Taking Brand Australia Global — Modibodi

Published on
November 3, 2022
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In late 2013, Australian public relations executive Kristy Chong launched Modibodi — the original high-tech, leak- and period-proof underwear and apparel brand that launched a thousand mentions about women’s unmentionables.

The idea occurred to Chong in 2011, after her life-long struggle with period stains was compounded by unfortunate experiences with light bladder leaks following the birth of her second child. Running a marathon was always on Chong’s bucket list, but the idea of wearing a not-so-discreet pad to protect her from leaking always held her back.

This pushed her to think about how many other women in the world shared the same dilemma and eventually sparked an even bigger conversation around environmental sustainability and lack of innovation in the 20-billion-dollar feminine hygiene industry.

The Global Rise of Modibodi

Chong shared the same problem with billions of other women all over the world, and so she set out to solve it. Today, Modibodi has grown into a multi-million-dollar global underwear brand that disrupted the traditional foundations of a lacklustre market.

As an innovative idea gleaned from the classic principles of human-centric design, it is easy to see why Modibodi wowed the world. However, the public is still left with the question of HOW?

What factors were pertinent to Modibodi’s success? More importantly, how can Australian and international startups and scaleups replicate the same kind of victories?

In this article, we are going to explore the three factors that impacted Modibodi’s rise to global renown.

1. Modibodi Launched in a Market that is Highly Receptive to New Ideas

Australia, Modibodi’s headquarters, is a country that welcomes disruptive ideas and has a global reputation for early and enthusiastic adoption of new products and services. The Australian government has already embraced a laudable innovation policy that sees the country’s success through to 2030, while other governments in other countries have not or are just catching up.

Innovation and science are critical drivers in the country’s growth and continued economic prosperity in every industry, including feminine hygiene, which is why Modibodi’s first-to-market, high-tech leak- and period-proof underwear generated three million dollars in sales in just three years.

Add the fact that novelty-loving Australians have money to spend, with the average Aussie household enjoying an income of $116,584 per year, ModiBodi’s journey — while not always easy — was geared toward success from the beginning.

2. Modibodi Focuses on Real Women’s Issues

It was not long ago when conversations around women’s periods and bodies were considered taboo. Because of brands like Modibodi, this topic shifted significantly toward normalisation — which is not at all surprising.

Australia has a long-standing association with the protection of women’s rights and needs. In 1894, Australia became the second country to give women the right to vote and, in 1902, became the first country in the world to give women the right to be elected to parliament on a national scale.

It is this equality-centred culture that influenced Modibodi to disrupt the feminine hygiene industry by simply addressing a long-ignored intimate question that has been plaguing women since the beginning of time: How can I avoid leaks and have more comfortable periods?

And, just like that, Modibodi has successfully empowered its consumers by giving them the option to switch to a more comfortable and effective solution to feminine hygiene that also helps them look and feel their best every day.

3. Modibodi Takes Care of the Environment

Apart from the obvious convenience and practicality of its undergarments when it comes to liberating women from the restrictions of period and incontinence woes, Modibodi also addresses another issue that affects us all — climate change.

As an Australian brand, Modibodi’s mission for sustainability was heavily influenced by the country’s strong passion for environmental conservation and protection. Australia’s environmental movement was the first in the world to become politicised, paving the way to the world’s first Green Party — Australian Greens.

Plastic pervades our modern way of life — racking up to 36,000 tonnes of feminine hygiene waste per year in South Australia alone

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— and the feminine hygiene industry has done little to nothing in addressing this issue. By confronting this ongoing problem, Modibodi was able to appeal not just to Australia’s eco-conscious markets, but also to those in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and France.

Undeniably, Modibodi’s inspired idea delivered on the triple bottom line by successfully addressing its core market’s needs as well as mitigating negative environmental impact while surpassing commercial goals in a uniquely Australian way… and the world has noticed. This, ultimately, catapulted Modibodi’s trajectory from local scaleup to global disruptor and household name in just less than a decade.

This article is the first instalment to BeingIconic’s “Taking Brand Australia Global” series. Keep posted next time as we — as scale-up specialists — explore how other renowned Australian scale-ups like Archie Rose, Hivery, Spacer, and BlueShyft set themselves up for global success.

Published by Aly Karindjias in blog, Taking Brand Australia Global