Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where Are The Chicks On The Market Research Team?

I know I don't have a slew of male readers but for the few I do, I can pretty much guarantee you aren't going to want to read this post.  It's about poor marketing in the feminine product world.  Are you all gone yet?  If you are not, go ahead and take this opportunity to reread my post about my car or one of my technology posts.  Whatever you choose, I'm sure you aren't going to want to read on here - unless you are just dead curious.

So, ladies (and interested gentlemen) here we go.

I was in the feminine hygiene aisle of my local pharmacy, trying not to think too hard about what a terrible descriptor "feminine hygiene" is, and I noticed a new addition to the typical pink and blue packages we are used to seeing.   It was a black box with some wild colors and patterns peeking through the clear window of the box.  Intriguing.  Now, maybe it wasn't new.  It is entirely possible that I am just THAT unobservant but, in any event, it was new to me.

I picked up the box and pondered the merits of essentially the same product in a bright, shiny package.  This is one product where the packaging truly does NOT matter.   You can't polish a turd, right?  (Actually, according to Mythbusters, you can!) Who is going to be swayed by this blatant marketing ploy?  Well, apparently, I am.   Hey, I'm a designer and a visual person.  I like pretty things!

I got my new purchase home and waited with happy excitement for "my friend" to visit.  HA! HA! HA!  Seriously, I can't even fake that for a second! The only time any woman has ever welcomed that moment with a thrill is if she thought she might be unexpectedly expecting!

Sparing the gory details, I must admit that I was less that delighted with my new feminine hygiene purchase.  I'm only 2 days in (suddenly realizing what a delightful way to let the world know when I might be unexpectedly bitchy - mark your calendars, people!) and, despite the pretty swirly things that not only appear on the package but on the pad itself, the "performance" is a bit of an issue.  And it is all about performance!

The absorbency is fine.  The issue, thus far, is with adhesion.  This is one product that needs to have just the right amount of tensile strength.  It needs to stay in place and then release, easily, when it's time to let go. It's the latter part where this product literally falls apart.  The adhesive is so dang strong that the first time I went to remove it, I ripped it.  Super yuck!

Second time, I approached the matter more gingerly.   I had to fight to get the thing off!   There are so many ways that this can go wrong!  With adhesive that strong, imagine what might happen if you didn't properly secure all the wings before pulling up.  OUCH!  No need to go for that wax now!

It was at this time that I became astonished that nobody at Kotex had figured this out before going to market.   Aren't there girls on the market research team?   Didn't anyone say "Hey Sally.  Next time you get a visit from your Aunt Flo, give these a whirl and let us know what you think."?   It's crazy.  I envision a roomful of cigar smoking, cognac drinking suits saying "Who cares?!  A rag is a rag.   Just make the packaging in neon colors and they'll buy them because they are pretty.  Now.  Give me a gun so I can shoot something."

To be fair, I am a "Stayfree" girl, not a "Kotex" girl so, for all I know, the adhesive has always been like that on their product and has nothing to do with the "New U" packaging.  Also to be fair, I also bought the "New U" tampons and they worked out just fine.  No adhesive problems there, thank heaven!

I need to do a bit more research.  There are many factors.  Panty material for one.  Maybe some kind of incredible bond is formed when it touches micro-fiber or satin.   Maybe it's fine on cotton.  I'm not sure.  Maybe it is length of time.  Maybe it releases without issue after an hour but longer than and it has a death grip on your undies.   But, I keep coming back to my original question.  Where are the chicks on the market research team? Shouldn't they have figured all this out already!  You'd think, but apparently not.

I guess the moral of this story is that all that glitters is not gold.  Or if it ain't broke, don't fix it.   Or buyer beware.  Take away from this whatever you like but if you decide to try the "New U" be sure to handle with care.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing this!!!! I thought this only happened to me! I had similar difficulty and did not handle it gracefully by writing a helpful humorous blog. I cursed scandalously (because I just do) and then started laughing like a hyena because I suddenly got a visual of my "product" flying across the powder room once I broke it's grip on my panties. Where was I when I unleashed this earsplitting braying profanity while still struggling to remove the "wings" ? In a rest stop along Route 17 (future 86) on my way up to Binghamton. The other restroom patrons fled the lunatic in the third stall rather quickly. -- JS