Many brand approach women’s needs on a problem solution basis, with communications revolving around embarrassing “issues” that need to be fixed. Tampon commercials glamorize periods, pads and tampons come in muted pink and purple boxes with cryptic cursive writing, and Victoria’s Secret advertises products using the least common body type.
Enter, Dear Kate.
If you go to Dear Kate’s website you won’t see blushing women, exaggerated models, or language like “unmentionables,” “feminine care,” and “that time of the month.” You’ll see real women, rocking products that they love. There’s a lot that other brands can learn from how Dear Kate takes a taboo conversation, and bulldozes right over it in a charismatic way. Here are four of my favorite lessons from Dear Kate:
Embrace transparency and normalize “issues” to expand your audience—but do it carefully. By boldly and tactfully saying that all women need more from their underwear, Dear Kate has expanded their reach beyond women who have more severe conditions. There isn’t a taboo associated with shopping at Dear Kate—in fact most women will be proud that they discovered this gem of a brand before all their friends did.
Hold up a mirror to your users in their best moments. You don’t have to look past the landing page to see that Dear Kate knows what real bodies look like. They showcase different shapes and sizes, meaning you don’t have to wonder how their products will look on you. It feels like underwear you could own and love and feel happy wearing.
Tell stories about role models that resonate with your listeners. In the past, advertising a product was about telling women who they wanted to be, and highlighting feminine ideals. The message was “buy this product, and it will make all of your wildest dreams come true.” Dear Kate doesn’t promise any of that—but rather acknowledges who real women are, and uses their stories as a call to action (and purchase.)
Invite your users to work with you. Dear Kate’s first yoga pant launched on Kickstarter, with a video all about how they had invited users into the design process, and asking for users to support the production of their new pants. Their tagline summed up their new yoga pant design: Freedom to go Commando.
Dear Kate creates a space for user communication, much like Antedote’s Idea Accelerator does, and then takes the feedback and to design brilliantly innovative products that resonate. Because of this, Dear Kate is not about feminine needs. They have created underwear that actually serves a purpose, and give women exactly what they want in a flattering and confidence boosting way. They are leading the way, and it will be interesting to see what other brands use these lessons to follow in their footsteps.