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Hubba Guest Blog: How Huggies and Dove Baby Became Iconic Household Baby Products

November 3, 2015
Phil Chang
Written By
Phil Chang

In this post, we take a look at two brands on Hubba that have built a serious reputation for caring for babies. Over the years Huggies and Dove Baby have become iconic household baby products.

“In a complex world, iconic brands will offer a welcome shortcut to decision making.”   Nigel Hollis, author of The Global Brand said this and he’s right. When I was a buyer and my team and I would tour stores, we would watch shoppers head straight to the baby section and grab Dove before they started looking for other products on their grocery list.

Dove is one of many brands for Unilever and has built a brand reputation on being beautiful. Dove Baby is iconic and instantly generates confidence that this baby wash can look after your baby. The brand carries the claim, “More pediatricians recommend Dove® brand than any other brand of soap or cleansing product”.

Huggies is the flagship brand for Kimberly Clark. One out of every three, if not one out of every two babies you see are most likely wearing Huggies. More importantly, Huggies has found themselves in a position of trust with moms all over the globe.

Both of these brands have built a reputation for looking after babies, and moms trust these brands.  We chatted with Huggies and Dove Baby and dug deep into how these two powerhouse brands have become standards for the baby industry.

Huggies and Dove Baby know their shopper

You must be focused on who your consumers are. So, if you’re a baby brand then your consumer is who? A baby? No, that’s the wrong aspect of the “transaction” to be focused on! Of course the products are for babies, they are the ones using the products, but the message needs to be for the mom. She’s the shopper.

When you look at Huggies or Dove commercials, they’re full of adorable babies. I’m sure that if babies could buy products, they would buy Huggies, but the message in the commercials 100% speaks to the mothers. Both Huggies and Dove Baby are focused on mom, and reassuring moms that their brands help to keep their babies safe and healthy.

By creating a connection with mom, and focusing on the things that concern her, both Dove and Huggies have created a position of trust. Moms trust these brands. With this trust, these brands have never looked back. They turn that trust into a partnership with that mom that grows with every purchase. Huggies and Dove have established trust with moms and they turn that trust into an ongoing partnership.

Keep the conversation going. It’s not enough to make a good product, give them no excuse to try another brand.

How does a brand go from something a mom loves to legendary or iconic status? Dorie Clark from Forbes Magazine said, “Many brands assume they’re the hero of the story. They’re not. They’re the mentor, helping the hero-the customers-become empowered to do something different”. Moms are focused on their children. In the early stages of childhood, she doesn’t have time to share her attention. She’s looking for anything that helps her do her job as a mom better. She loves that Huggies and Dove understand that.

The answer is simple enough but difficult to accomplish. There are many more reasons why these brands are iconic, but these three steps are achievable for any baby brand to follow.

Step 1: Make sure you’re in stock

The first thing, the most basic thing, is to ensure that a mom can find you every time she needs you, anywhere she needs you. Brands like Huggies and Dove Baby work hard to ensure that they have stock ready for every retailer, and that there is no opportunity be out of stock. There isn’t anything more devastating to a brand than not being on shelf, ready to be bought.

Step 2: Make sure your brand is likeable

These brands already know that they have a great product. Once they get their product into mom’s hands, they create the opportunity for moms to express relief and joy because they’ve enabled the hero (mom) to enrich their child’s life. This may be really emotional statements like testimonials, but these are hard to come by and take a lot of work to find. Some things that these iconic brands do, is to make sure that there are lots of assets that people can share to state their happiness with the brand.

A small simple “like” or Instagram post is very effective for showing how much a mom loves a brand. Take the time to build lifestyle images of your brand and then put them in the hands of mom. You’ll be surprised where you find it!

Step 3: Create more occasions to come back and purchase

Lastly, remember that moms and parents are shoppers and can always leave to go somewhere else. Iconic brands never assume loyalty in their marketshare – “be the #1 brand, but act like the #2 brand.” They create occasions to continue to get their shoppers to come back. Simple online coupons will drive consumers to return, and more importantly eliminates the excuse for a shopper to try another brand.

Phil Chang

Phil is Hubba’s Head of Product Strategy and Customer Success. Prior to joining Hubba, Phil was a senior buyer at Target for OTC. He has spent professional work life in CPG working for companies like Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Danone, Kimberly Clark and done roles from Category Management, Sales Strategy and Global Shopper.

You might also be interested in attending Profitero’s upcoming webinar on November 12 with dunnhumby and content26: The Online Baby Category – A Gateway to eCommerce:

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