Nisha Qureshi

How Kotex is relaunching itself in India with a new identity

In an interaction with afaqs!, Saakshi Verma Menon, marketing director, Kimberly-Clark India, talks about relaunching Kotex in the country and the marketing strategy.

In India, the feminine hygiene products market is dominated by many players like Procter & Gamble (P&G), Johnson & Johnson, Unicharm India, etc. According to reports, Whisper by P&G has the highest market share (more than 50%), followed by Stayfree.

This market was valued at over Rs 3200 crores in 2020. It’s expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 16% during the 2021-25 period, and will be worth over Rs 7000 crore by 2025.

Many D2C brands like Carmesi and Nua, have entered the market. They’re slowly capturing market share in urban India. However, the adoption of sanitary napkins in the country, is only 20% for various reasons. As the socio-economic dynamics of the country evolve, there’s a huge space for this industry to grow and evolve.

Kotex, a legacy sanitary hygiene brand that had stopped its operations in India for various reasons, is now making a comeback in India. For context, the brand is more than 100 years old. It was launched post-World War I in 1920 by Kimberly-Clark. It was launched in India in 1929.

The brand has now re-entered the Indian market. Speaking to afaqs! about the brand’s future plans, Saakshi Verma Menon, marketing director, Kimberly-Clark India, says that it’s more of a launch of the brand than a relaunch.

Kotex’s positioning

According to Menon, when Kotex was looking to re-enter the country, it found that modern Indian woman had evolved by leaps and bounds.

“They (young women) think of periods very differently than the previous generations. They don’t see it as a problem, and Kotex is a brand that talks to this woman/girl.”

Kotex found that today’s women want to be associated with brands that make a difference for them as well as those around them. The brand’s marketing strategy, therefore, reflects this.

“We saw that our target audience wants to be the ‘change’ and here’s a brand that has been the torchbearer of change for so many years,” Menon adds.


How’s Kotex looking to compete in India with two incumbent brands dominating the space and a number of D2C brands operating in urban areas?

“The reason why a brand succeeds, is because it’s able to cater to the needs of the consumers. One of the reasons that these D2C brands have found success, is because they’re offering more than what the incumbent brands are offering,” shares Menon. 

“As a marketer, I see it as a category that’s growing. The consumers are looking for product innovations that make their lives better. We have healthy competition in the category, where there are large established players as well as young brands.”

She adds that the brand will focus on expanding its distribution as well as creating awareness. 

Advertising and marketing strategy

Menon states that most of the brand’s spends are targeted at digital.

Speaking about the ongoing digital-first #ChooseItAll campaign, she says that it focusses on personalising messages.

“We believe that we should be where our consumers are. We feel that we’ll be able to serve our consumers better with digital-led campaigns.”

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