A family may go through 10,000 diapers or more per child in the pre-potty training years of a baby’s life. The volume of diapers consumed and the frequency with which they are purchased can make them one of the largest regular expenses for growing families. Add to this the recent announcements by two major producers of diapers, Kimberly-Clarke and Proctor & Gamble, that the costs for diapers will increase anywhere from 3-7% in 2011, and it becomes clear that diapers and related products are a category where consumers are looking for savings and incentives. Brands that can create a positive and rewarding experience for their buyers have an opportunity to develop years-long loyal relationships.
Lucky for new parents, two major diaper brands have implemented gamification strategies. Both Huggies® Brand and Pampers offer rewards programs that provide payoffs in real-world goods. Both remain more closely on the traditional loyalty side of gamification, and although the differences between the two programs are subtle, there are some key points of interest within each.
Kimberly-Clark, producers of the Huggies Brand, created “Enjoy the Ride Rewards” which allows consumers to earn Rewards Points for the diapers they buy by entering Rewards Codes from the product packaging into an online tracking system. But Huggies Rewards Points are earned not just through entering codes from products; they can also be earned through completing activities such as reading parenting articles, recruiting friends to join the Rewards program, and reviewing products—a great way to get users engaged in other parts of their business and stimulate social commerce. Points are redeemed for real-world items such as toys and products for kids in addition to rewards for parents such as magazine subscriptions and music downloads. Huggies also previously enabled users to donate their points toward a program to provide diapers to needy families—a great way to make participants feel good about their participation above and beyond the acquisition of ‘prizes.’
Proctor & Gamble’s “Pampers – Gifts to Grow” rewards program also rewards consumers for choosing their brand of diapers and related products. To participate, the process is very similar to the Huggies model. Users collect codes from Pampers purchases and enter them into an online account. An advantage to the Pampers program, however, is a mobile login system, allowing participation where and when it’s convenient for the user. As with Huggies, Pampers offers a catalog of rewards that includes toys for toddlers, gift cards, discounts on Pampers brand products, and magazine subscriptions. Pampers may be a bit less creative in how they allow members to accumulate points, but the mobile accessibility and variety in rewards represent a great benefit to the consumer.
Both programs could continue to build on what they’ve created by utilizing the power of gamification. Pampers states that their program has been extended to December 31, 2012, but why not make it a permanent addition, especially when a family with 2 or more children is likely to have at least one child in diapers for several years running? Ideally, rewards should continue to pay off for the duration of the customer lifecycle. Using gamified systems for the benefit of the community is a fantastic way to drive adoption and commitment—but again, why stop with one campaign?