On this episode of Busine$$ of the V, Dr. Dweck and Rachel welcome Toni Brannagan, whose work as content editor at Thinx Inc. is generating an exciting conversation about menstrual underwear. This innovative company has transcended the “ick” factor with candid advertising, multi-platform communications and an emphasis on education. We’re saying goodbye to the granny panties and hello to a new alternative to tampons and pads!
Toni explains the design and intent behind Thinx’s unique menstrual underwear, including game-changing odor and moisture wicking technology. She also highlights the many ways in which Thinx is fostering community, the exchange of valuable information and a space for women to “get to know your flow.” Committed both to diversity and science-based product development, Thinx sets itself apart by offering a new period option within a space that has otherwise been static. Post-partum and under doctor’s orders not to use tampons? Or interested in being kinder to the planet by reducing waste? Perhaps you’re wrestling with incontinence? There are all kinds of reasons that women are trying menstrual underwear with positive results.
Taking on the status quo is always a challenge, which is why Toni has stories to share about the media reaction (and resistance) to Thinx advertising campaigns with provocative slogans like, “What would the world be like if men had periods?” Tune in to hear Dr. Dweck, Rachel and their guest talk about the power of community, education and what’s on the horizon for this leading- edge femtech company.
As referenced on this episode, you can check out Dr. Dweck’s book, “The Complete A to Z of the V,” here.
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- Toni explains the concept behind Thinx underwear and how it works.
- How about the “ick” factor? Understanding the user-experience makes the difference.
- Special odor and moisture wicking technology differentiates Thinx from other products.
- Education about the concept of menstrual underwear is a big component of the Thinx strategy:
- Toni manages a biweekly publication about periods, vaginal and reproductive health.
- The Thinx brand values community and providing a place for building knowledge.
- Getting on the radar: It’s challenging to get advertising placed when there is pushback against anything referencing menstrual health or technology.
- Toni shares a specific example of push-back from the New York City subway system authorities. The fight to overcome resistance continues to this day, but has also given Thinx viral coverage as the result of its efforts to claim a voice.
- Thinx communicates through messaging and education campaigns across communications verticals. Online videos and outreach play a crucial education.
- Is the product’s intent to replace tampons and pads – or use alongside? It’s all about providing options. “Get to know your flow!”
- Thinx appeals especially to women trying to protect the environment from waste as well as women who are post-partum and unable to insert tampons for a period of time.
- Those suffering urine leakage also find Thinx very helpful. Toni overseas another blog that addresses topics related to urinary issues and has found an eager audience previously isolated by taboo.
- Rachel asks about the conversation Thinx is starting and the language necessary to get engage women – and society at large.
- Toni shares a bit about her compendium (link below) of essays, which includes prominent women writers and thinkers.
- Toni provides further resources (links below) for more information/education.
- Dr. Dweck has experienced the challenge to get traction when it comes to subjects related to all things V. She co-wrote in 2017 The Complete A to Z for Your V: A Woman’s Guide to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Vaginal Health.”
(03:44) – “We definitely get a lot of questions about whether the product will feel gross. I can personally attest that it really doesn’t. I love wearing them. They’re so comfortable.”
(04:35) – “The topics people don’t necessarily want to talk about – that’s what we like to explore!”
(07:40) – “It all goes back to that people just aren’t comfortable talking about periods yet. It’s just a space that hasn’t really had any innovation in a long time, which is something Thinx is working to correct.”
(08:55) – “The intention behind Thinx is really to provide more options for people with periods. It really is whatever works for the user. We always like to say, ‘Get to know your flow.’ ”
(12:10) – “Period underwear isn’t something people necessarily reach for …We want to see it as a viable option comparable to tampons and pads.”
(14:28) – “We’re never going to tell people what to do about their bodies. We’re just here to educate … and contextualize scientific topics.”
CONTACTS & FURTHER RESOURCES:
- Website: https://www.sheThinx .com/
- Toni @LinkedIn
- Toni’s collection of essays: The Vagina Book: An Owner’s Manual for Taking Care of Your Down There.”
- Thinx blogs and other resources on a range of topics can be found here.
- Take the Know Your Flow Quiz.
LINKS FOR BUSINE$$ OF THE V:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck: https://drdweck.com
Author Rachel Braun Scherl: www.sparksolutionsforgrowth.com/about-rachel-braun-scherl/