girl in her early teens can earn a company a dedicated customer for the next 40 years, long after a PopSugar video remains relevant.

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