Feminine hygiene product development requires real innovation in order to connect "what's needed" and "what's possible," that is, connecting a superior understanding of consumer habits and attitudes with leading-edge technology. That is why research and development, together with marketing and market research, observe consumers using their products at home, look for ways to improve the products, and find ways to simplify the overall in-use experience.
With an opportunity identified, the product development team creates prototypes in the laboratories, working with technologies in product, process, and packaging design. These prototypes are tested with consumers to determine whether the product design works. The cycle of learning is iterative: a design is made in the laboratory, tested with consumers, changed based on what is learned from consumers, and the modified product is retested until it is right, as judged by the consumer. This chapter describes the process of consumer research conducted on feminine hygiene products before the products are marketed and available for women to use.
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