Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Period-Proof Underwear Helped THINX To Tackle Period Taboos Via Word-Of-Mouth

Since launching via Kickstarter in 2013, THINX has been steadily growing in reach. Founded by Antonia Dunbar, Miki Agrawal and Radha Agrawal, THINX has been making steady progress in its aim to empower women. Their reinvention of the underwear has paved the way for THINX to openly tackle taboos surrounding menstruation.

Let’s see how word-of-mouth has been instrumental in the success of their continuing efforts.

1. Having a candid Kickstarter campaign to address the problems they faced and genuinely cared about (raising $64,811 in the process!)

When the founders created their Kickstarter campaign, they used their video pitch to share their experiences with having to face the stigma associated with menstruation and injected some humor into the proceedings.

CEO and co-founder Miki Agrawal shared what made her become interested in tackling this issue, where a chance encounter with a 12 year old girl in South Africa led her to discover that there were millions of girls around the world who did not have the means to manage their periods.

By sharing their personal stories with regard to period-shaming and how they wanted to change this misconception of periods and get women to feel good about their body, this helped THINX to establish a personal connection with their intended audience from day one. At the same time, this helped them to pitch a product that resonated with their intended audience: period-proof underwear.

2. Being focused on a cause and being driven by it, winning over media and influencers in the process

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“For People with Periods” has become THINX’s mantra. Along with partnering with AFRIpads to help women in Uganda, THINX CEO and co-founder Miki Agrawal has also continually expressed her efforts to combat the stigma associated with periods through interviews, press articles and in a TedXBethesdaWomen talk.

This steady dedication has gotten the company much well-deserved attention. Numerous praises from fans, support from popular websites like BuzzFeed, Elle, Women’s Health Magazine and glowing reviews from YouTubers like Charis Melina, Petrina Hamm, and Bookish & Belle have all helped to multiply the strength of THINX’s word-of-mouth.

It’s no surprise, then, that the company’s period-proof underwear received a nod on TIME magazine as one of the top 25 best inventions of 2015.

3. Using social media to power their efforts to break taboos

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When an ad campaign with a creative use of eggs and grapefruits was deemed to be “too suggestive”, THINX took to the press and the situation went viral. The ads were eventually allowed to be put up in the New York City subway area and the added exposure helped to bring more awareness to the brand and their cause.

Some commuters took to Twitter to share their love for the cheeky ads, along with supporting the brand and its direction.

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THINX continued building on this momentum by releasing a documentary online called “The Week” to spread awareness about how period-shaming is a problem and why it is a big deal. THINX’s efforts to keep the conversation going about period stigmas struck a chord, with the Huffington Post picking up on their film and echoing their sentiments.

On their website, THINX also encouraged supporters to tweet the film to celebrities and influencers with hashtags as part of the company’s continuing efforts to mobilize and spread awareness of the common misconceptions of periods.

4. Being actively involved with building up a community of like-minded people

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When THINX received feedback early on that their initial tagline of “For Women with Periods” was not being inclusive of the transgender community, the company listened. With “For People with Periods”, THINX asserted their commitment and support for women and for those who identified themselves as women.

Along with an open letter on their website, they also partnered with transgender model Sawyer Devyust to make a video called “People with Periods” to drive home the message that THINX cares about their community and that they are in this for the long run.

Their public acknowledgement of doing better for the community met with positive word-of-mouth, drawing the attention of popular media sites like NYMag, Metro, Forbes and Mashable to spread the word about THINX’s latest efforts.

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Taking the effort to interact with fans and supporters on “Ask Me Anything” sessions on Reddit, to organize discussion meetups with their community or to simply just hang out and have fun, have all helped THINX to nurture and grow a dedicated tight-knit community of people who share the company’s vision to empower women. With every step taken to clear up misconceptions and raise awareness, THINX forges ahead with making much stronger ties with its partners and community members.

Recap:

  1. A candid Kickstarter campaign that focused on a real issue people relate to
  2. A broader cause that ties in perfectly with the product
  3. Created a media phenomenon by artfully managing public responses to their ads and campaigns
  4. Supported the creation of a passionate community around all of the above

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Prakash Haridas

Prakash is a blogger, animator and a geek. When he's not busy catching up with movies or playing video games, Prakash enjoys meddling with technology, experimenting with media and creating hybrid artworks.

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