Two weeks ago we announced the first annual Spike Awards winners. Kimberly-Clark took Spike trophies in both the CPG and People's Choice category. What makes their social product innovation story a double winner?
To further the development of entrepreneurial moms, enable their baby and toddler-centric innovations to become more broadly available to moms everywhere, and source potential Huggies® innovation.
The company created Huggies® MomInspired™, a grant program that provides funding for business and product ideas inspired by motherhood. Kimberly-Clark used social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to reach, teach, and enroll prospective entrepreneurial moms in the program.
385 grant applications were received. In this inaugural round of the program, Kimberly-Clark selected 12 recipients to each receive $15,000 grants to advance their business prospects. Beyond providing business development grants, the Huggies® MomInspired™ website delivers education on key business challenges and a support community for entrepreneurial moms. A community of “Inspired Moms” has formed and Kimberly-Clark and the recipients continue to work together to identify potential business opportunities and build awareness of this program.
Why They Won
Kimberly-Clark capitalized on the fact that Web 2.0 and public networks like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and custom sites like http://huggiesmominspired.com are great technologies for crowd-sourcing ideas, fine-tuning product concepts, soliciting feedback, and driving innovation. When explaining what social product innovation is, we like to quote one of our clients: "it's open innovation combined with the internet." Kimberly-Clark’s story is a great example of that. Distinct from other approaches to open innovation, the Huggies® MomInspired™ program puts venture capital directly into the hands of moms to source innovation directly from their consumers.
Steve Paljieg, senior director of corporate innovation for Kimberly-Clark, says:
“From an R&D and product development standpoint, we realize we need to find new and different ways to source innovation – in this case, through the lens of our most important consumer, mom. That's why we believe the Huggies® MomInspired™ program is such a win-win: for mom inventors as well as for the innovative commercial opportunities they will inspire for Kimberly-Clark.”
Voters obviously felt strongly about the win-win nature of this program as Kimberly-Clark swept the People's Choice category with over 75% of the vote.