Intimate Hygiene: Story of a package brand & dispensing solution
What makes an intimate hygiene product connect to women? Evolving touch points for the product system, where perception, communication & feel are critical.
By ASHISH DESHPANDE
With mass urbanization, longer commutes and longer hours away from home, personal hygiene issues are no longer a rarity nor taboo in urban India. There is a growing acceptance of new age grooming needs and solutions are being sought to take care of all eventualities.
However, there has been very low awareness on intimate hygiene and the fact that regular cleaning products are not suitable for the purpose is not known. Also, most women reached out to curative solutions when they faced issues and they were not even aware that there were preventive products. With years of strategy & action by FMCG majors, sanitary pads have managed some visibility at the shops. But intimate hygiene products are nascent in India and retailers were not willing to allocate any display space to these products.
How does one get modern urban woman’s attention and communicate that intimate hygiene is an essential part of her everyday grooming? What does design do to contribute to her intuitive yet informed decision-making mind?
We interacted with potential users, women who were able to make their own grooming choices based on their needs. The central idea of these interactions was to understand their sense of comfort, apprehension and engagement. They were open to new ideas, however, there was complete lack of awareness about de-merits of using regular soap & water, changes in PH balance during cleansing for maintaining hygiene of vaginal & uterine parts of the body.
A medicinal bottle structure was considered an embarrassment, as she would not want to wrongly communicate any medical condition.
Design research team keenly looked at her bathroom to understand the kind of products she was using. They deducted that women would be comfortable if the product matched aesthetics & usability standards of their other products like conditioners, body lotion, hand-wash etc.
Outer packaging also needed to play triple role of;
3. Educate the right set of values.
The design team created ideas that explored colour, form, communication & materials. Ideas were repeatedly tested with user groups to understand comprehension, apprehensions & acceptance.
The form of new bottle dispenser design is asymmetrical yet smooth. It is intuitive the way it is held and aligned for use. The form is focused towards a woman of elegance standing tall and with poise. The bottle cap is like a crown quickly moving the product from a curative to a personal grooming category.
It was pertinent to make the brand come alive for the smart & confident woman who makes informed choices. Brand logo is clean, contemporary & no-nonsense.
Cuing reliability & efficacy along with personal-care codes was an important decision that the design team took. While staying within feminine pinks, pastels were avoided to get away from any undue cues since this product has no unnecessary additives like colour or fragrance. Brand palette was dialed up with a dense magenta. Metallic substrate and silver added to the expertise & efficacy.
In terms of communication, the team decided to focus on PH balance of V-Wash, the single most point of distinction to educate the user with a simple & easy to understand infographic.
ASHISH DESHPANDE is an Industrial Designer, Co-founder & Director at Elephant. An alumnus of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, he is a practicing designer, a keen Design Thinker, member of India Design Council & has been a Jury for India Design Mark. He has worked on several design programs, notably in consumer appliances, medical & healthcare products, packing & display structures, furniture amongst others.