How Can A Brand Make CONSTIPATION Cool

How Can A Brand Make CONSTIPATION Cool

Welcome to Series II of our Bite Sized Mailers.

The idea is to share things we found interesting during the week, things that made us pause and think.

An interesting question that sprung up during conversations last week was

– How Can A Brand Make CONSTIPATION cool

And, like always our first step was to dig deeper into the strategic challenge at the heart of this question.

This led to a number of thoughts,

– We must find a way to make constipation cool

– Which will make it ok for people to speak about it

– Which will lead to people acknowledging this as a problem they face

– Which will lead to more people seeking a solution

– Which will eventually lead to action

So, the real stated problem is,

– Find a way and make people acknowledge the (Embarrassing) problem and act on solving the same

This is the behavior change we want to bring about,

From hiding or shying away to ——> actively looking, exploring and asking for a solution


1. Alter the language around the problem

Some brands have tried to tone down embarrassment by the use of softer caring tones and words to soften the blow of the problem

– Tummy or tum tum instead of gut or stomach

– Poo-pourri instead of toilet freshener

Others have cleverly used language to change the dominant emotions associated

– The use of ED instead of impotence

– Erectile Dysfunction frames the problem as a medical issue rather than impotence which communicates a flaw or lacking in ability – unmanly

By using terms like treatment, condition, advanced formula to give it a medical feel

Or by framing gut issues / constipation as slow metabolism and taking a fitness first approach

2. Play up the fear / social embarrassment or the loss faced due to the problem persisting

Something most brands have played on from sanitary pads to acne and pimples

Eg. Krack cream – chehre se raat rani aur pairo se naukrani

– Heighten and make the problem real – the dreaded log kya khahenge

Eg. Adult Diapers which showcases how you miss out on social relationships since you are forced to stay at home

3. Make the problem seem widespread, normal or everyday

– At the same time providing factual, numerical data thereby making it rational (Moving away from emotions)

Billie which tries to normalize body hair by showing all their models with hair

– One of the lines in their communication says – all women have it, we checked

Or brands ensuring they show people from different life stages and lifestyles all using the same product or removing any particular gender or age association towards the product

– Remove the feeling of isolation or identification

Some have even adopted a different or newer scale to remove the binary lens

– Fair & dark skin to defined complexion types (milky, ivory, dusky, wheatish, chocolate)

– Body sizes being portrayed as various body types (square, apple, hourglass, pear shaped)

4. Reframing the problem or benefit differently

Making consumers believe they are victims of something beyond their control,

– “it’s not your fault, don’t feel embarrassed” narrative

Eg. Hair fall / dandruff as scalp lacking nutrition or an effect of fast paced lifestyles

Eg. Acidity – as a mismatch between food you eat and your body type

– “From is my body normal, to everybody’s bodies are different”

Eg. Stunted height, weight or hairline issues as a genetic concerns that need a medical specialist – genetic baldness

Or the usage of sex toys from pleasure to ———-> sexual wellness & modern intimacy

– To remove the shame and stigma associated

5. Communicate it as a ‘we’ or ‘us’, NOT ‘me’ or ‘I’ problem

Shift the onus on finding the solution to someone else who is not in denial or better able to express the issue

Make the family or close friends the ones who trigger the change

Lastly, two very critical things to keep in mind

1. Try make the product anonymous

– A monochrome packaging with a simple geometric shape, minimal visual or verbal content or depictions

2. Bundle the product with other items to lower focus on the issue at hand

– This could mean where it is placed in an isle or what else it is shopped along with

“Harvard research committee found that the more anonymous a product looks, the less embarrassing a consumer finds it, and the more likely they are to purchase it”

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