Achoo uses data—from vaccination rates to bird migration patterns—to predict, three weeks out, which areas of the country will (likely) be hit by cold and flu.
Kleenex brand manager Anna Elledge says the company uses Achoo to see where the flu will hit and to "get out in that market early." Company reps set up "checkpoints," basically stands with coupons and samples.
Once established, the localized marketing push both steers customers toward Kleenex tissues and rewards those already carrying Kleenex with free product.
Kleenex moves on to the next region about to be hit with the flu, leaving behind what it hopes is a lot of goodwill—and, more important, brand loyalty. After all, Kleenex will be around next flu season too.
A version of this article appeared in the February 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine.