We are all connecting in ever more instant and intimate ways – largely via new technology. But this new cultural shift puts the onus firmly on brands to look for new ways to foster individual intimacy and closer relationships with their consumers. And when it comes to intimate brands in ‘silent categories’ there is a huge opportunity to identify a fantastic creative idea and give voice to products that traditionally shy away from the limelight.

We are boldly throwing issues such as mental health into the spotlight and innovating with product design and creative solutions to tackle and normalise stigma. But when it comes to sanitary brands or the huge sexual health and function arena, we still seem to be shying away from interaction – and just how we move from a hushed and embarrassed dialogue to an honest, engaging and relevant one.

We know it is not the concept of ‘intimacy’ that consumers are shying away from, just the way it is currently communicated and experienced. And this puts the emphasis firmly on design. Regardless of channel, design is the key and constant connection between the product and the buying experience. And good design communication has the power to say things that are painful, intimate and uncomfortable.

Many brands remain static, propagating a generic and functional look and feel with a focus on the problem rather than the solution. The opportunity is for more brands in the personal care and intimate sector – and, indeed, other silent categories – to match the product innovation with new design solutions and ownable languages to help consumers better connect with and feel proud of their products.

It’s about finding the best way to scale intimacy for the benefit of your brand and its community. Some will choose to say it loud and proud. For others, discreet and quiet may still be the desired option but this approach can still be better designed. Design has the power to help silent brands find their own unique voice and expression.