Case study

Shaping the future of reusable underwear

Driving sustainable competitive advantage with Thinx menstruation and incontinence solutions, co-created with consumers and experts

Thinx, a feminine hygiene brand and leader in menstruation and incontinence solutions, specializing in innovative reusable underwear

Challenge

Driving market leadership with next-gen reusable underwear

As consumers demand better femcare solutions and purchase more sustainable brands, the market for reusable underwear has become increasingly lucrative, attracting competitors and incentivizing existing lingerie companies to innovate within the space.

While Thinx is a leader and first mover in the reusable underwear market, it was imperative that the brand maintained and strengthened its advantage. Thinx approached Board of Innovation to gain profound insights into their consumers and products, and to develop an innovative product pipeline that would secure a competitive edge while shaping the future of menstruation and incontinence solutions.

Strategy

Consumer-centric innovation to drive competitive edge

Board of Innovation was fully immersed  into the lives of consumers – understanding their lived experiences, behaviors and challenges through social listening, empathy interviews,  ethnography and more. We brought insights, triggers and consumer journeys that would drive current and future innovations to the surface. We helped define near- and long-term white space  opportunities, overlaying consumer insights with trends and competitor analysis. We recommended possible growth territories to trailblaze a new era for period and incontinence solutions while positioning Thinx as a leader. Collaborating with the Thinx team, industry experts and consumers, we ideated and co-created potential solutions that we tested rigorously.

Outcome

Unveil causes of low product adoption and propose industry-shaping solutions

We identified universal gaps in the existing reusable underwear product across the entire market, exposing critical unmet needs that erode consumer trust and hinder product adoption. Our recommendation encompassed solutions and a product roadmap that  reimagined the future of menstruation and incontinence reusable underwear. Our collaboration also sparked a broader discussion at Thinx, empowering them with valuable insights to strategically navigate and excel in an increasingly competitive environment.

This is foundational work, super excited to work off this for several years to come. To surprise customers but also to meet their base need.

Challenge

Driving market leadership with next-gen reusable underwear

How might Thinx strengthen its position as a leader, influencer and innovator in reusable period & incontinence underwear?

Since 2013 Thinx has been on a mission to build a healthier world by creating sustainable and inclusive products for periods and incontinence. 10 Years later, Thinx remains the leader with one of the strongest brands in the market – but as the competitive landscape becomes more saturated and consumers evolve, Thinx needed to adapt to the changing landscape.

Thinx sought the expertise of Board of Innovation to effectively navigate the rapidly evolving landscape by gaining profound insights into their consumers, understanding their perceptions of the existing product, and accelerating the development of their product pipeline. We recognized that our challenge grew far beyond the near-term product development – we needed to look to the future, to align on the strategic vision of the company so we could innovate with intention and the foresight required for a sustainable competitive advantage.

Most Innovative Companies

“—a mixture of high-tech merchandise, considered design, and a rule-breaking philosophy—to new efforts.”

The compelling strategic fit of a disruptor with an industry leader

“Consumers want environmentally friendly products”

Strategy

Consumer-centric innovation to drive competitive edge

With an iterative, extensive and immersive approach to design research, we reached over 350 consumers, enabling us to dig deeper and uncover the biggest, most persistent unmet needs they experience in their day-to-day and while using the product in question. Over the course of 4 weeks we were able to define white space opportunities and recommend near-term areas for innovation and long-term growth territories that would trailblaze a new era for period and incontinence solutions while positioning Thinx as a leader in the market

We mapped persona needs to the blue ocean map to surface unmet needs in the market

As we transitioned into the solution and concept phases it was imperative to gather as many perspectives as possible. We tapped into Board of Innovation’s wide network of experts, ranging from healthcare to fabric and fashion design, to supply chain and behavioral economists, to help us ideate the next generation of period and incontinence solutions.

This is phenomenally structured and presented work - powerful that we built this together. Huge thank you to Board of Innovation. We’re in a strong place. Seems like everyone is excited to have a strong framework to work off from.

Chief Executive Officer, Thinx

Through a series of quantitative experimentations we iterated upon these solutions, designing higher fidelity concepts as we tested and learned. Our recommended concepts tested almost x2 better than industry standards.

Finally, we believe that storytelling and the ability to influence is vital to successful innovation within organizations. To bring our learnings and recommendations to life we developed an interactive website, making it easier for readers to consume and digest information at a higher or deeper level.

Outcome

Unveil causes of low product adoption and propose industry-shaping solutions.

New concepts

We proposed four concepts that outperformed industry standards in consumer experiments, suggesting Thinx’s R&D teams should continue testing them

Crafted lasting, behavioral personas

We equipped the company with essential insights into their consumers by crafting behavioral personas and consumer journeys, providing valuable resources for future endeavors.

Identified market gaps causing low adoption

Perhaps most crucially, we identified significant gaps in the current reusable underwear products prevalent throughout the entire market and competitive landscape. These universal gaps represent essential needs that companies fail to meet, thereby impeding consumer trust and confidence in the product.

Our collaboration provided Thinx with the insights and direction needed to consider where to play and how to win in an ever increasing competitive environment.

Redefining the menstrual and incontinence experience, and empowering women to live their lives to the fullest. Through our insightful collaboration, we unveiled barriers and provided innovative concepts that ignite Thinx's purpose-driven innovation. Now, women embrace freedom, confidence, and comfort, breaking free from the limitations of traditional menstrual products.

Tell me more about this case

Let’s talk about what life needs next