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Kimberly-Clark program aids India’s ‘sanipreneurs’

One in four of the world's population uses a Kimberly-Clark product every day.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. has been in business for almost 150 years and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of everyday life.

The Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) portfolio is a collection of household names used through every age and stage:  Diapers and wipes, toilet training, tissues and paper towels, feminine care and adult incontinence. The brands include: Huggies, Pull-Ups,  Kleenex, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise and Depends.

In fact, one in four of the world’s population uses a Kimberly-Clark product every day, the company says. Its products are No. 1 or No. 2  in 80 of the countries where it does business. Although based in Dallas, Texas, it has 41,000 employees worldwide and roughly half of sales are outside North America.

Kimberly-Clark is a dividend aristocrat having increased its payment in each of the last 46 years. In its latest 12 months, it had revenue of US $18.4 billion and a market capitalization of US $47 billion.

Among the company’s initiatives is a program to improve sanitation in Latin America, Africa and India, where it is estimated that 2 billion people do not have access to toilets and clean water. In 2015 it formed the Toilet Board Coalition.  The coalition also includes Unilever and Japan’s Lixil, a construction company, plus agencies like UNICEF and the World Bank,  as well as advocacy groups.

They fund sanitation and clean water initiatives focusing on fixing what has been built and adding new facilities to schools. A recent CNBC article noted that in India,  the initiative is helping companies and “sanipreneurs” find commercial ways to turn human waste into renewable energy.

Kimberly-Clark ticks all the boxes of a global brand leader.

In any market, language and currency, the products resonate with buyers. It dominates in all markets and the brands are easily recognized. The marketing message is consistent and buyers can be assured of the same quality everywhere. This creates lasting economic value by encouraging loyalty and repeat purchase.

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