Decoded: How One Little Change in Tampax Tampon Design Made a Big Difference for Customers

A little product design change that brings excellent results

Shame still informs the choices women make. If a certain female hygiene product cannot be concealed, it might not get used. Is there a way to work around this?

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • How mastering the psychology behind product design can bring excellent results,
  • Why too much friction can be a bigger problem for customers than a lack of motivation,
  • How putting yourselves into women's shoes (and pockets) can reveal new and unexpected solutions.
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If you’re a woman, the next situation might feel familiar. You’re at the office, trying hard to focus on the task at hand, praying to sweet Mary, mother of God that your Advil finally kicks in. And on top of that, you feel like you need to change a tampon.

Unless you’re Kiran Gandhi, who bravely free-bled as she ran the London Marathon in 2015, the chances are, you feel a little bit shy to cruise around the office with a tampon in hand as confidently as if you were holding up a box of tissues. You’re more likely used to sneaking around in shame with your menstrual products hidden.

Even the most evolved product may get ignored if there’s a fault in the design – like the fact that a tampon does not fit into the customer’s pocket.

Though a lot has been done to promote a qualm-free approach to periods (including a period emoji, a crimson droplet to symbolize menstruation, added to the iPhone menu in March 2019), according to a survey from 2017, 48 % of girls and women in the UK between the ages of 14 and 21 are embarrassed by their periods.

If you’re a female hygiene product manufacturer you may focus on the features, such as protection and leakage. Even the most evolved product, which you have put hours of product and material endurance testing into, may get ignored if there’s a fault in the design – like the fact that a tampon does not fit into the customer’s pocket. 

This seemingly innocent shortcoming of packaging (which is not something that would make a tampon itself inferior in any way), could potentially have a devastating impact on product sales. 

Women may opt for a manufacturer that isn’t as advanced in terms of materials used, but offers a more compact alternative. What’s behind this seemingly illogical behavior and how to work around it?

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