Thursday, December 13, 2012
Sexy adult diapers? Welcome to the new frontier of intergenerational branding
I recall, about 20 years back, an article in Spy Magazine that pointed to loose-fit Levi's as proof that aging baby boomers refused to give up the trappings of their youth. Now I think I've seen an equivalent for my generation (for women, at least): sexy incontinence panties.
Previously marketed as "Sexy Period" panties, these absorbent underthings have been relaunched as "Dear Kate" and positioned as fashionable confidence-boosters for the millions of women who experience urinary incontinence — especially as they age.
According to The Cut, 25-year-old Sexy Period founder Julie Sygiel was surprised when she found out how common incontinence was (1 in 4 women, according to the brand's new site) but immediately saw a huge opportunity. “People say ‘I laughed so hard, I peed my pants,’ but I never knew it was real,” she noted.
The transformation of this Gen-Y brand for young women with heavy menstrual flow into a brand for specialized maternity and incontinence needs is impressive. To get a perspective, here's a quote from Dear Kate’s 28-year-old COO, Sharon Ruggieri: “We’ve never had children but we’re learning things about pregnancy no one told us".
But they're willing to learn. Now those are some smart marketers.