There’s no doubt about it — the lingerie market is saturated.
There are thousands upon thousands of stores out there selling similar products to yours at the same price point. So, with that in mind, how can you possibly set yourself apart from the competition?
Create a strong brand and identity
The answer to the above question is simple. Branding and identity. These two words should be your go-to solutions for many of the issues your business will face. When you create a strong, recognizable brand for your company, it does much of the hard work for you. Remember, customers thrive on familiarity. So, once they get comfortable with a particular brand and its identity, they are most likely to stay loyal in the long-run.
Creating a brand is quite possibly one of the most important things that you will ever do, and so it’s vital that you spend some time on this task. Understand that everything — from your communications to your advertising — has to align with this identity. The idea is to give your customer base a well-rounded, fluid message.
Target specific personality profiles
Other lingerie companies in your competition pool may be targeting their key demographics, but why not take things one step further? In creating and then targeting personality profiles, you can make sure that your brand really speaks to your audience and makes a lasting connection with them.
In fact, research from the Association for Psychological Science found that targeting specific personas (as opposed to just a section of society) means that your marketing activities will be far more productive in the long run.
“While persuasive messages are often targeted toward specific demographic groups,” explains study author Jacob Hirsh, from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, “we wanted to see whether their effectiveness could be improved by targeting personality characteristics that cut across demographic categories.”
The results suggested that tapping into someone’s personality trait (i.e. their need for safety, their lust for excitement, or their desire to please) could help marketers be much more effective. This idea is something you can most certainly apply to your own strategy.
Tell a story through your content
Needless to say, a large proportion of your lingerie business marketing budget ought to be set aside for content. Content marketing will help you tell your story to your audience, and so it really mustn't be overlooked. When it comes to this form of marketing, honesty is the best policy. Sharing the history of your business with your demographic will help build a connection between them and your brand.
It could be worth researching some blog content ideas and putting pen to paper here (or, in fact, putting fingers to keyboard!). You should never underestimate the value of words and what they can do for your business. Take the time to build a content strategy and start communicating with your audience in a genuine way.
Avoid getting into ‘price wars'
Attempting to undercut the competition may be your go-to strategy here, but it could be a mistake. If you’re up against a whole range of lingerie stores, there will always be a business that can charge less than you can and still, somehow, make ends meet. The very last thing you want to do is enter into a price war with a local competitor and drive the value of your products down and down.
Instead, you absolutely must have faith in the standard of your products and the integrity of your brand. That means sticking to your guns and charging the original price points you settled on according to your research. In essence, this is about building your business on a foundation of trust and quality, rather than cheap and cheerful products.
Offer something a little different
While we’re on that matter, let’s talk about the idea of offering something a little different. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, but you could add extra value to your lingerie through a little savvy ingenuity. For example, you may want to offer a bespoke fitting service or a special gift wrap for your products. These extras may seem like no big deal when you pitch them, but they could be just the thing that means consumers choose you over other stores in the area.
Before you decide what it is that you have to offer, take the time to consider what your customers need from you and, indeed, your brand. This step is all about getting into the mindset of your customer and figuring out their needs, wants, and desires. How could you make their lives easier? How could you make the shopping experience better? Answer these questions and you’re onto a winner.
Have top notch customer service
Rule number one of any business: The customer always comes first. Creating a customer experience that your audience will adore means winning them over in one simple step. Think about it. When you’re in a market, competing against a whole range of other businesses, you need to do something to make consumers remember your name. The time and effort you put into the service you give could be just that.
Whether you’re dealing with your customers online or even face-to-face, you need to ensure that you always deliver on your promises and sometimes offer more than they expected from you. This is a core belief that should run right through your lingerie business from you to your staff. Focusing on improving the experience that each shopper has is a worthy endeavor and one that will keep customers coming back for more, which brings us to the final point…
Focus on repeat business
One-time buyers are fine, but going after them is by no means going to create a sustainable business. If you really want to excel and rise above the competition, you need to chase repeat customers instead. Of course, there are many ways you can encourage shoppers to buy from you again and loads of tips on how to gain repeat buyers. All of these should be taken on board when it comes to creating a working business strategy for your successful lingerie store.
This step is all about becoming more than just a store to your customer; you are to become a part of their identity. It’s well worth looking at your current retention rate and then examining the ways in which you may increase it over time. Sadly, this is not something that will happen overnight, but an ongoing process that you have to spend time on each and every day. Still, when it works, you will reap the rewards.
As you can see, the tips and techniques here all have one thing in common — they are all about becoming more than a mere store. Trying to outdo the competitor in terms of price or quantity will only see your business lose money and value. It’s not worth it. Instead, you need to enhance the value and standing of your brand in a practical, strategic manner. In time, these tips can help you rise above other stores and take your place at the top.