Inside Retail: Why did you feel it was the right time to update Modibodi’s brand identity?
Kristy Chong: When I founded Modibodi back in 2013, it was with the intention to create a brand that was frank and fearless and that would have conversations others are afraid to have. I was, and continue to be, committed to championing a more sustainable world, helping end period poverty and normalising conversations about periods, leaks and real bodies.
Over the past nine years, we have received thousands of reviews and seen a consistent phrase used that we really connected with and felt proud of – that Modibodi is ‘life-changing’.
So many people were telling us that because of Modibodi, they can now live more comfortably within themselves, and without limitations – that we wanted to do something to embody and celebrate this as a brand.
‘Life-changing’ is now part of our brand’s DNA and sits firmly at the heart of what we do. Our new brand position speaks to Modibodi’s three core pillars of ground-breaking, comfort-creating and planet-sustaining life-changing apparel.
IR: What does the new identity mean for Modibodi going forward? Are there any new products, initiatives, or collaborations in the works?
KC: Life-changing apparel is about redefining what comfort means for our customers in terms of their physical, ethical and emotional experiences with the Modibodi brand.
It means being able to get our product in the hands of the differently abled and those who can’t afford it, and celebrating what our bodies can do, instead of what they look like. It’s also about our genuine commitment to life on our planet.
We’re excited to be continuing to expand our absorbent apparel range, but we can’t share the details now.
In addition to our new brand platform, we are excited that this year we will become a Certified B Corp Business and we’re thrilled that our assessment score significantly exceeds the average company score. Creating a positive impact is embedded into the products we make, and as a purpose-led business we place people, the planet and the communities we serve at the centre of our decisions.
IR: Can you tell me more about your adaptive offering?
KC: Our adaptive collection includes a detachable bikini with hook-and-eye fastening and an adaptive boyleg with hook and loop tape and elastic loops for easy removal, enabling people with limited mobility or disabilities to use our leakproof underwear to manage periods and/or incontinence.
Our range can be used without having to remove clothing or lifting your legs, and it can even be done whilst seated or lying down in bed – helping give people of all abilities the independence to manage their leaks with ease.
IR: How do you plan to communicate your new brand identity to customers?
KC: Our exciting new campaign videos showcase Modibodi’s evolution from global period and leakproof underwear to a full range of life-changing apparel catering to all of life’s leaks.
They feature familiar human experiences that, while common, are still seen as ‘taboo’ and not openly discussed. We explore that unexpected blood in the toilet in the school bathroom, self-pleasure on your period, a breastfeeding mum’s first night out with leaky breasts, and incontinence in all life stages.
The videos show moments of truth and comfort – whether that’s physical, emotional or psychological. Instead of showing leaks as a source of shame or discomfort we focussed on moments where people are enjoying and celebrating their bodies in confidence.
I’m so proud of our new campaign and shift towards ‘life-changing’ apparel. Modibodi is plain-speaking and taboo-breaking, and we believe it’s about time that we accept and revel in these natural and important moments in life.
IR: Looking back at when you started, do you think we’ve made progress in speaking more openly about topics like menstruation, incontinence and masturbation? What still needs to change?
KC: Over the past nine years, I believe as a society we have certainly made progress in speaking more openly about bodily leaks, but in doing so as a brand, we’ve faced our fair share of backlash.
We’ve been asked to cover our ‘leakproof undies’ signs as part of a pop-up store tour and had a number of radio advertisements pulled from the air due to complaints from some listeners that the topic wasn’t appropriate for mainstream media. The most notable backlash, however, was the outrage towards our ‘The New Way to Period’ campaign.
In September 2020, we launched ‘The New Way to Period’ film/TVC campaign designed to normalise conversations about periods. The film portrayed blood as red and showed real-life scenarios menstruating people could relate to. The film was temporarily banned from Facebook, and only reinstated due to industry backlash. I’m relieved to see that in 2022, period blood is no longer considered prohibited content.
Historically, in advertising and marketing, period blood has been portrayed as a blue liquid, or something similar, rather than realistic red. Modibodi has always used red liquid to represent blood, and we continue to do so with our new ‘life-changing’ campaign.
While I believe we have made some progress in speaking openly about topics such as periods and incontinence, self-pleasure on your period is still an area that is still rarely spoken about openly in the media. Our new campaign continues to challenge and place the spotlight on areas in our lives that are natural and normal but have been shamed and stigmatised for far too long.