The Full Bust Debate Society: What Can We Expect From Bra Companies and How Do We Get It?
Life isn't easy for specialty lingerie companies. Those of us who follow the latest full bust lingerie news have seen this in spades this month, as some major players have made announcements that changed the playing field in a big way. However, what's fascinated me the most this month has been the interaction between lingerie super fans and the companies they love. As a copywriter, I get to go behind the curtain and see the business side of things. As a blogger I'm frequently writing from my own perspective or as a consumer advocate, so I experience the same joys and disappointments as everyone else. As me, I'm fascinated by how these two sides of the equation work together or fight with each other.
I'm going to talk about several examples from the full bust world today, but the tips and situations here are relevant for pretty much all companies and consumers. Consumer feedback is valuable if you're small busted, full busted, looking for a great mastectomy bra or just a person who loves lingerie. If we don't productively make our points of view known to the companies we love, how can we expect them to make lingerie that we cherish?
The first big announcement this month came from Parfait by Affinitas, a company that has built up a massive following among the D to G cup crowd. Customers have been asking about a size range expansion for years now, with very little acknowledgement or feedback from the company or their social media outlets. But then, all of a sudden, it happened! Out of nowhere, the company has announced a major size expansion to a K cup for FW2013 as well as 28 band options. This is a huge move that shakes up the full bust landscape in a big way and people were thrilled. While I don't have any data on this, I'm sure that a large part of their decision was based on the constant feedback that they got from customers who loved their line and were sized out. People were polite, but also consistent in asking for what they wanted. It's this kind of interaction that bodes well for lingerie companies and lingerie fans alike.
On the flip side, this month also contained the disappointing news that Ewa Michalak would be discontinuing all 26 and 28 bands, which caused some difficult exchanges on social media with their customer base. While no bra company is obligated to make a certain size, many women have come to rely on Ewa Michalak for hard-to-find sizes and are even willing to internationally custom order non-returnable bras from them to continue to buy their size. Without getting into the details, in my opinion their response to people's requests on social media and their blog has been less than stellar. While I'm personally disappointed about all of this, it does illustrate a point that is really important: a company can choose who they want to manufacture lingerie for, even if that person isn't you. As a consumer, knowing what you're buying and what the company represents is also really important.
In hopes of furthering consumer/lingerie company relations, here is a quick list of tips I've put together to help us all work together and live in harmony (and well fitting bras!):
-Don't be afraid to communicate with companies politely about what works or doesn't work when it comes to fit and design.
-Make your feelings and wishes known, but remember that certain size ranges can take a long time to develop.
-Don't be afraid to vote with your money. Ultimately, sales dictate the direction a bra company takes.
For Bra Companies:
-Create realistic expectations. Not every brand has to work for every person.
-Listen to your fans and ask them questions about their experiences. You don't have to agree with all of them, but they are people who care about your brand.
-Be upfront about development and answering people's questions. You don't have to do everything at once, but being honest about it helps build trust and creates future customers.
Do you give feedback to lingerie companies you love? Do you feel lingerie companies listen to their customers?
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