Kimberly-Clark lab to spark innovation

Mr Asthana says Kimberly-Clark wants to use the data the firm has to better understand its consumers and target its messages. PHOTO: KIMBERLY-CLARK

Consumer goods giant Kimberly- Clark will use its new innovation lab here to spark a region-wide hunt for developments in areas like product customisation and database marketing.

The Digital Innovation Lab aims to bring together investors, start- ups, government agencies and the academic community in innovating for the consumer goods sector.

Kimberly-Clark has two other labs in Chicago and Tel Aviv. The US firm said yesterday it will tap on start-ups across Asia to generate business solutions through the lab and a "K-Challenge". This will involve firms presenting solutions to challenges in different markets. Teams then collaborate with Kimberly-Clark on pilot programmes.

"We want to keep pace with changes... make sure our innovation stays ahead by reaching out to some of the smartest minds outside the company," said Mr Rahul Asthana, senior director of marketing and innovation for the baby and childcare sector at Kimberly-Clark Asia Pacific. He was speaking at InnovFest unBound 2016, a two-day exhibition at Marina Bay Sands that ends today.

Kimberly-Clark is a partner of the event, which is organised by National University of Singapore Enterprise and unBound Media in partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

"One big trend is that consumers increasingly want their products personalised," said Mr Asthana. "So for one of our strongest brands, Kleenex, we are looking into leveraging printing technology such that we can customise products for each consumer in a financially sustainable way." The firm is also looking for personalised marketing solutions. "We want to use the data we have to better understand our consumers and target our messages," Mr Asthana said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline Kimberly-Clark lab to spark innovation. Subscribe