March 29, 2024

5 truths with Deeannah Seymour, Co-founder & CEO of pH-D Feminine Health

Michael Karamanoukian

Marketing Intern

A powerful episode with an inspirational woman. We caught up with pH-D’s founder Deannah Seymour and got down to business. She reveals her experience as an entrepreneur and what she’s doing to challenge the stigma surrounding feminine hygiene.  

Being one of the few women CEOs in the room, and how to own it

Given that feminine hygiene is a $43 billion industry, you may think Deeannah is one of many women CEOs in the space. Surprisingly she’s among the few, as the majority of CEOs in the hygiene category are men. Despite this, she owns the room with her conviction. From that conviction comes courage and her product – vaginal suppositories – is the result of that courage. 

What should have existed in the market years ago, fell on Deeannah’s shoulders since the risk-averse legacy brands in the aisle didn’t innovate to have more effective products. She challenged the goliaths by disrupting the category with her ingredient of boric acid, making her product the most affordable, convenient, and effective. Since then, she hasn’t looked back. 

Taking the word vagina seriously 

Vagina was said around 20 times throughout this podcast episode and there was zero shame about it, as there shouldn’t be! Today, saying the V-word in a business setting can be uncomfortable, but Deeannah is actively challenging the stigma that surrounds feminine hygiene. 

pH-D was actually the first brand to say vagina on TV. Knowing it was a challenge, she thought the commercial wouldn’t air on many channels. For the places it did air on connected TV, it was a smash. The cable buy however didn’t go so well. Deeannah and pH-D are still pushing to normalize the word and enable women to celebrate walking down the aisle.

What it means to be labeled as an Insurgent Brand

Making Bain & Company’s 2024 Insurgent Brands list was a “pinch me moment” for Deeannah. The list denotes brands “that outgrow their category by 10 times. While they account for just 2% to 3% of market share in the categories they have disrupted, they’ve captured 25% or more of the growth.” For her, it further proves her brand as an innovation and a disruptor. Her product is what the category was missing. She turned the tide of inconvenient and expensive feminine hygiene products and has changed the lives of countless women. Being named to the list signifies the massive impact the brand has had in the market and is set to open doors to even more retailers in 2024. Who else is on the Insurgent Brands list? Fellow Curiosity client DUDE Wipes.

The Power of TikTok in marketing 

TikTok has the power to make brands seem like they are successes overnight. One viral video or influencer can increase sales exponentially. pH-D became a conversation on TikTok when a woman uploaded a spit-take-worthy video of her telling her embarrassing experience while purchasing pH-D. Although the TikTok was a hit for its humor – resulting in 10x more sales for Deeannah’s business – it also revealed the unnecessary shame women endure when purchasing a product like pH-D. 

Deeannah explains that this woman sharing her story of walking down the aisle creates a community of women who have gone through a similar experience. The platform is not only for entertainment but also for education and community building. Marketers can see firsthand the community around their brand and leverage their accounts to educate consumers. Deeannah knows this is important since Gen Z often uses TikTok as their Google.  

Insider tips on how to get and stay on major retail shelves 

So how do you get your product with huge potential on big-name store shelves? Deeannah explains, convincing retailers is like speed dating. You tell them your story and explain what your product has done for people. She has a strong case – allowing women to live life free from vaginal odor. The sheer velocity her brand took over the category was also very convincing to retail buyers. Build a strong case for why your product will be purchased in-store and have the numbers to back it up. 

When you get on the shelf, you need a great marketing plan to stay there. Make sure to have strong relationships and constantly communicate with buyers about the brand and its big wins – including the NSFW TikToks that go viral.

That’s it for now …

We covered a ton of ground in this episode – sharing tears and laughter along the way. Hear more of Deennah’s incredible story here. Share your favorite moment on our social posts and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. See you next month.👋


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