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The product I chose is Pampers brand diapers, the largest brand of Procter & Gamble Company. It is an American global and diverse company that provides consumer packaged goods in the areas of beauty and grooming, health and well-being, and household care. According to Rehtmeyer (2010), P & G’s products are sold in more than 180 countries and its goal is to provide products of superior quality and value to improve the lives of world’s customers (p. 5). P & G is in a highly competitive market environment, with global, regional, and local competitors. The company is facing a high threat of competition because consumers have many different options of products from other competitive companies based on the price and brand strength. Therefore, to develop the company’s competitive advantages, P & G is focusing on the innovation of both products and operations with technological advances, and depending on effective sales, advertising, and marketing programs (Rehtmeyer, 2010, p. 12). In addition, P & G states five strategies to achieve the success of business, products, operations, social responsibility, employees and stakeholders (“Sustainanility”, 2010, p. 5).
The company delights consumers with sustainable innovations of products, improves the environmental operations, develops social responsibility programs, encourages employees to be engaged, and make stakeholders be responsible of shaping the company’s future. Pampers, the largest brand of diapers, which is famous around the world. Consumers are happy and satisfied as they use Pampers diapers, which can keep their kids dry, clean, safe and comfortable during their playing and sleeping time so that parents could be reassured about their children. The company is no longer focusing purely on babies but has expanded into targeting both pregnant women and toddlers (Mortimer, 2005, p.20). Pampers is targeting on pregnant women, infants and babies, and toddlers and preschoolers. For those pregnant women who are about to have babies, they prepare for the stuff of babies and they are interested in choosing high quality and safe diapers with small size; Parents who have already had babies, they are interested in softest, driest, and most sensitive diapers for their infants;
Parents of toddlers and preschoolers, they are interested in larger sized comfortable diapers and also training pants so that they could teach their kids toilet skills. To satisfy customers’ interest and needs, Pampers produce softest, driest, sensitive and most comfortable diapers with different sizes so that parents could select what they want based on the stages their kids in. Pampers also provides training pants for some of toddlers and all of preschoolers in order to assist those children who are in the process of toilet training. Thus, parents are able to select the products that fit their kids based on the absorbency, comfort and soft level. On the other hand, the company is committed to producing “green” products and invented life-cycle disposable and reusable diapers in order to deal with customers’ concerns, which clearly shows the socially responsible behavior of the company. As Mortimer (2005) illustrated that Pampers tried to develop on the products innovation to address consumers’ environmental concerns (p. 23).
There is the increasing birth rate of women between age 25 and 34 in North America. According to Statistics Canada (2009), the most common group for women having children among the age between 25 and 34. Furthermore, there is highest fertility and birth rate of group age 25-29 and 30-34 in the U.S (“Child Trends Data Bank”, 2013). On the other hand, parents are becoming more conscious of environmental impact, and they are willing to be socially responsible role models for their children and community. Pampers offers people the ability to pursue a greener future.
Customers prefer cheaper products because of their old shopping habits and the competition from other companies provide the same products. However, consumers are willing to spend more on quality products. They are looking forward of new products which can satisfy their needs. With the economy improving, consumers have more stable and disposable income of trying innovative products. As Statistic Canada (2009) stated that women are having children later in Canada. For those women who are between 25-34 and have children later, they have more stable jobs and disposable incomes so that they are willing to spend money on good quality products to ensure their babies’ health. Pampers is economically priced and delivers high quality products.
Pampers uses the technology of life-cycle analysis and develop environment-friendly diapers (“World Resources Institute”, 1994, p. 2). As people are more aware of eco-friendly practices, so the innovation technology of “greener products” should be advanced constantly. Also, Pampers innovation designed “Premium Care with Day Max technology” which is driest and thinnest diapers, and provides up to 12 hours dryness with ultimate comfort and protection (“Gokbulut, n.d., p.1). The company is concentrating on babies’ skin care, so Pampers invented this technology to protect each baby’s precious skin against wetness and make parents reassured about their babies’ skin. Additionally, the company advances their Internet system so that to make consumers convenient purchase online, and Pampers website also provides training education videos of their products.
E-marketing is available for Pampers as well. The company cooperates with Epsilon International Company and use email survey with new research methodology as a marketing and communication channel to reach a wider audience and know customers’ needs and preferences. The survey email is created in multiple languages so that gives Pampers the widest possible reach, and instant access to their customer base (P&G Delivers, 2008, p.2).
One of Pampers’ competitors is Huggies. Pampers has 35 % global market share and Huggies has 22 % global market share in 2012 and these two brands are available in over 50 countries around the world (Huggies vs. Pampers, n.d.). They have the same target audiences, pregnant women, infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Both of these two brands are in an average price (Huggies vs. Pampers, n.d.). From the perspective of quality, Huggies diapers have a more artificial and plastic-like feel to the outside, but Pampers diapers have a softer and more fabric-like feel to the outside (Huggies vs. Pampers, n.d.).
Huggies is less aware of environmental consciousness. According to Bartenstein (2010), Huggies green washed to promise their products are environmental friendly and good for children, however, one of the product line, called “Pure and Natural” are made of a large number of artificial materials so that adding a considerable amount of waste to America‘s landfills (p. 16). With the increasing number of people who are more conscious about eco-friendly, people prefer to choose greener products.
First, more people are concerning about environmental issues today, so eco-friendly diapers will attract more parents. Second, there would be a competitive trend. Huggies is improving their R&D system to create advanced technology on diapers. There is an application developed by Kimberly-Clark Corp. that alerts parents when their babies wet the diapers (Technavio, 2014). Parents would be happy with this application because they could easily know when their babies need new diapers so that they are able to change the diapers in time. Thus, it will propel the growth of the market during the forecast period. Third, women are having more children, but later in life.
The average of women giving birth jumped from 27 (in 1996) to 29 (2009), and the first time of fertility rate of Canadian women aged 30-34 surpassed that of women aged 25-29 (Statistics Canada, 2009). Fourth, the economy is advancing. There would be more family have more stable jobs and disposable incomes to support their children. Last, there is a trend of increasing immigrants in Canada. As Ferrer (2013) pointed out that there is a trend of fertility of immigrants to Canada (p. 4). As a result, the market of diapers is growing.
First, the most significant factor that influences customers behavior is quality of products. Every parent wants their babies to use safe and healthy products. Making high quality products sustainability will help Pampers win more support of customers and keep customer loyalty. Second, moms tend to buy household things and they are more engaged of buying products in digital and social media. They could get recommended products from their friends or strangers, like word of mouth through social media channels. Moms tend to shop online and see comments of products from other moms through social media, such as facebook and twitter (Hanna, 2013).
Online shopping is more flexible and convenient for moms because they do not have extra time for shopping because of the busy work or taking care of their babies. Third, there are 3 things influences moms of purchasing, the online coupons, communication community, and smartphones (Hanna, 2013). They like coupons as a reward way of buying products, they want a public communication place to talk with other experienced moms, and they also want smartphones to get coupons, find nearby local deals and scan bar code of products. Those are the factors that influence customers.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Pampers has successful achieved on its business because it knows what their audiences concern about and evaluate on. Pampers is socially responsible of providing the constant innovation environment-friendly products with technology improvement. However, Pampers should put more investments on developing their R&D system of innovations so that to help babies communicate better with their moms, like diapers tracking application. Also, more moms like using social media to purchase on products and discuss the quality of products with others.
Thereby, it is an effective advertising way for Pampers to build public community to let customers have access of talking with others in order to know more about the products. Furthermore, there is a trend that women are having children later, so Pampers should focus on advertising products with a wider range of age of women giving birth and the most important thing is to know the needs of consumers in different age groups.
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