SMAKK Bridges the Sexual Health and Wellness Gap with Age-Defying Identity for Tabu

Even now, sex remains a taboo subject when discussing women over 50. For example, up to 90% experience pain or discomfort during sex due to hormonal and lifestyle changes, but only 25% seek medical help for their symptoms. As a result, nearly 50% give up on their sex lives, negatively impacting their self-esteem, relationships and overall health.

Tabu founder, Natalie Fretwell, set out to improve these statistics with a solution that would honor women’s bodies as they change – creating a sexual wellness routine with very real benefits. Looking to enter a new phase of growth and leadership in sexual wellness, Tabu partnered with branding and marketing agency SMAKK to better underscore its important mission. The result is a new identity that shines a light on how optimal sexual health, with or without a partner, isn’t just a means to pleasure, but an essential piece of long-term well-being.

SMAKK was enlisted to help create a new brand identity, packaging and ecommerce website for Tabu’s premium, science-backed sexual wellness kit as well as various upcoming new product launches. This meant reshaping the brand to be more approachable, dignified and credible in order to deconstruct the notion that sexual health has an expiration date.

“We saw the potential to bring sophistication, discretion and credibility to a product category known for being anything but – typically marketed by way of brazen eroticism and cheeky innuendo,” explains SMAKK Founder Katie Klencheski. “So, when it came to shining a light on an important but often overlooked piece of the wellness puzzle, we knew it was right in our sweet spot.” For this expansive effort, SMAKK led a complete reimagining of the brand strategy and creative, including the visual identity, messaging, packaging, ecommerce design and development.

Aesthetically, the new identity is artfully unapologetic in the way that it illustrates and talks about sexual wellness, with a bold wordmark as well as icons and illustrations informed by scientific diagrams you might find in a textbook. Leveraged together, these elements deftly communicate complex sexual wellness topics and ideas in a way that feels necessary and credible rather than taboo or shameful. The typography used throughout the brand finds a similar balance, using a headline style that has a beautiful femininity, paired with a more utilitarian monospace.

Meanwhile, the brand messaging is honest but dignified, presenting Tabu’s benefits through a science and health-centered lens that also doesn’t hide its irreverent “Use It Or Lose It” attitude. These complementary choices ground Tabu and its ethos in a dependable trustworthiness without losing all of its delicacy and grace.

No stranger to sexual wellness brand-building, SMAKK drew insights from their previous work with boutique e-tailer Wild Flower, a project which required an inclusive understanding of the diverse audiences who would be using their products. “With Tabu, we realized that there was a similarly wide range of people we had to engage – those in relationships and those not, those who have used a personal personal massager before and those who haven’t, those who are embarrassed at the mere mention of one and those who aren’t, and a range of life stages where one would need to use a sexual wellness kit,” adds SMAKK Chief Strategy Officer Anna Kavaliunas. “We had to be empathetic and take into consideration things like accessibility in design elements and typography, discrete packaging that still felt premium, and a strong science story to support the health aspect. We also had to think about women who had just had a baby, were going through a dry spell, or even cancer treatment.”

With this thoughtful approach, SMAKK was able to not only educate about the science of sexual-health but position the brand as a disruptor in a category usually associated with feelings of shame. “We were excited by Tabu’s mission and inspired by the opportunity to be a part of an inclusive movement,” says Klencheski. “This is a brand empowering women to not only embrace, but prioritize their sexual well-being regardless of where they are in their reproductive years and we’re proud to help them lead this important conversation.”