We’re so glad to see that more and more brands are embracing the body positive movement, and are starting to cater for women and men of all sizes, rather than just the skimpy size 6s. For years brands have clung to the belief that plus size women don’t shop as much as straight size women, or that their self-esteem is so low they never spend money on themselves…
Plus size fashion is the biggest market out there
With some 67% of Americans being classed as plus size, fashion brands are now trying to tap into the spending power of that market. The move by brands such as Nike and Puma to include plus sizes in their activewear ranges was a big step in the right direction. Even Victoria Beckham knows how important this market is, including larger sizes in her Target collection meant that the range sold out in a matter of minutes.
There’s over $18 billion up for grabs from brands that know how to connect with the plus size market, and while many are trying, these two brands seem to be the ones getting it really right.
Melinda Parrish is model, advocate and regular contributor to the likes of the Huffington Post and Women’s Running. She claims that the marketing campaigns of Torrid and Lane Bryant are the yardstick against which all other brands should compare themselves when targeting the plus size audience.
“If you’re interested in reaching a plus market, it’s crucial to understand what makes her tick. Each of the above brands not only sells clothing to plus size women in a transactional sense, they have each managed to ingratiate themselves to her. Take a page from the playbook of these brands, and watch yourself get to #rideordie status with the plus community in a matter of months.”
Lane Bryant’s bold campaigns
Lane Bryant is known for it’s large-scale campaigns, incorporating important and influential plus size celebrities, always with a body positive message. This is just one of the reasons why they’ve been enjoying a period of growth for the last four years, and held 16% of the market share back in 2016.
This 2015 campaign completely broke the mold, and was even accompanied by a rally in Times Square. Since then #ImNoAngel was followed with the equally successful #PlusIsEqual and #ThisBody starring the likes of Ashley Graham, Danielle Brooks, and Gabourey Sidibe.
Rather than a token campaign or a throwaway “plus size special”, Lane Bryant’s bread and butter is the plus size community, and its campaigns reflect that. They bring a visibility to plus size women, with the widely-shared videos affirming the brand’s deep understanding of their customers experiences.
Torrid’s insider voice
Torrid’s strength comes from its insider voice. Its inclusive tone makes the shopping experience much more genuine for its customers, feeling more like a group chat with friends rather than a marketing campaign. And just like friends, Torrid is quick to defend their customers from troll and backlash.
“Beyond simply publishing aspirational images of curvy women, Torrid actively monitors their social community to prevent body shaming in a fierce, protective tone that creates a deep sense of connection with the customer.” – Melinda Parrish.
Going beyond the back and forth of a predetermined script, Torrid’s interactions with its customers are more genuine than most other brands. Offering a supportive, two-way conversation with someone who gets them and cares, which breeds a fierce loyalty to the brand. Just check out the shade they throw on this fat-shaming Facebook comment:
Plus size fashion leaders or just another marketing gimmick?
Plenty of plus size shoppers are not fans of these brands, with many choosing to forgo dedicated plus size stores altogether and preferring to shop in the more inclusive high street and online stores. What’s your opinion? Have you found Lane Bryant’s bold campaigns inspiring? Are you loyal to brands like Torrid that communicate with their customers? Which brands do it better? Let us know on Facebook or on Twitter.