Critical thinking in the diversification strategy by Kimberly-Clark is present in how the company tries to understand the market and its needs before venturing into new business ideas. The Kimberly-Clark company was open to hearing their customers’ views on what they would require them to provide (Kimberly-Clark – Innovations, n.d.). They critically looked into the possibility of the new idea working profitably for them before venturing into it. Critical thinking was evident when the Kmiberly-Clark company collaborated with other minor companies to experiment on the benefits of having other products used in place of cotton by using the wood pulp commodity hence creating cellucotton. This information confirms that the Kimberly- Clark company used critical thinking by analyzing the possible new product, experimenting with it, and finally deciding to trademark the product to its customers.
There are several reasons why critical thinking is crucial for decision-making, and they include; improving the idea, noting the pros and cons, trial and error, and building a plan. Critical thinking enhances an idea through several elements, including building up questions and experimental research. When one has the vision to create a particular commodity, they can improve the concept by asking themselves questions such as will the product benefit people? Will the product bring in profits? Such questions enable one to do enough research before formulating the idea. Experimental research is part of critical thinking, where one tries to visualize the concept in real life. When the results are promising, one might venture to create the product.
Critical thinking is crucial for deciding since it helps one identify a specific idea’s pros and cons before implementing it. One might take time to analyze the pros and cons of investing in a particular business. Additionally, critical thinking brings about trial and error, where a company might test its creation on a few potential customers to see if they like the commodity. If most customers who tried the product are opposed to it, the producer would decide not to create the product for a larger market group.
Additionally, the company strategized on building a plan before investing in an idea. For example, the company planned to know where there was a market gap for its investment. Sir Walter Leuke got hired by the company to got investigate a possible market gap in the Red Cross and found out that the nurses were in dire need of a product to use during their menstrual period. Hence, the company created a deal with the Red Cross to supply the women with Kotex, a product of Cellucotton (Hoover, 2021). The deal helped the company grow profitably in the market without rivalry.
The Kimberly-Clark company decided to diversify when they realized there were endless possibilities for new products to bring to the market. In the beginning, their investment was paper making, a fast-growing industry. Later, they formed a research development group carrying out experiments for possible new products. They learned from these experiments that they could provide the market with other essential products they started manufacturing. Such products included; Kleenex facial tissue and disposable handkerchiefs.
Kimberly-Clark’s company took three significant steps in diversifying: experimental research, production, and trademarking. The experimental research was the first and most crucial step the Kimberly-Clark company invested in before introducing a new product to the market. The company financed experimental research to put the idea into a realistic goal. All the company’s products were tested to see their effectiveness and benefits. Examples of the company’s experiments data include; practical research on cotton substitutes from wood pulp, experiments on the production of disposable handkerchiefs, and makeup removal cotton.
The company’s next step after experimental research was the production of commodities that were in demand to meet specific needs. Kimberly-Clark invested in what the market needed as to what most companies were producing. For example, the company hired Sir Walter Leuke to investigate what the army needed. He discovered that nurses in the Red Cross used cotton during their menstrual period and started immediate production to meet the demand. The products became useful hence earning the company significant income from a partnership with Red Cross.
Another step that Kimberly-Clark company took to diversify was trademarking its products. Products such as Cellucotton, Kotex, and Kleenex became popular due to the company’s trademarking strategy (Hoover, 2021). The trademarking step was one of the origins of diversification. Many who wanted to make such a similar product would have to make do with the company, which in turn was profitable to the company. For example, the trademark of Cellucotton by the Kimberly-Clark company was a massive investment since there was a need for cotton substitutes in the market.
In conclusion, Kimberly-Clark used the opportunities available to build a great company. The company took risks that many companies often avoid, and these risks proved helpful in making profits for the company. Kimberly-Clark used critical thinking resourcefully to decide whether to introduce a product to the market or destroy the idea. The company’s ideas and innovations have proven helpful to society through producing paper, skin care products, cosmetics products, and children’s pampers.
Hoover, G. (2021, August 7). Kimberly-Clark: From Commodities to Powerhouse Brands. Business History – the American Business History Center. https://americanbusinesshistory.org/kimberly-clark-from-commodities-to-powerhouse-brands/
Kimberly-Clark – Innovations. (n.d.). https://www.kimberly-clark.com/en-us/company/innovation