This Undies Brand Wants To Get Into Your Heart, Mind and Pants
Storytelling (AKA content marketing) can be an incredible investment—especially if you have a relatively small marketing budget. And if you think storytelling doesn’t apply in your industry I have to push back. Just call me. We can come up with stories for your sector together. It just takes some digging and thinking.
Naja is a lingerie brand that, in their own words, “seeks to empower women instead of objectifying” them. They’re doing this by employing single mothers and female heads of households—and focusing their marketing on a strong and diverse group of women.
Their brand, message and content is a zillion miles from the Victoria’s Secret Angels.
How To Build a Brand: Reach and Frequency, Frequency, Frequency
The two most important aspects of building a brand are:
The latter is often overlooked—especially by less experienced marketers (or their CEOs and boards/investors). Reach is how many people in your target market you, well, reach with your message. Frequency is how many times you reach them. And, believe me, you need frequency. Badly.
A quote I often share with clients is:
“Just as soon as you’re sick of saying something, they’re just beginning to hear you.”
Great Storytelling Boosts Frequency on a More Limited Budget
Victoria’s Secret is a $12.5 billion dollar brand that spends $12.5 million on it’s annual fashion show alone (and until this year spent almost $150 million on it’s catalog.) All of this leads to dramatic reach and frequency, especially when coupled with advertising and physical store locations. What’s a smaller-revenue brand to do? With just a tiny fraction of that budget, how do you move the needle on traffic to your store (in Naja’s case it’s an online shop)?
You tell stories, AKA invest in creative content marketing.
Naja estimated their first year revenues (2013) at half a million (the same first-year revenue as Victoria’s when it launched). And they’re really great story tellers. Stories are “ads” that people want, don’t skip, seek out, share. All that adds to both reach and frequency – without having to pay for all of it. Plus, stories add an extra layer of frequency, because a good story sticks in your mind. A good story pings around your audience’s head for days, without any extra nudges from you.
Naja’s found some truly wonderful, diverse, young women who serve as excellent role models. Part of Naja’s mission is to embrace diversity, and to accomplish this they have created a line of nudes in several shades to suit all skin types (Most nude underwear is made for white women only.) By including a shot of these women wearing their nude line at the top of their stories, they’re achieving a number of things:
- Showing diversity – their underwear is for all women.
- Connecting their underwear with the concept of empowerment.
- Solidifying the idea that their underwear does not objectify. These women are not in cliched ‘sexy’ poses, they are being themselves, and their personalities are shining through. Let’s call that the un-cliché sexy pose. (Man fan over here!!)
The image of the women in their underwear sticks with you as you scroll down to read their stories, consistently reinforcing the connection. The stories are all very different, and represent differing viewpoints and experiences. They’re very real, and connect on an emotional level. Taken together, they build a very cohesive picture of the Naja‘s values.
One Part of a Whole
These stories are just one part of a big campaign. When Naja launched its nude line, it placed ads in a Brooklyn subway station. These print ads tell a large part of the story all by themselves. They tell of power, inclusivity, and self-acceptance.
Sharing is Caring
We mentioned in last week’s post that good marketing doesn’t have to cost a ton of money – connecting on an emotional level through story saves money because it increases reach and frequency. Sometimes dramatically.
By tapping into an important social cause, Naja rode a strong wave of free marketing. They generated 700 million media impressions in the first 4 days.
By placing ads in that Brooklyn subway station, and encouraging women to find (and share) their nude, Naja nurtured a strong social media movement. Type #nudeforall into Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and you’ll see thousands of tweets using the hashtag.
— Julie Varughese (@julievarughese) June 25, 2016
And here are the results in aggregate. Naja is murdering Victoria’s in social media (columns #4) —that’s people visiting the Naja site/online shop via social media. People are deeply engaged.
Through a strong PR push, they got articles in dozens of widely-read publications such as Refinery 29, Elle, Huffpost, and Advertising Age (and now BKW Partners!) BTW PR often drives columns #1 and #2 above.
“Welcome to Our World”
Big shout out to Emer who did loads of research for this post, drafted a chunk of it an added Victoria’s Secret into the mix. As we were preparing to write this post, she slacked me this men’s lingerie brand. Here’s what happened next.