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Target Audience and Competition
Introduction and Major Consumer Influences
It is very important to understand the psyche of a growing young woman who is taking her first steps into womanhood, and how this would help in explaining the target market of the 'Push Up Bra with a Punch'. In Judy Bloom's famous novel, 'Are you There God' the young woman Margaret is role playing about her future mature body. In this intensely personal scene, Margaret tries on her new bras without the limiting presence of her mother in the fitting room. She stuffs the bra with socks to see what she will look like when she develops breasts: "I took off my dress and put on the bra. I fastened it first around my waist, then wiggled it up to where it belonged. I threw my shoulders back and stood sideways. I didn't look any different. I took out a pair of socks and stuffed one sock into each side of the bra, to see if it really grew with me. It was too tight that way, but I liked the way it looked. Like Laura Danker." By referencing Laura Danker, Blume's symbol for a prematurely sexualized and stigmatized female adolescent, Blume articulates the fractured adolescent female sexual identity. This fractured identity contains the desire to physically develop more quickly but also the fear of the consequences of inheriting a woman's body too soon.
Sexual appeal to men was at the heart of the Love Touch campaign. But, it is also true that since the 1960s women had been discovering new and more sexually liberated selves. Brands like Love Touch provided an intimate appeal to further explore and express this new self. The Love Touch brand personality we created and nurtured in our sales promotions and in the ads was consistent with whom we thought the new liberated women wanted to be. The legacy of this bra brand and of the sexual revolution it reflected is seen all around us today in the commercial exploitation of a breast culture whose designs inflate, pump and push up more flesh exposing cleavage. Nachman's scope of the field covers most of them. She says Victoria's Secret does it with the Miracle Bra. Ultimo's bra called The Ultimate obtains this effect with gel lining the cup. Frederick's of Hollywood sells three brands. The HO Waterbra uplifts with cups containing oil and water, the Captivator has 'deep-plunge foam cups' and the Hollywood Kiss Bra uses 'wish-bone straps and all-around wiring' to contribute cleavage. Lilly of France has the X-Bra with seamless, padded cupping and a front clasp that can be tightened for greater cleavage.
Finally, in July 2000, Warner's introduced their antidote to the flat chest with Nothing But Curves whose tag line, 'Why torment yourself in their push-up bra when you could be torturing guys in ours?' leaves no doubt about who the bra is meant to impress. Thus, intimate apparel and its titillating advertising continue to evolve because, as Barthel suggests, 'Today, there's a new Woman for advertisers, and her efforts at liberation similarly suggest new themes and cultural references.' (Baba, 2001). Warner's Bra campaign strategies over the years began with a rational offer to obtain a 'believable body' to enhance social credibility with others. The initial campaign was 'other' directed. With the incorporation of 'Doubleknit softness' for 'purr-like-a-kitten contour comfort,' Warner's took an emotional turn. It offered 'inner' directed sensual satisfaction with the Love Touch brand that let the wearer 'feel like more of a woman.' With the recent Nothing But Curves campaign, the advertising pitch serves two purposes (Millet, 2003).
It combines 'outer' directed allure with 'inner' directed comfort. The 'New Woman' now owns the moment by obtaining dual satisfactions. She can torture the male gazer in ultimate comfort.
Key Factors - Marriage of Schools, Advertising, and Media - LIBERATING THE TEXTBOOK TOWN HOUSEWIFE FOR MORE CONSUMPTION
Before 1972 the average bust size of American women was 34B. However, department store buyers began noticing a demand for bigger sizes and fuller cups (National Survey, 1972, p. 23).
. While part of this trend could be attributed to a taller population born after the Second World War, many attributed bigger breasts to the pill, which simulated the effects of pregnancy. The irony for bra design in the late 1960s was that, even with bigger breasts, younger women preferred less confinement. The older generation who desired firmer undergarments was disappearing. As one buyer said, 'Every time a hearse goes by, we lose another control girdle customer.' A younger generation was displacing the old and the transition in bra sales affected all brassiere manufacturers. Many redesigned according to demand for a no- bra look and feel. One trade publication at the time reported, 'How a category as incongruous as minimal little nothing bras grew to be 20% of upstairs department store bra business is in itself somewhat of an enigma.' Others floundered wondering where their market had gone (Barthel, 1988).
Maidenform was every bra manufacturer's greatest competition because of the visibility of its consumer ads. Since 1949 its campaign focused on 'The Maidenform Woman' with its dream theme ads. Playtex, however, had been the leader in materials development since its inception in 1932. Competition for customers intensified by the late 1960s and Playtex was a market leader with innovative consumer packaging for both bras and girdles, and in 1969 with a design called the Cross Your Heart bra.
Strategic Marketing Plan and Research
The 'Push Up Bra with a Punch' marketing problem seems to provide a perfect opportunity for anthropological research and analysis. From my perspective, we could feasibly enter 'the world of purpose, meaning, and attitudes' of customer and clerk by using Harris' fieldwork approach to analyze forces that were colliding across the aisles of commerce. We can view bra buyers as the underwear clan of the fashion tribe and conducting customer-focused research was akin to anthropology's participant observation in the field. We could apply anthropology's fieldwork methodology by going to stores, watching customers shop, and asking them what they wanted in a bra.
Retail analysis shows that upstairs department stores such as B. Altaian, Sacks Fifth Avenue, Bonwitt Teller, Bergdorf Goodman, R.H. Macy, Gimbals, Lord and Taylor, are in a crisis, being challenged by downstairs mass-market chain stores like K. Mart, Caldor's and J.C. Penny selling Playtex in packages and Maidenform brands that are backed with massive advertising. The upstairs department stores have cut back on sales help, often with the lingerie sales woman serving several departments. It is time for fieldwork to observe the customer in the market place to see what was actually happening. The significant factor is that in the upstairs stores bras were kept in drawers behind the counter and out of sight. A customer has to ask the sales woman to bring the requested bra by size and color or brand out of the drawer. The solution is to convert the sales woman to the 'Push Up Bra with a Punch' brand so she will bring a Love Touch bra from the drawer for each customer to evaluate.
To appeal to the desirable younger customer, we can write a point of-purchase promotion booklet entitled 'Fifty ways to please your lover' that will be free for the taking at the bra counter. We should be specific about targeting the Cosmopolitan magazine reader. The 'Cosmo Girl' would be receptive to tips on catering to her lover with innovative massage and lovemaking and would be positively induced to buy the sexy and affordable 'Push Up Bra with a Punch' bra. Although it might be guerilla marketing, it 'will deliver the desired results.
Competitors and Analysis
While Victoria's Secret offers sweatpants and the like as leisure wear, Frederick's has bodysuits with lace-up necklines or with sheer material except for the molded bra shaping and the "daring bikini pants." There is a lot more skin showing in the clothes pages of Frederick's, from cleavage to midriff to thigh than there is in Victoria's Secret. Likewise there is more skin, color, and product variety showing in Frederick's lingerie section. For instance, there are cupless bras as well as a variety of garter belts, thigh high, knee high, garter, and cutaway suspender hose. The lingerie comes in a broad variety of colors, including turquoise, as well as prints, such as bandanna (for country girl curves), blue gingham, and a print of kissing cherubs. The variety extends to type of lingerie with the already mentioned garter belts and hose, to bustiers, bone-laced cinchers, body stockings, and corsets. There is a large variety of girdle-style wear in Frederick's in the form of panties, full ("body-sculpting power slips") and half slips, and full-length control hose. Finally, Frederick's offers padded girdles (for those whose project is to enhance rather than reduce), fanny lifters, silicone breast enhancers, and silicone breasts (DeCrow, 2003).
Ventura, Calif.-based Fashion Forms. since the launch of the Water PushUp Bra in 1997, has introduced products such as Breast Petals (small flower-shaped forms that hide the…[continue]
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