Just days after I relocated to Burlington, VT last September and began my new job at Seventh Generation, I was given my first assignment: despite challenging distribution obstacles and a tremendous amount of conventional brand competition, I was asked to design a plan to promote our new line of chlorine-free pads and organic cotton tampons.
This felt more like an fraternity intiation rite than an office project. Allow me to paraphase the scenario for you: Our team would take a subject that nobody wants to talk about (wait, scratch that... one that most people don't even want to think about), a category in which women remain loyal to the same brands for 35+ years (often deferring to the same brand that their mothers used, brands with long histories and deep pockets), a market in which the lion's share of women use applicator tampons (which we don't currently offer), and a budget on par with that of the school bake sale, to successfully educate women about the importance of using natural feminine care.
Several weeks and laughs later, TamPontification was born. We built a website that would provide a forum for women to speak out candidly about topics related to the great cycle of fertility upon which civilization depends. Our sense was that it would be impossible to get women to think about the healthier choices they might make, if we didn't first offer them the opportunity to talk comfortably about the subject in general. Building on that website, we also created a mobile tour for which two of our most loyal and passionate consumers would venture out on the open road to escalate the face-to-face dialogue and provide the much-needed education to inspire change.
The TamPontification tour has just begun.
We found our whip-smart, storytelling, eco-savvy, people-person, road-tripping mission-fairies (think Betty & Veronica meets Cagney & Lacey meets Lucretia Mott & Elizabeth Cady Stanton) who are spending 30 days (October 13th - November 12th) touring the West for Seventh Generation, talking to women (and men) about menstruation, hand-delivering product donations to area homeless shelters, and spreading the good word about the importance of natural feminine care while blogging, photo-snapping, and signing autographs (okay, not signing autographs) along the way in our Prius (aka The Tampon mobile... check it out on www.tampontification.com/communicate.php).
We'd love to introduce you to these two brave souls, Jennifer Butson and Stacie Beute.
Jennifer comes to the world of TamPontification fresh off a tour for kindred brand, Stonyfield Farms. With Seventh Generation in her hometown of Burlington, VT, she has always been a big supporter, but she was especially thrilled to represent the company while educating women about the importance of leading healthier lives. She says, "A journey that enables me to educate, volunteer, benefit the planet and become an advocate for women's health is more than an ideal job; it is a personal opportunity. I intend to promote beneficial change in this country. Seventh Generation is a natural fit for who I am and what I want to do."
Stacie had us at hello with her strong affinity for the derivation of our company name. In her words, "The name 'Seventh Generation,' where it was derived and what it means are my favorite things about the company. 'In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.' This ethic drives the company's mission, its operating principles, its corporate responsibility, its product development. These are the wisest words I know, employed by one of the wisest companies I know." We had a really hard time disagreeing with her.
Visit www.tampontification.com for a list of store locations that the pair will be visiting in Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, and San Diego... and follow their journey on this blog or on the 'communicate' section of tampontification.