Posts Tagged personal-care

4 ways Dear Kate is changing the outdated conversation around “feminine needs”

Dear Kate

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.

The end of shampoo?


Is it the end of shampoo?

Fast Company recently wrote an article that raised a provocative question – is it the end of shampoo? In the article, they highlight a growing movement towards not shampooing on a daily basis, which is fueled by the belief that washing your hair will lead to more oil production, since you’re removing the sebum. Having read exactly this case for non-daily shampoo routines a few years back in a book, No More Dirty Looks, I was super curious to learn more about why this movement is gaining traction.

My first guess is the popularity of the “effortless chic” look e.g. “I woke up like this” or the “perfectly imperfect” or more specifically for hair – “second day hair” or a “lived in style”, which was made possible, often perfected, by dry shampoo. But dry shampoo can only go so far. What about the morning following an intense work out? Or what if you’re someone who prefers a cleaner feel to your hair versus the grittier feel from dry shampoo? And of course, while you might be into the look of second day hair, I doubt anyone wants to be recognizably labeled as the person who doesn’t shampoo every day – that just raises questions around hygiene.

Enter these next gen cleansing formulas.

They are not shampoos; they are “an all-in-one cleansing and nourishing treatment” that are similar to “co-washing” (i.e. washing with conditioner, and no shampoo), a practice common within the curly haired community to help keep curls hydrated. Starting with more craft brands like Wen and DevaCurl, it’s exciting to see some of the bigger players like Bumble and Bumble, L’Oreal, and Pantene offering a solution to address this makeshift behavior of co-washing, and essentially carve out a new space for hair care.

As an avid co-washer since 2007, I’ll be curious to see how these products take on in the market, and how they potentially change our hair care rituals.

The Psychology Behind Personal Care Decisions

When we’re exploring consumers’ beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, and choices, we think in terms of three levels of understanding that map directly onto their levels of consciousness.

The conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious mind each come with their own challenges if you are a researcher wanting to get to deep insight. Nowhere is this as true as in the world of personal care products. Not to worry though, the knowledge and tools are there, you just need to know where to go to find them, and how to use them once you have them in your hands.