CHICAGO: U by Kotex Fitness, the feminine care line manufactured by Kimberly-Clark, found success by tapping into the power of influencers and integrated digital content to reach its target audience in the pre-shop phase.

Greg Kearns, Kimberly-Clark’s brand manager of shopper marketing for Walgreens, discussed this subject at the 2018 P2P Summit in Chicago, an event held by the Path to Purchase Institute.

“Decisions are being made before consumers come into the store. It’s essential our product is top of mind when a customer walks in,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: U by Kotex Fitness finds power in the pre-shop.)

More specifically, he suggested that the launch of U by Kotex Fitness sought to build perceptions of authenticity and debunk misconceptions about women exercising during their menstrual cycles.

As part of its pre-shop strategy, influencer partnerships aimed to rack up early engagement with tips, insights and information that women found valuable and entertaining.

Digital content such as listicles, quizzes and recipes also helped U by Kotex connect with consumers in ways that fueled impressive return on investment.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Kearns said. “‘Oh, yeah, these soft-number types of things increase purchase intent or brand awareness.’ That’s what I expected, too, when we launched this. But the integrated digital content drove actual sales.”

The results, he contended, illustrate “especially with this younger audience, where marketers can drive the value, and what’s pushing millennial consumers.”

One influencer that encapsulated the brand’s message was Jessamyn Stanley, a noted yoga teacher, writer, and body-positive advocate.

“Jessamyn Stanley may not traditionally be what you would think a yoga instructor looks like, but she is amazing, and she fits so well with our brand, being down to earth, being about ‘everywoman,’” Kearns said.

Stanley’s authenticity and directness thus made the brand accessible to all women who seek to be fit in their own ways. “The importance of brands building trust with customers is gaining momentum every day,” Kearns said.

Beyond specifying the brand’s name and difference – a unique design specifically engineered for fitness – the marching order to bloggers and influencers was, “You know your audience, this is your voice, make it your own,” Kearns said.

Sourced from WARC