Finnish family-owned Delipap is a strong player in the market for baby and femcare products. Technological innovation and strategic trademark protection underpin the company’s brand strategy as it looks to increase international sales.
The vast global market for personal-hygiene and baby-care products is fiercely competitive. Companies differentiate on price, product innovation, sustainability and more, consolidating these attributes under the most crucial element of all: brand.
Delipap is a family-owned company from Finland that produces high-quality feminine-care products, cleaning wipes, diapers, and other personal-care items. Each of these categories is brought to market under a different brand: Vuokkoset (femcare), Harmony (wipes), Muumi Baby (diapers) and Helmi (personal care). Delipap sells its products across the Nordic region, as well in the Benelux countries, Portugal, Poland, South Korea and the UK.
Established in 1979, the company takes pride in using responsibly sourced raw materials and manufacturing its products to a high level of performance and comfort. These are the attributes that Delipap communicates through its trademarked brands.
“Delipap has traditionally been an engineering-driven company and has many decades of R&D expertise. Now we’re transitioning into being a brand-driven company,” says Delipap Growth Director, Tomi Sirén. “Our products are extremely good and getting better all the time. With us the consumer is making the best and most sustainable choice in a given product category.”
“The export share of our turnover is currently around 25% and we’re aiming to increase this each year. Our strength lies in the trademarks connected to our brands,” he says.
Technology and trademarks meet
Delipap was founded by a paper-industry expert with deep knowledge in the technology around absorption, softening and skin friendliness. Today, the company has 65 employees and turnover of EUR 17 million. All its products are still manufactured at two factories in Finland.
Jussi Mikkola, a Trademark Attorney and Partner at Papula-Nevinpat, has been working with Delipap for more than a decade. He’s seen the company consolidate its brands and trademark-protection activities in recent years.
“The geographical scope of Delipap’s trademarks has traditionally been quite wide. But now the company is focused only on renewing trademarks for its key brands, which is a really good strategy,” says Mikkola. “Once we have these marks in the register, our work is basically about maintaining them. This includes monitoring the territories to ensure nobody else tries to file a similar mark.”
Photo: Rosalina Aholainen
To market its Muumi Baby diapers, Delipap licensed the use of Finland’s famous Moomin brand some 30 years ago. This helps to differentiate the company’s products in the crowded but massive market for disposable diapers. Babies and toddlers typically wear some 6,000 diapers before potty training is completed.
“Building a strong and competitive brand requires much more than just good products and technology,” says Mikkola. “Many companies and brands are now using social media to tap into a sense of community when interacting with their target audience. This approach should also be considered when assessing the scope of trademark classification.”
Broadening scope to pursue growth
As Delipap has evolved, so too has the scope of trademark classifications for its products.
Over the past five years, the company has expanded its protection from only specific product categories (such as the diapers category, for example) to include protection of the trademarks in a wider range of goods and services categories. This shift reflects Delipap’s efforts to reach new markets and grow its customer base, including through online retailers.
“Amazon plays an important role in helping us to explore and validate potential new markets for Delipap products. It’s how we identify untapped demand. Then we use this knowledge to refine our export strategy and support our overseas distribution partners,” says Sirén.
Delipap is also exploring new services and technologies that complement its product offerings. This focus on innovation is expected to open new market opportunities and expand the company’s reach over the next decade.
“A lot of smart services are emerging around our products. We’ve already done some IP filings in this regard and there are surely more to come,” says Sirén.