Thursday, 21 May 2009

Huggies Lean Forward

enjoyrideKimberly-Clark have launched a new loyalty programme for their Huggies brand called “Enjoy the Ride” which rewards consumers with points which they can exchange for rewards.

Nothing new about that I guess but what I think is really unique about this programme is that although it allows the member to collect points by entering codes, the codes themselves are not available on the products. Instead the member has to earn points by interacting with the brand or with friends.

howto Tim Abate, Senior Brand Manager for Huggies is quoted as saying “We want moms to be interacting with our brands as much as they can. They gain valuable information and offers and we can learn from their opinions, [The program is] one of the tools that lets us establish a deeper relationship with moms than we’ve had before.”

This is essentially a Lean Forward Loyalty programme.

I’ve spoken before about Lean Forward Loyalty and how this approach can totally transform a brands loyalty programme and it’s great to see Kimberly-Clark doing this with Huggies.

For those that have missed my previous posts the basics are that programmes now need to engage consumers more to get and keep their attention. They need to enable them to interact and provide reasons for them to do so – essentially to “lean forward” rather than sitting back passively.

This is achieved by creating buzz, creating reasons for people to discuss and interact and to then combine this into the longevity of a loyalty marketing programme that maintains this behaviour and deepens the relationship.

What really interests me about the Huggies programme is that whilst they have combined the interactivity of lean forward media with the longevity of a loyalty programme, they’ve done it without using on-pack codes.

It would seem that they feel that the more they can engage with consumers the more likely the consumer is to go on to buy Huggies.

Not using on-pack codes will obviously mean they cannot track actual purchases to consumers so they won’t necessarily know how many of their members love the brand and love the interaction – but then go on to buy someone else's brand. However what they will be able to track is any overall lift in purchases and the extent to which this campaign contributed to it.

The issue they may have though is maintaining the longevity of the programme once the initial flurry of activity has died down and the consumer has watched the videos, invited friends and scoured the magazines for the codes.

The advantage that on-pack codes bring to a programme like this is creating additional reasons to come back - to interact. On successful Lean Forward schemes like Coke Zone in the UK, this combination of interaction combined with on-pack codes creating reasons to visit is what really makes it work.

They may find it difficult to maintain the interaction without also recognising the transaction

Whilst they have included a daily prize draw for a years supply of nappies, experience would suggest that consumers quickly tune out of prize draws if these don’t change regularly, so this in itself will probably not create that longevity.

However it may not need as much longevity to achieve its results. As Jeff Dawson, VP of the Huggies Brand said “[the] programme is designed to establish a strong relationship with moms as they begin their journey through motherhood – ultimately creating Huggies advocates, and thus loyalty users of Huggies branded products.”

It could well be that this initial interaction with the brand, although short-lived, may be deep enough to develop that relationship and ultimately that trust.

This will really depend on whether in their chase to collect the points, the consumers actually stop and take in the content that they are attached to.

I think it will be interesting to see how this scheme works out as its essentially rewarding the interaction, not the transaction. It’s also working further up the chain in terms of consumer purchases, looking to change behaviours at the interest/desire stage rather than the action stage.

While I think this is a really great idea, ideally they’d be doing both -recognising consumers for getting involved as well as rewarding them for making a purchase – either way, it’s good to see they are trying something different.