Faced with a sudden loss of sales in the young women’s market a er the release of U by Kotex, Tampax hoped to create a new opportunity for young women in the feminine care category. Specifically asked to focus on discretion and comfort and their relation with packaging, we developed an education pamphlet and prosthetic, as well as a resealable tampon applicator which would go on to be branded as Tampax Radiant.
Young women learn various feminine care habits through a repetitive cycle of long term preparation (stocking, storage, organization), short term preparation (packaging, assembling, carrying), execution (transit, use, disposal), and replacement (restock and recycle). These behaviors revolve around emotional cues like discretion and comfort, function cues like efficiency and cost, and learning cues from social and personal use. Over time (usually one year), women have a set of familiar and effective habits that grant peace of mind.
However, at the beginning, there is a knowledge gap. Young women latch onto the strongest emotional cue they are presented with. This can be a pretty box or the set of methods ‘Mom’ and ‘Sister’ used. As their personal experience and expertise grow over time, these young women develop their own methods, and begin to rely more on the functionality of their feminine care suit in purchasing decisions.
Slowly, as they realize a set of habits that work for them, or as they try a number of products and realize that they are all the same, these women divide into two camps: loyal shoppers or value shoppers. Most often, value shoppers are born of a contingency situation in which they are found without their usual suite of products and must borrow from another or buy from a vending machine. Otherwise, most young women will continue to use the same brand they started using at the very beginning.
In order to speed the transition from being an inexperience user to an experienced user, and to engender brand loyalty at the start, we developed a new pamphlet that folds into a practice prosthetic and dispels some common misconceptions about menstrual cycles and feminine care. This gives young women an opportunity to see exactly what is going on.
Further, we observed several patterns in disposal and disgust behaviors. Often, women will roll used tampons in toilet paper or place them back in the wrapper before throwing them away in order to spare others the sight of their used products. We developed a prototype that draws the undesirable evidence back inside the product, but women still did not want to see the physical object in the trash. Only a covering that had not touched their bodies was acceptable to see.
As a result, we developed prototypes that left the wrapper attached as a safety bib for the fingers and hands. After use, the wrapper could simply and easily rewrap the applicator with a tug of the pull tab.
No mess, no unsightly artifacts.