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The Pull of Personalization
By: Kaitlin T. Gallucci
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Customization, personalization…these types of features are attractive to consumers. After all, individuality is meaningful. From a consumer’s perspective, it takes your product and makes it my product. Customization is possible across many categories; is there any market that can’t — or shouldn’t — take advantage of this opportunity?

One of the more recent attempts to engage with consumers through personalization came from a brand in a product category “that’s traditionally been institutional and clinical-looking": U by Kotex feminine care products. As Robert Klara described on Adweek.com, “with brands everywhere searching for that final frontier of personal-style extension, tampons may truly be it.”

It may seem one of the least likely categories to succeed with such a strategy, but the results so far have proved just the opposite. U by Kotex recently sponsored an online contest for participants to design their own menstrual pads and/or “carrying tins” (think paisley, peace signs, leopard print, etc.), and the contest drove over 11,000 submissions. Current product offerings include colorfully designed tampons, pads, and liners, including a new Designer Series and U by Kotex Tween (“with a look just for tweens”).

The U by Kotex line was launched in March 2010. As of Q2 2011, the brand saw sales in its personal care division rise 7% to $2.3 billion. Kristi Bryant, design manager for Kimberly-Clark, described the products as “an extension of today’s young women’s personal style." They’ve come a long way.

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About the Author
Kaitlin T. Gallucci is a New York based direct and digital marketing strategist. She tweets here.
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