Research, innovation and manufacturing transform women’s lives

One in three women around the world deals with adult incontinence, but no one talks about it. The subject is more taboo than the menstrual cycle. Past incontinence offerings delivered a product that felt so close to wearing diapers they virtually stripped away every bit of a woman’s confidence and femininity. Design Central and Procter and Gamble partnered to develop a solution, Always Discreet Boutique line of incontinence products, to encourage women of all ages and body types to live life to the fullest with performance and beautifully designed protection.

  • Procter & Gamble
  • Consumer
  • Strategy
  • Research
  • Product Design
  • Prototyping

Objective: Design desirable, accessible incontinence products to differentiate mid-tier and premium lines within the Always Discreet brand

Research and thoughtful product design ease the stigma of incontinence

Design Central and the Always team spoke to women worldwide to learn how incontinence affects them. The surprising, painful stories of women avoiding social events, intimacy, and even drinking liquids were heartbreaking and unexpected. This experience challenged the team to design products that aren't bulky and uncomfortable, to design products women can wear with confidence and femininity. The Design Central team dove into action with P&G technologists, engineers, R&D, and manufacturing specialists to create an incontinence solution that feels like one's favorite pair of underwear. The fashion industry inspired Always Discreet Boutique's protective underwear, liners, and pads, soft color palette and slim profile, designed to fit women's unique shapes, style preferences, and need for comfort.  The line extends the Always brand promise by making women feel confident they are protected from leaks and odor and delivers the right fit across a wide demographic.

Technologies combine to expand brand equity

Design Central created an innovative approach of intentionally shaping non-woven and elastic materials into functional layers that are thin, flexible, and stretch better than traditional fabric. The new material, combined with P&G's liquid-to-gel, absorbent core technology sets a category benchmark and delivers a contoured, flexible fit, with superb absorption and breathability, without the bulk. Design Central drew upon its expert knowledge of P&G’s manufacturing process during the Discreet Boutique line development to successfully challenge and establish new manufacturing standards with P&G, a success in the high-speed, highly complex mass-production environment. The initial release of Always Discreet incontinence products has expanded to upscale expansion of the line with Discreet Boutique incontinence liners, pads and underwear in three colors.