Full Bust Perspectives: How Should Companies Market Full Bust Bras?

The Bombshell Bra by Bombshell Boudoir

The Bombshell Bra by Bombshell Boudoir

I spend the rest of my life talking about marketing from a company perspective, so it seems only fitting that today I find myself writing a piece on marketing as an actual bra consumer. As the full bust bra market grows, more and more companies are bringing out new options that claim to be the result of constant innovation, superior materials and construction that will change how we full bust women feel about our bras. Every new bra seems to represent some new never seen before style or a new age of full bust bras – so why are we all still talking about the bras we’d like to see?

The answer seems to be that the full bust bra world is full of companies marketing to customers who are seen as unique unicorns in the lingerie world, while customers see themselves as just another group of consumers who would like pretty underwear. These effusive marketing strategies are actually offputting, at least to me. Today I’m going to go over some great and not so great examples of how bras are marketed to full bust women, as well as talk about full bust customers and their reactions to various marketing tactics.

Amanda Contrast Bra by Creme Bralee

Amanda Contrast Bra by Creme Bralee

The bra at the top of the article comes from a new company called Bombshell Boudoir, which specializes in what they describe as the underserved 30DD to 36F bra market. Aside from the bra at the top looking at little uh…familiar, let’s say, this is marketing talk that we’ve all heard before. I’d love to see more fashionable and supportive bras for that particular market segment, but I’m pretty sure most consumers don’t believe this kind of talk when we hear it anymore. It’s easy to feel overloaded and discouraged when all full bust bra companies seem to be saying that full bust customers are so special while replicating the same marketing speech to make us love them.

The second bra is from Creme Bralee, which has actually come a long way in terms of making cute and fashionable bras at amazing price points. They’re another company that specializes in the C through G range and markets as a company that supports and loves women in this size range. The hitch? They add a surcharge to any bra over a DD cup. I believe that Creme Bralee really does love their customers and this market segment, but it’s hard to feel respected as a customer when you see a surcharge on certain cup sizes and not others. Why not make every cup size the same price and make them slightly more expensive? Why not spread the cost out over the whole range and not make some people feel like outliers?

These companies aren’t alone in attempting to make customers feel special in some awkward ways – you can see it all over the full bust bra market. Here’s the key: full bust customers want to have the same choices as everyone else and be treated the exact same way. After all, most full busted women have had enough bad experiences standing out in a crowd due to their figures. Why would we want our bras to give us that same awkward feeling?

Bardot Plunge Lace Bra by Claudette

Bardot Plunge Lace Bra by Claudette

That said, it’s not all bad news. There are some companies who are marketing genuinely innovative products to full bust ladies by doing what every other lingerie company does to sell lingerie to customers. Claudette is a great example of this. They make bras that range from A through G and use multiple models to show off the full range. They also don’t go around putting yellow highlighter around every larger cup size. To Claudette full busted customers are the same kind of customer that their C cup customers are, which is smart and refreshing.

DD through J Cup Strappy Tank by Bravissimo

DD through J Cup Strappy Tank by Bravissimo

Bravissimo specializes in a huge range of cup sizes and has been putting out products that no one else has for years. This year they’ve taken their wildly popular built in bra tank top line up to a J cup and released new colors for the new size range. This is the image they’re using to promote it. The best part about this image is that this is one of those standard summer outfits that everyone can (and wants) to wear. It’s also the kind of outfit that you’ve been dreaming about wearing for years if you’re full busted. Instead of marketing this tank top with a speech about innovation, the implied marketing message is smart and simple: now you can wear the same things in the summer that all of your friends do. 

Addicted Half Cup Set by Pour Moi

Addicted Half Cup Set by Pour Moi

I’ve featured this Addicted Half Cup set before, but it’s another great example of bras that came out with little fanfare and really rocked the full bust lingerie world. Everyone was excited about this set because it was a look that full bust women hadn’t had much access to before. Figleaves didn’t market it in any special way: they just added it to the lineup and let the lingerie speak for itself. Even with very little marketing, it got a ton of buzz and I suspect sold extremely well as a result.

When you try too hard to make a certain market segment feel special, it can sometimes spill over into making them feel singled out instead. What popular full bust companies have in common in their marketing is really basic: they make full bust women feel included rather than excluded. Lingerie is a big world, but fashionable and supportive bras are something that lots of consumers want. By focusing on those principles rather than on technical achievements or pandering to a certain size range, the most popular full bust companies have created a real following that makes their customers feel just like everyone else.

How do you feel about the way full bust companies market their lingerie? What attracts you to a lingerie marketing campaign? What turns you off?

Holly

Holly

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

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9 Comments

  1. 30/06/14 at 14:55

    Creme Bralee posted a terrible image on instagram last week, as well, saying thy bigger bodies were better than “anorexic” ones. I think that they changer whoever was in charge of their instagram, but however, I don’t like brands using plus sizes comparing to other body types. It’s nonsense and disrespectful.

    And I really enjoy pics where the women are smiling and doing activities, such as the Bravissimo top one!

  2. 30/06/14 at 16:13

    I do like that Pour Moi set but isn’t it just a copy of the Agent Provocateur Alina?

    I like when companies that sell both ‘standard’ and DD+ sizes use different models so you can see how the same bra looks on a body more similar to your own. Boux Avenue do this, they have two sets of images for products that span both size ranges.

    What I’d REALLY like to see is more luxury and more directional DD+ brands. So many of them claim to be producing beautiful underwear for the larger cup size market but to me it’s just regular ol’ lingerie, pretty but nothing special. I kind of have it easy being an inbetweeny size – 30FF to 30G – so I’m in the DD+ market but a fair few pretty brands still make my size like Made By Niki and Mimi Holliday. If I were a couple of cup sizes bigger I’d have almost nothing to choose from that appeals to my taste.

  3. 01/07/14 at 0:54

    Hello,
    I’m new here, but your blog just became my favorite blog of all time in less than five minutes. Not only are we both named Cora (although I am Corazón in the blogsphere), but we are both lovers of fashion, and seemingly brown women in search of fashion for ALL, and pretty bra’s for bigger busts! So glad to find your blog. I have never met anyone who shares my name, so blogsphere is close enough for me.
    Hope you are well,
    Cora(zón)

  4. Candy
    01/07/14 at 5:40

    You know what I would kill for. A simple, gray, cotton, contor bra…. Have been wanting one for the last 10 years but since I fall into that bigger cup size ( G or an H dependent on where in the world I am buying from ) the only thing I can get my hands on are over embellished numbers. Even my favorite bra by pleasure state has added lace, where as the smaller bust size version is more simplistic. You hit the nail on thay head with the point about how we would actually really like to just be like everyone else. I would love to wear the type of lingerie some of my friends wear… In fact they often buy the styles I like just so I can live through them.

    • Evija
      03/07/14 at 18:55

      Hey Candy,
      Have you tried Figleaves? I don’t know where you’re based but they have both UK and US site where you can select options for your exact size (or by size range), material, colour, and so on. I’d say they’re the go-to for exploring further options, because they stock a really huge range of, well, everything, making it the most painless way to get your hands on something new.
      Saying this because that is also my go-to place when I have a vague idea of what I want and how much I’m willing to spend. I’m neither in the UK nor US but I’ve had the best experience (about four times), even with returns. Aaaaand I’m a notorious size-flucuator (from DDs to Gs, bands 38 to 32, but I kind of expect that since I’m just 23 y.o.)
      Another great option may be ASOS but it’s been ages since I’ve even tried to purchase anything from them, they’ve become pretty pricey. Their sales, though…
      *deep sigh*

  5. jodi
    01/07/14 at 10:29

    Candy, they’re out of stock now, but Marks and Spencer had something that sounded like what you’re looking for. I’d check back to see if they have any returns, or keep it in mind for next year.

    http://www.marksandspencer.com/2-pack-cotton-rich-dd-g-bra/p/p20032585?colour=Grey/white

    I just bought some cotton bras from them (they’re impossible to find here in the US). I just hope they fit!!

  6. 01/07/14 at 16:57

    Another issue with the “special snowflake” marketing approach is that for some of these brands, the sizes they manufacture aren’t actually all that uncommon anymore. With so many mainstream and independent brands now able to make some pretty amazing bras up to an F cup, a new brand that launches with basic bras in a C-F size range asking for a pat on the back and saying “Finally! Large cup bras!” gets a major side-eye from me. At best it’s tone-deaf, at the least it shows a really, really poor awareness of what’s going on in the market, and at worst it can be body-shamey: there are lots and lots of women who wear cup sizes larger than an E or an F in both small and large band sizes, so I’m not going to roll out the red carpet for you if you start making those sizes, and making them with a surcharge. I’d much rather the product speak for itself. There are some genuinely underserved market segments (I think Cora once some on Twitter as being large band-small cup, large band-large cup, and small band-small cup, but I could be remembering wrong), but the 32-26 C-F size range has a pretty phenomenal range of choices nowadays. Acting otherwise just makes a brand look foolish.

  7. Mira
    03/07/14 at 9:09

    As a full busted woman, I understand what you’re saying, but I think this marketing choice is beneficial for the time being. Full bust bras used to be a specialty item and despite the recent surge in offerings, many brands still do not carry my size. I find it helpful for brands to shout about having a full bust selection because it helps me direct my attention to them. Many, many times I have gone to purchase a bra only to find the brand or vendor does not offer my size. I feel more marginalized when this happens and therefore prefer to seek out brands that I already know offer my size. I suspect this marketing practice will change once it becomes commonplace for brands to offer full bust sizes.

  8. Sara
    12/07/14 at 21:24

    It is frustrating when the majority of brands stop at D or F or G and you are outside of that range, even by only a single cup size (I’m a GG). I have listened to many companies that state they can’t financially expand their range beyond A-D and I respect this…it is nice when I can contact a brand and ask if they are willing to custom make products for me and my size and offer to pay a surcharge because I am requesting something they do not offer. Would I like it if my size was offered along with everyone else and I didn’t have to trek to specialist shops to find a bra that fit properly? You bet…but I understand that despite being a relatively small and slim person…I have inherited my family’s trait for large breasts and while it feels like a punishment to not be able to shop in “normal” stores I try to make the best of things and act accordingly.

    Truthfully the BEST part is being able to contact a brand and finding out they will design a range completely for you without any extra charge, because you never imagine that will be the case and then it happens. Of course you just have to hope your boobs never change! ;)

    It sucks but if I complained about this I’d have to complain about all the other silly problems in the world. It just seems so trivial in the grander scheme of things to me. My size is quite far down on the list, they’d have to get to F and get that to be a bestseller before ever getting all the way to GG. So my hopes aren’t high.

    xo
    Sara

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