by Holly Jackson
Earlier this month, Crain’s New York published this article about how the lingerie market is both over saturated and struggling with rising costs. Many lingerie companies didn’t make very much money last year, and even the ones that made a profit are raising their prices.
All of this means that if you’re a lingerie designer or company, you need to make a commitment to getting your marketing in order in 2012.
With more companies and designers competing for the same buyers, a fabulous product is expected rather than appreciated. To create loyal buyers, you’ll need more than a great product – you’ll want a dash or two of stylish marketing as well.
1. Create a culture, and become an icon.
Clothing designers have been doing this for ages, and high end lingerie designers have been borrowing from their playbook for years now. Brands like Agent Provocateur have this down to a science, but you don’t have to be a giant luxury brand to apply this strategy.
Are you fun and funky or all about serious elegance? Look beyond your products and explore your marketing materials, your website, and your social media presence. Study how your purchasing process makes people feel. Is it fun? Does it build anticipation?
If you feel like your marketing isn’t quite lining up as well as you’d like it to, pick three adjectives that describe your brand and spend this year focusing on them. When you focus on becoming the destination for a small market instead of trying to dominate a large one, you gain the ability to focus on attracting loyal customers who will buy from you over and over again.
2. Figure out what you’re bad at, and then hire someone else to do it.
You got into the lingerie business by doing something you were good at.
You created groundbreaking lingerie designs, or figured out how to increase distribution by 362% for your company.
Do you know how to develop content that fits on various social media platforms? Do you know how to build pathways to sales within a website?
Do you know how to write an educational and promotional newsletter?
All of these are areas where you may be better off hiring an expert if you have the budget to do so. An expert can come in and develop your marketing content and teach you some tricks along the way. By picking the right person, you can ensure that your marketing efforts make have a greater impact and spend your valuable time doing the things that made you successful in the first place.
3. Embrace social media, and get to know some bloggers.
Social media is the way of the future, and brands that continue to ignore it will be doing so at their own peril. Brands that refuse to work with bloggers will also feel the sting financially. Bloggers already wield huge amounts of power over buyers, and will only grow in influence. Having a few well placed bloggers on your side, and the social media know-how to make the most of their reviews will ensure that your company grows in any economy.
I have lots of clients who want to know how to get their products mentioned on best of lists, and I always tell them that bloggers are the way to go. Be willing to send out samples (even if it’s very selectively), and make it easy for bloggers to introduce your lingerie to their audiences. Find some bloggers whose work you love and respect, and then develop close relationships with them. Everyone benefits in the long term, and you’ll be able to get the word out about your products to a much larger audience
Holly Jackson owns The Full Figured Chest Copywriting, and specializes in lingerie writing and online content creation for lingerie companies. Her work can be found on lingerie boutique websites across the world as well as in national level campaigns. She currently writes six regular lingerie and marketing columns, and is a regular contributor to The Lingerie Addict and The Lingerie Journal as well asMcPeteSez. In 2011, The Lingerie Journal named her their number one copywriter in the lingerie industry.
Holly can be found tweeting @thefullfigurechest, here on Facebook, and reviewing the newest full-busted lingerie at her blog, www.thefullfiguredchest.com. Her list of copywriting services can be found here.