Bravissimo: A Brand

BRIEF: Develop a marketing strategy to launch Bravissimo into the US market, including a seasonal range plan. WHO ARE BRAVISSIMO? Company Overview UK locations:  National UK sites:  22 Sector:  Retail Definition:  Multi Channel Retailer Founded:  1995 Staff:  651 Average Age:  26 Male/ Female:  5% / 95% Earning ? 35,000+:  6% AWARDS Cosmopolitan’s Woman Achiever Award Entrepreneur of the Year Best Lingerie Retailer Award 2000-2011’ BRRAVISSIMO- A BRAND Bravissimo is a British retailer specialising in lingerie, swimwear, clothing, nightwear and bras for bigger breasted women of cup sizes D to KK.

Catering for women who are usually called curvy, though their lingerie chain, which sells online, by mail order and through its 21 retail shops in the UK, Bravissimo prefer a more precise description of their customer: “big boobed”. Calling a breast a boob is very much the upfront style of Bravissimo who stress that while their bra’s come in sizes 28DD to 40K, they are definitively not “boulder holders”. At the core of Bravissimo, they pride themselves on their commitment giving the Bravissimo girls the wide range of choice they deserve.

Bravissimo have always prided themselves on their dedication to pushing the lingerie industry to produce more styles for Bravissimo girls. Many manufacturers now look to Bravissimo for advice when they are developing styles in bigger cup sizes and the customers have been instrumental in helping change the face of the big bra industry. The Bravissimo brand is built around a marketing strategy that uses email to drive customers to its website, ensuring the company’s future growth. Bravissimo has built a 500,000 strong database throughout the past 15 years, nd virtually all of this is from below-the-line (BTL) advertising activity. The direct approach that Bravissimo takes allows them to target their consumers individually with relevant products and services that they think will suit their customers’ needs. At Bravissimo they understand the importance of not overloading their ‘customers with irrelevant and annoying marketing and that is why they aim to talk to customers with more diplomacy than traditional in-your-face marketing strategies.

A recent change of strategy Bravissimo have employed has acknowledged that people can be sent too much mail and that with the increased competition from the high street in the market for large sized bra’s, Bravissimo have realised that they need to maintain the personal touch they launched with. Bravissimo have reacted to the changes in the market and decided that email was the channel that their customers wanted to hear from them via and that it was ideal in stimulating a mutual trust with their customer. THE BRAVISSIMO VISON AND OBJECTIVES MISSION AND VISION

Sarah and Mike want Bravissimo to be both a successful business and a business they are proud of. For them this means: Quality – being renowned for the quality of our service so that people who shop with us have a great experience. Growth and Financial Success – having a well run, financially secure and successful business Making a difference – being not just a business, but an organisation that does something worthwhile and really makes a difference to its customers. Vision: Bravissimo is a UK household name, both admired for its customer service and known as the company for women with bigger boobs.

OBJECTIVES CHAMPION BIG BOOBED WOMEN EVERYWHERE Sarah Tremellen, launched the business in 1995 to offer more flattering lacy and embroidered alternatives to the unadorned boulder holder. After giving birth, Sarah discovered the range of bras she was used to did not exist above a C-cup and it was then she realised something had to change. At Bravissimo, they want to tackle the real problem larger-busted women find themselves with when there are fewer and fewer sizes and styles made available to them. EDUCATE Bravissimo is on a mission to change bra wearing habits and understand the motivation of their customers.

The Company state that over 80% of women wear an ill-fitting bra, but this even happens when there is plenty of choice, so a degree of education is needed. EXPAND CLOTHING LINES In 2010 Bravissimo moved away from focusing solely on selling underwear to expand into women’s wear. However, it wasn’t until February 2011 that a full women’s clothing range was established called Pepperberry. The collection includes women’s clothes in sizes 8-18, rather than the garments for larger bust sizes that it currently sells. The garments come in three cuts: Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy.

Throughout the next few years Bravissimo will grow their clothing line with a focus on increasing market share in the UK clothing market. GO GLOBAL The success of Bravissimo is indicative that standalone specialised offers for non-standard sizes can work, and segmented brands are likely to have increasing relevance, as people place greater emphasis on fit when choosing clothes. Bravissimo aim to take their winning combination of great choice for the big boobed woman and an easy to use online shopping service and translate the success of Bravissimo into the international lingerie market. BRAND HISTORY

Bravissimo, the purveyor of bras for what its founder calls the “big-boobed woman” is a real British success story. For its founder, Sarah Tremellen, it’s a true zero to hero story. She launched the company from her sitting room in 1995 after giving birth and discovering the range of bras she was used to didn’t exist above a C-cup. The history of Bravissimo centres on a company which set out to provide quality and well-designed lingerie and swimwear for the fuller figure. Offering full ranges in the D to K cup range, Bravissimo set out to celebrate the curves and features of the larger woman.

Sarah Tremellen set up Bravissimo in 1995 following her own frustrating experiences trying to find pretty bras that fit her. Sarah had been appalled by the lack of choice in her size and was fed up of being offered enormous matronly contraptions more suitable for landing parachutes and being told she could not possibly expect to find gorgeous bras in her size. Adamant that big boobed women like her deserved a better deal when buying lingerie, Sarah started Bravissimo as a mail order company from her living room. Today, Bravissimo customers are able to ask themselves ‘which bra do I like’ rather than ‘what comes in my size’.

Over half a million women have contacted us since we began, turning the sitting-room business into a multi-million pound award-winning company, retailing by mail order, online and in 21 high street stores. AT THE HEART OF BRAVISSIMO Quality, choice, style and fit – At Bravissimo, years of experience of working with you to find your perfectly fitting bra has lead us to believe that support and comfort are of paramount importance, but we never compromise on style. All of our products are made from specially sourced quality fabrics and come in a range of sizes.

All Bravissimo products come with a promise of high quality and this has been recognized in the industry with manufacturers looking to Bravissimo for advice when they are developing styles in bigger cup sizes. Together with their customers, Bravissimo have already been instrumental in helping change the face of the big bra industry. Bravissimo still remains committed at the heat of the business, to tackling the lack of choice for the big busted woman. Bravissimo work hard to bring an end to women above a D-cup being told they could not possibly expect to find attractive bras in their size.

BRAVISSIMO GIRLS The Bravissimo girl is fed up with the high street not catering for her big boobs, she’s tired of seeing pretty, girly bra’s that don’t come in her size and most of all she’s fed up of just being offered matronly styled ‘boulder-holders’. The Bravissimo Girl desperately needs the comfort and support of well-fitted, good quality bra’s, yet they also want to feel feminine, sexy and womanly. Bravissimo Girls go to Bravissimo so they can get the choice they deserve without sacrificing comfort, support or style without breaking the bank. LAUNCHING IN THE US

The market for large sized bra’s Market Trends The US market for lingerie is now a colossal $9. 6 billion dollar industry, up nearly 4% from the previous years. With total apparel sales reaching up to $181 billion it is intimates and sleepwear that are helping to fuel growth. Another category that is getting a big boost is shape wear, which has grown 18% in the last year alone. Compared to the UK lingerie market, which is worth ? 2. 6 billion, this demonstrates the vast opportunity that Bravissimo have to enter the international market competing on a global scale.

Deep Prolonged Discounts Despite the promising figures that highlight great opportunity in the US apparel industry, when preparing to enter the market there are several trends that must be both well considered and understood. Primarily in the US, a key trend that has had a particular impact on apparel sales is the impact of the recession that lasted from Dec 2007-June 2009. With some consumers ceasing shopping altogether on non-essential items and many looking for discounts there was a big downturn in the market that retailers and consumers together are still recovering from.

A combination of rising unemployment and falling consumer confidence with uninspired fashions in the shops led to the apparel industry becoming very unstable. Retailers response of regular rampant discounts has effected shoppers overall expectations leaving retailers being obliged to offer sales as it is what the consumers expect despite retailers continuing to struggle with wear sales. Recovering Financial Stability However over the past year the apparel industry has began to show signs of recovering its financial stability.

Same-store sales for April 2010 at US retailers surpassed analysts’ estimates as consumers are gaining confidence in the US economy’s recovery. This was led by Limited Brands Inc. an industry leader in woman’s intimate apparel, which shows very positive signs of recovery for the lingerie market in the US. Meeting the consumers needs A second big trend in the US apparel industry is the task for retailers to fill the growing gaps in the market. Notably the needs of woman aged 35+ who have healthy disposable incomes, but are increasingly disappointed with the choice of lingerie fashions available to them together with other apparel.

This is a big area where both manufacturers and retailers are expected to focus their attentions in the coming months. The Plus-Size market Another massive gap in the industry in the US is the plus-size market. Despite already coming a long way within the clothing and fashion market, there is certainly room for retailers specialising in lingerie for bigger breasted women. Already at most stores a range of plus-size clothing can now be found where there once was no selection at all.

There have also been an increase in stores primarily serving plus-size clothing shoppers, however these are generally stores such as Lane Bryant that are firstly a clothing store with a lingerie range and not a specialized plus-size lingerie store. With more than half the US population overweight there is huge opportunity in this market. It is expected that retailers and manufacturers will soon take a greater advantage of this growing trend by creating neutral, flattering and fashionable lines for the plus-size woman. Companies must green up Another notable trend in the US is the growing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Increasingly retailers have been seen using their CSR as a tool to promote and improve their public image worldwide. In a environment where a rising proportion of consumers are willing to pay price premiums for products marketed by companies with proven and sustained track records of doing good, it is hard for retailers to ignore. Luxury retailers have led the way by introducing eco-friendly products, acquiring brands that push their social responsibilities and weaving CSR themes into their advertising and marketing The luxury industry’s adoption of a green message reflects the new consumer, younger shoppers who consider their impact on the nvironment. The Luxury institute, a New York research firm, found that it is the younger and more-affluent consumers that are seeking information about CSR more actively than older generations. With rising disposable incomes the consumer can be more selective in relation to the products they buy and it is becoming apparent in the retail industry that they are increasingly demanding more eco-friendly products. This indicates significant growth potential for greener products and therefore highlights an opportunity that Bravissimo could exploit.

Online Apparel Sales Rapid Increase The final market trend that cannot be ignored is the rapid growth in ecommerce. Whilst stores have been experiencing both a decrease in sales and customer footfall, it is Internet retailing that has held its own and been a positive area of growth for many companies who operate in both store based and non-store based retailing. The development of new user-friendly web sited has helped fuel the growth in apparel spending.

New technologies such as zoom features where shoppers can closely scrutinize the product before purchasing or 360 views and even videos have mimicked the natural shopping experience leaving the consumers more willing to shop online for apparel. Online retailing, despite levelling off growth rates in past few years’, remains the channel that provides the greatest potential for growth in the US. This is a result of more price-sensitive shoppers who are more willing to spend their time comparing prices. An online presence is not only an avenue for a retailer to sell to their customers but also a way to communicate their products and philosophy.

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