Digital Contagion_Kleenex Digital Strategy

Kleenex is the leading tissue brand in the US. The brand name has even become a synonym for tissue, which some might see as a negative for the brand since it takes a little away from brand recognition. However, this “curse” can be twisted into a blessing. Current trends suggest that consumers now look for brands that are more relatable, engaging, and consumer friendly. As a brand, Kleenex already exudes these characteristics, and it also adds multi-use, accessible, comforting and personable to its belt. Because Kleenex applies to various demographics, it is adaptable and flexible.

Given that Kleenex is used by such a wide range of consumers it should prioritize consumer relations — and there is no better and faster way to interact with consumers than digitally. Every consumer wants to feel that a brand is catering to their need and wants, but because of rising technology they now want to see it as well. Kleenex already does a good job of giving its consumers the features and benefits they want; now they can literally show consumers their appreciation through a digital campaign. From Bing.com

Kleenex does a wonderful job of making the consumer feel their presence through social media during allergy seasons and cold and flu seasons. They comfort consumers via Twitter by re-tweeting “feel better” messages, and they give consumers tips on both Facebook and Twitter as well. However, there is more to the product, and the brand, than allergy, flu and cold seasons. The brand has a good online presence, but fails to give its campaigns legs through all online platforms. Evidence of this can be seen in their “Clean Hands” campaign that promotes their Hand Towels only on their website and Facebook. Another example is their ongoing contest for a chance to win a Care Pack and blanket that might be delivered by a celebrity, which they promote on their website but handle via Facebook. Kleenex has multiple products that they could better market in a digital campaign that includes other online platforms than just social media.

The following is a suggested digital campaign that could improve Kleenex’s brand awareness, sales, online presence and most importantly consumer relations.

Target Audience: Although the brand’s products are used by various consumers, it is more effective to target household decision makers rather than multiple audiences. They are most likely women, between the ages of 25-54 years old, married with children, with middle to high class economical and social status.

Mobile Strategy: It would benefit Kleenex to hop on the Smartphone train and start reaching consumers on the go. Kleenex needs to take advantage of the fact that tissues are considered low involvement products and that their brand name is already considered a synonym of the product. Having promotional strategies marketed through text messages is one way to tap into the mobile market. Kleenex already offers its consumers tips on their social media platforms and website, so it should begin to work on an app that provides this information to consumers wherever they go. It’s time to accompany the consumer everywhere other than in the pocket size tissue form. This app can give consumers more than just health tips— it can provide usage tips as well (many use Kleenex to wipe their phone screens clean. Ironic?).

Internet Marketing: Kleenex should pair up with the store websites that carry their product, such as a Walgreens or Kroger. Cross marketing is more cost effective, time efficient, and could bring various benefits to both parties. It could also pair up digitally with brands that compliment the Kleenex brand, such as Tylenol, Vicks, or Nyquil, especially during allergy, cold and flu seasons. Because Kleenex has become a synonym of tissue, it is hard to find room for growth on Google Ad Words. However, if Kleenex pushes the idea of a multi-use campaign, there are an infinite number of keywords that could be useful to Kleenex in the future.  

Social Media: Kleenex does a good job of handling their social media profiles, but there is always more room for growth in this area. Lately Pinterest is generating a constant buzz, and it is giving brands room to participate. Kleenex could join Pinterest and perform all kinds of sweepstakes and contests for consumers. For example, it could encourage consumers to upload pictures of creative ways to use Kleenex tissues, or tell an emotional story that required the use of Kleenex products. This could also extend to their Facebook and Twitter pages to further increase the reach of the campaign.

Kleenex has a number of consumer testimonials and stories on their website. They could create and manage a Youtube channel for this, and many more consumer interactions. The benefit of having a Youtube channel, aside from the visual factor, is being able to use the space on the website for features that are more interactive and engaging. It would also benefit Kleenex to create and manage an official blog. This could be an opportunity to show consumers the intellectual side of the brand.

Budget: I would suggest Kleenex use 10-15% of their monthly revenue on a digital campaign. A multi-level budget would give the brand more flexibility in a digital campaign. Because Kleenex is aiming to participate in more than one online platform, it is difficult to assign a fixed budget for the entire strategy. However, since Kleenex is the leading brand in its market, and takes in billions of dollars in annual revenue, it’s not impossible to estimate an actual number for the budget. I would suggest the brand have a monthly budget between $ 5,000 and $9,000 dedicated to a digital campaign.

Big Idea: Tissues are used in many ways, shapes and forms, which could be played to Kleenex’s advantage in a multi-usage campaign. They could create a campaign that encourages consumer insight and interaction through all digital platforms. The theme can be “What Kleenex Means to Me” or “The Role Kleenex Plays in my Life”. Their message could transcend into the various digital platforms available for online marketing. It would be a fun creative spin to put on something so mundane like tissues.

I believe that as long as the brand’s overall message can be effectively communicated through all online platforms, it will have great success.