Mucinex Eyes Social Commerce to Help Bolster D2C Business

Earlier this month, Mucinex unveiled Sickwear, a six-piece fashion collection that aims to help consumers get through the cold and flu season in style. While it may not be the typical route for a healthcare brand, its parent company RB has been leveraging different channels, including TikTok and now social commerce, to reach consumers—particularly those who may not be aware of its direct-to-consumer (D2C) business.

We recently spoke with Claudine Patel, CMO of North America Health at RB, about this new effort, why the company decided to leverage social commerce, and the importance of testing and experimenting on various channels.

Why did the company decide to launch a fashion line and take the social commerce route?

We're trying to reach our consumers in a new way. When you think about new spaces, new places—especially with the pandemic—there's a lot of celebration around ecommerce. For us, this is really a D2C ecommerce and social commerce play, and we're trying to find a way that's super engaging for our consumers to continue on the journey with our brand as they go through their holistic sickness-to-wellness process.

At the end of the day, we're in the business of making people feel better by providing comfort. As a health and wellness brand, we need to continuously reinforce that message in new, interesting, and innovative ways.

Are you working with influencers on this effort?

Yes, influencers are a big part of the social commerce piece, because they have direct engagement with our consumers.

This campaign is reminiscent of the McDonald’s and Travis Scott collaboration, more in terms of the influencer aspect and with the brand looking to reach a younger audience.

Absolutely. There's an accelerated shift in the way people buy, how they shop, and how they interact with brands. We believe that this could be an interesting method for us to continue reaching consumers and a younger demographic.

What are you hoping to get out of the campaign? How are you measuring its success?

We have a couple of KPIs [key performance indicators]. Engagement will definitely be one. As a brand, we’re always pushing the boundaries—testing, learning, scaling, innovating, etc. I believe this is one of the first forays in the healthcare space where a brand is stepping into social commerce.

We're hoping to use this to learn and adapt in the new, changing world and environment. Then we'll utilize this platform to do other bigger, bolder, and more inspiring things as well.

How does this campaign differ from others RB has done in the past?

We started off this year on TikTok, with a Mucinex campaign called #BeatTheZombieFunk, for which we also leveraged influencers. We were launching a new product [Mucinex Nightshift], which has been extremely successful in the market. After we did that, we then went into a lot of public service announcement campaigns on social, using art to elevate conversations and engage consumers in new and different ways.

Most recently, in our campaign encouraging people to wear a mask ["Back to Normal Is Up to You"], we did experiential onsite art. We've always been using different formats and media for go-to-market strategies, and this was just another way of thinking about how we can work with alternative channels. It's an evolution of how we continue to be bold and fearless with our marketing efforts.

Did those campaigns lead to a boost in sales?

Absolutely, but not only that, they led to engagement with our customers.