Tenderly slips away from the commodities, doubling promise & values

A range of products, but also a well established system of different categories.

Silvia Barbieri, Future Brand

Behind Tenderly is Georgia Pacific, a multinational company that, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, dates back to 1927. In Italy, its consumer division flanks Tenderly with the brands Demak'Up, leader in its field, and Tutto, a line of special paper wipes products: three brands that share a culture for improving pragmatism. Of the history of Tenderly, it is interesting to remember the invention of Tulip HVS, the paper with a "Highly Visible Structure", i.e. with visible embossing. It is worthwhile mentioning this innovation of the past because it synthesizes the innovative spirit that characterizes the brand and makes it special in its category.

Tenderly constitutes an interesting player within its category because it has sought and found a different voice, re-interpreting its promise of softness in a key of innovation and efficacy. It was not easy to perceive a distinctive path in such a commodity category as that of paper, but Tenderly has succeeded. Even as far as brand identity is concerned, the company has made brave choices, coherent with the desired positioning, even though not always positively realized. (Future Brand).


Paper is not a commodity. Durability, versatility, perfume, strength, consistency: the world of Tenderly has paper as its common denominator and the consequent softness, but it stands out for the wealth of benefits that characterize every product that comprise the offering. And here lies the innovative charge of the brand and its uniqueness with respect to competitors: proof that, even in product categories that see little involvement by consumers, innovation makes the difference.


A family of intelligent products. The Tenderly range is not infinite - and that's coherent with the fact that it wants to be a brand of paper-based products with tangible benefits. We start from toilet paper that promises superior softness thanks to the talcum, or promises to last longer given the length of the roll. Then kitchen towel rolls, in several variants, each with a specific benefit. Then handkerchiefs with the interesting variant for strong colds, table napkins and baby wipes.


Tangible: innovation, service, performance. Even though the name and benefits of the individual products recall values of softness, the product innovation traits strongly emerge, in the continuous renewal process of the products themselves, of the culture of the service, in thinking about products with added benefits and - of course, performance - all with a view towards constant improvement.


Intangible: quality, efficacy, action. Tenderly immediately transmits the feeling of a product that works, and works well, keeping the promises made: an active tenderness that embodies a strong perceived efficacy and quality, communicated with strength and clarity.


Identity: a strong logo. The brand's identity is one of its weak points. The brand logo is a strong, clearly recognizable element that unifies every package. But it is the only card that is really well played. As far as the rest is concerned, the chromatic colors chosen do not really remind one of the experience of softness and tenderness that is in the DNA of the brand. Certainly there was the need to distinguish itself from the soft colors of its competitors, and maybe the idea was to strengthen the perceived efficacy of the products, but the choices made are not convincing, because there is no global chromatic and signic vision of the line.


Communication: advertising is the fundamental lever. Tenderly uses the packaging to communicate its benefits. From the elephant of the kitchen towels - emphasizing the product's strength - to the kilometric writing that underscores the length of the roll, to the symbols used to communicate the principles contained in the products, from honey to thyme. The website is of the institutional type, coherent with the commodity nature of the business. In the past, the brand also recurred to advertising, but recently it has used only contests as a promotional lever.


Published on MARK UP - May 2010; all 2002-2009 research on: www.markup.it .

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