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Brand Deep DivesOctober 25, 2022

Fighting Stigma: How WooWoo Found Success as an Intimate Wellness Brand

October 25, 2022
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Cory Schröder
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Let’s talk about intimate care, or as up-and-coming intimate wellness brand WooWoo calls it, “care down there”. Much like menstruation, discussing female intimate care — aka the cleaning, grooming, and caring for one’s vagina — is still quite taboo.

Well, WooWoo is having none of it. In the brand’s own words, its goal is to:

“help you value your vagina and in turn approach sex with high standards for health, pleasure and hygiene. We’re giving the finger to the female sexuality taboo and creating a world where you can proudly love, groom and talk about your vagina.”

Offering everything from intimate body wash to pH-balanced wipes to hair removal creams, female-founded WooWoo has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for feminine intimate care. Coming at it from a “self-care” lens, WooWoo understands that intimate care is about more than just hygiene and health — it’s about pleasure, community, and fun.

And in just 6 years, the UK-based brand has grown quite a bit and is now poised to expand into the US market. So, what can you learn from this bold, exciting brand? Let’s see.

WooWoo’s Growth Story

Source: WooWoo Website

Founded in 2016 by Lucy Anderson, WooWoo is an intimate wellness brand that boasts one of the UK’s few all-female boards. From the beginning, WooWoo’s founder saw just how much stigma surrounded female intimate care and wanted to make a real difference.

Thus, WooWoo’s goal over the last six years has been to shatter the many taboos surrounding female intimate care. In Anderson’s own words, WooWoo wants “to provide 21st-century women with fun and fearless intimate products that really work, as well as a judgement-free space.”

And since the brand’s launch, Anderson has noted some positive trends, stating:

“more big retailers are stocking female orientated products, and there’s also more frank and honest content entering mainstream media and social media which is normalising topics that for so long were off the table.”

However, there’s still a way to go, which is why femtech brands like WooWoo remain so important.

In 2018, Anderson raised £500,00 in a pre-seed and “closed the pre-seed round after scoring distribution at British mass-market health and beauty retailer Superdrug” — which likely had something to do with the brand’s price-accessibility. Most of WooWoo’s products are under $15, making them affordable for the average consumer.

According to Claire McCormack of Beauty Independent, “WooWoo’s mix of colorful packaging, cheeky branding, and advocacy for women’s self-esteem and the normalization of their sexuality has helped the brand build a dedicated consumer base notably of 18- to 30-year-old consumers”. Clearly, WooWoo knows who its target audience is — as well as how to effectively connect with them.

Recently, Bettina Wonsag — who sits on the company’s board — shared with Beauty Independent why she’s so excited to be a part of the brand’s growth, stating:

“Lucy’s vision in bringing to market a brand of gorgeous, standout products that truly deliver on their claims has not only been instrumental in leading the charge in carving out a whole exciting new and much needed intimate skincare category, but through her vision and determination she has also created a platform and a safe space for women to ask and learn more about intimate health and pleasure”.

Not only does WooWoo have a clear vision for its growth, but it also has a board and team that’s highly dedicated to said vision — which is a great indicator of future success.

In May 2022, the brand’s products launched in the US after they set up a company and warehouse in LA. And in September, WooWoo’s product became available in clothing retailer American Eagle. However, the brand has its sights set on many more American retail partners, and, according to McCormack, it’s been “eyeing chains like Walmart, Target and CVS.”

And in exciting news for WooWoo’s future and growth plans, Anderson recently secured 75% of $1 million in funding from all-female investors — which will allow the company to fund its expansion into the US, as well as develop its product range going forward.

WooWoo not only wants to provide consumers with great products, but it also wants to encourage certain groups of consumers not to be “afraid to have the frank conversations” — as well as “to educate and to provide useful information that empowers women to feel more confident in the bedroom.”

So, what can your brand learn from WooWoo? Let’s see.

3 Brand Lessons to Learn From WooWoo

Source: Pexels

Bold, unapologetic, and incredibly fun, WooWoo is a brand that knows who it is and what its target audience wants. We could all learn a thing or two from a brand such as this. So, let’s take a look at three lessons to learn from WooWoo.

1. Make Sustainability A Core Value

Sustainability is incredibly important to many modern consumers. According to our own research, 66% of customers say sustainability is important when buying products, and 51% are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

WooWoo definitely understands the importance of sustainability to its target audiences, and it’s made its stance on the issue crystal clear. The brand’s “About Us” page has an entire section dedicated to the ways that sustainability is a core value.

First, it highlights its “guilt-free packaging”, saying:

“We avoid using petrochemicals that are harmful to the planet and the packaging for our creams and balms (not including Tame it!) are produced using material from the sugar cane plant, which is a renewable resource that can be recycled.

“We are recruiting an eco-packaging specialist to help us find a suitable alternative for the plastic caps and looking at using ocean recovered plastic. Our wipes are 100% cellulose thus plastic free and biodegradable and can be flushed one a time.”

Not only does WooWoo call attention to the ways in which its products are currently sustainable — but it also highlights the steps it's taking to enhance its sustainability going forward. The same can be said for the brand’s goal to become 100% vegan, as it’s working to remove the hydrolyzed silk proteins from its Tame it! Cream, its only product that’s not made from fully vegan ingredients.

Finally, WooWoo also spotlights the fact that its products do not contain any parabens, which are preservatives used to prolong shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria. However, the brand explains that “parabens are a chemical compound and can be harmful to your body and have been linked to disrupting hormone function, as it is able to mimic oestrogen – a key hormone for your femininity and your woo woo!”

Furthermore, parabens are also harmful to the environment. According to research cited in an article from the Environmental Working Group:

“Parabens are also linked to ecological harm, as low levels of butylparaben can kill coral, according to laboratory tests (Danaovaro 2008). Parabens have been detected in surface waters, fish and sediments (Haman 2015).”

The Takeaway: Where possible, your brand should consider ways to become more sustainable, as modern consumers prioritize sustainability and want to take an eco-conscious approach when making purchasing decisions.

And should you take steps to increase your sustainability, make sure it’s made clear to consumers. That way, they can see that their core values overlap with your own.

2. Breaking Taboos Can Be Fun

Breaking the taboos surrounding menstruation, intimate care, and other bodily functions is hard work — but it doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy. At least, that’s WooWoo’s approach, and it’s worked quite well for them so far.

In the words of the brand’s founder, Lucy Anderson, “it needs to be fun”. And she means all of it — “from the products, to the communications and of course, the team.” A short perusal of WooWoo’s website makes it clear that the brand is taking a bold approach to branding.

Just consider this quote from Anderson for Global Cosmetics News:

“Our aim is to empower women to feel more body confident and ready to play, rather than embarrassed about buying products to ‘fix a problem’. It’s high time us girls valued our vaginas and WOO WOO was designed to do just that by enabling women to feel unapologetically sexually confident.”

Clearly, WooWoo isn’t shying away from speaking openly about its products, using traditionally taboo words like “vagina”, or cutting right to the heart of the matter with visuals that say “F*ck gender roles”.

And this bold approach to marketing is resonating very well with the brand’s target audience: people looking for period care, hair removal, and intimate care products. By positioning intimate care as just another part of self-care, WooWoo has been very clever — as the health & wellness, as well as sexual wellness, industries are on the rise.

The Takeaway: Breaking taboos can be really hard work, but it doesn’t have to be a solemn, cheerless endeavor. By taking a fun, light-hearted approach, brands like WooWoo are making previously taboo products and industries appear more accessible and open.

If your brand is looking to break any taboos, consider what kind of approach and tone you take. While being serious and austere has its place, you should consider what type of messaging your target audience will be most drawn to.

3. Inclusivity Is Everything

When many people think of feminine intimate care, they imagine young women looking for the perfect hair removal cream or the best lubricant — not necessarily older women looking to relieve menopause symptoms.

But WooWoo knows that inclusivity is key to success in 2022, and they’re soon to release a new line specifically made for people experiencing menopause. Beauty Independent provided more detail on what the line will look like, stating:

“Formulated with artichoke leaf peptides, an active ingredient chosen to boost collagen, the range will feature a gentle exfoliator, intimate wash, lube and a bath product, among various products.”

There’s so much about menopause that we’re unprepared to experience, and that’s mainly because no one really talks about menopause openly. It’s well-known that “at a certain age”, people go through menopause and deal with an array of uncomfortable symptoms. From hot flashes to mood changes to sleeping problems, those undergoing menopause and perimenopause are often overlooked.

In an article published on WooWoo’s blog as part of its “Real Women Real Stories” series, the author speaks very openly about her difficult perimenopause symptoms, noting:

“my lack of sleep, my anxiety and my added anxiety that I was going mad. I was mixing up my words, my friends and children had started to call me out on it. (...) The anxiety, the brain fog along with a catalogue of other symptoms including increased UTI’s, headaches...The list goes on, are all related to having lower levels of estrogen.”

While we often hear about the symptoms of menopause, we rarely discuss the causes behind it. WooWoo’s blog post speaks honestly about menopause, what causes the troublesome symptoms (changes in hormones), and the options available to deal with them.

The author of the article chose the HRT route — also known as hormone replacement therapy. For her, it included “a programme of bio identical hormones derived from yams (that took) the form of a spray”. And in the post’s conclusion, she explains her reasoning for penning this piece:

“I wanted to share my story as it is real, very real and there's not enough conversation around it. (...) The choice is entirely yours. You just need to know that there are choices!”

This post, as well as the brand’s upcoming line of menopause products, provide representation for those a group that’s often left out of the conversation. Yes, we should be able to discuss periods, sexual health, and more openly — but we have to be mindful that we’re not leaving anyone behind.

WooWoo understands that part of inclusivity is representation. In order to feel included, menopausal people need to feel like there’s a place for them at the table, and WooWoo makes sure they know they’re welcome.

The Takeaway: Inclusivity is a hot topic in 2022, and many brands are keen to ensure they’re being as open and inclusive as possible. But true inclusivity is about more than just saying you’re inclusive, you have to take the steps to become so.

WooWoo has created a community that welcomes and includes all those who currently menstruate or previously menstruated. For consumers to believe your claims of inclusivity, they’ll need to see real action.

Final Thoughts

WooWoo is on a mission to get rid of the stigmas and break the taboos surrounding the intimate care industry — to normalize female sexuality, self-care, and sexual wellness. And, so far, the brand has been incredibly successful in this undertaking.

Clearly, WooWoo understands who its target market is and what it is they really want from brands, which has allowed them to forge strong emotional connections with consumers. And with its planned US expansion and forthcoming menopause product line, WooWoo is set to find even more success in 2023.

If you want to follow in WooWoo’s footsteps, you’ll need access to reliable consumer insights — which we recommend getting from advanced brand tracking software. Providing reliable data on important KPIs like brand awareness, understanding, consideration, and more, brand monitoring software allows you to tailor your products and brand communication to your target audience's wants and needs.

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Cory Schröder

Senior Content Marketing Manager

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