SOURCING for and bringing the world's best diapers to Singapore moms is just part of Kimberly Clark's commitment to putting consumers first.
The company, whose global brands include Kleenex, Kotex and Huggies, is willing to go the distance in order to give consumers the very best, said Achal Agarwal, its president for Asia-Pacific.
Just look at the diapers it sells in Singapore: In response to demand for more premium items by mothers here, it is bringing in Huggies pants and diapers made in South Korea, which are a different range from the ones manufactured here at its plant in Tuas.
"(Singaporean mothers) are very discerning customers," said Mr Agarwal. "They deserve absolutely the world's best."
The diapers made at its Tuas Mill are exported primarily to Malaysia and the Philippines. Singapore functions as its export hub, with Kimberly Clark capitalising on the government incentives, efficiency of logistics and availability of talent here for this purpose.
The switch to supply Korean-made diapers here follows a recent consumer survey it did of 1,000 Asian mothers. While these are costlier, consumer satisfaction is more important, Mr Agarwal stressed.
"Every market has its needs, and every market has evolved to a certain point," he said. "It is important, therefore, for us to differentiate between (different markets' needs)."
In order to reach out more effectively to consumers, Kimberly Clark has begun to traverse the digital space, as more shoppers gravitate towards the use of multiple platforms and become "platform-agnostic", he said. This is especially as many of Kimberly Clark's brands are targeted at mothers, or young women, who are among the more tech-savvy.
"Asia-Pacific accounts for 41 per cent of the total online population of the world," he added. "We recognise this shift and approach our marketing holistically to engage the consumer where she is most receptive independent of medium."
He added: "In the last few years we have been ramping up digital delivery services to provide seamlessly integrated brand sites, campaign management tools, digital shelf management and social engagement mediums."
Mr Agarwal shared that Kimberly Clark is also investing in e-commerce, starting with South Korea and China as lead markets.
Kimberly Clark's prioritising of consumer needs has driven the company to dream big for the Asia-Pacific region. While the company's regional business is currently worth over $3 billion, the plan is to more than double that figure by 2020, said Mr Agarwal.
It plans to achieve this by leveraging on its major brands such as Huggies, Kotex and Kleenex, and in its ability to create solutions to meet consumer needs.
At present, South Korea and Australia are its biggest markets, but Mr Agarwal sees significant potential for growth in China and Asean and believes that the two, with projected double-digit growth, will drive most of Kimberly Clark's growth in the next couple of years.