Monday, January 10

Kleenex Hand Towels

Here's a new product that is tracking with two huge trends in current pop culture: germaphobia and environmentalism. The problem is that it goes directly with one and directly against the other.

Kleenex just came out with disposable hand towels. Single-use towels that you use to dry your hands after washing, and then you throw them out. Convenient for sure, but we've seen for years the proliferation of products designed just for convenience. And in the wave that is all green right now, it certainly smacks environmental efforts right in the face.

Are they biodegradable? To an extent, but remember that they are generally put into a plastic garbage bag which sadly preserves them in landfill. Plus these towels are reinforced for strength which makes them much less environmentally friendly. You certainly can't flush them down the toilet.

So what's the benefit other than just convenience, which we as a culture are training each other not to prioritize over the environment?

Germs! The other huge pop culture obsession, particularly with swine flu and the likes. As the Kleenex brand says, "your hands are only as clean as the towel you dry them on." So clearly a fresh clean towel after each hand wash would certainly help to keep your hands clean from germs, right?

From a marketing perspective, this is a great example of consumers setting their own priorities. Convenience, environmentalism, germ-fighting. We all get to pick, and those brands that serve the best for the most people, win.

As a brand, can we help our consumers prioritize? Yes, but we should do so sincerely. If your number one priority as a mom is to protect your family from germs, at all costs, then you very well might choose these new disposable hand towels.

I just can't get around the visual of the upside-down dispenser sitting in my bathroom ... reminds me of the bathroom at Penn Station which isn't a happy thought.

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I have a sewing/altering business on the side. I’m up to my eyeballs in sewing for two weddings and Christmas gift sewing for others. On top of that, I’ve got all of my own Christmas sewing to do along with all the other holiday busyness. hand towels

  2. Sounds like Christmas starts early for you! Jim.