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The Lingerie Market: Why Do Some Brands Flourish and Others Fail?

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The lingerie market is a vast one. However, some brands seem to go from strength to strength, while others fail. Here are some reasons to explain this.

Not having a unique idea

It seems like an impossibility to come up with a unique idea when there are already so many brands out there, and everything has been done. It’s not hopeless though, because technology means things are always changing. Sometimes a unique idea can also be one that was seemingly obvious, but nobody has ever acted on.

When David Spector and his wife founded ThirdLove, the idea of selling lingerie wasn’t unique, but adding extra sizes in half-cup increments was. With the help of technology, they also made it possible for women to fit themselves from home.

Not being widely available

Although some lingerie brands can be successful without being available worldwide, or at least in several other countries, only being on sale in a specific area is usually limiting. This requires research to determine whether there is an audience in your chosen country, and what makes you stand out from the lingerie brands they already have access to.

Not targeting the right people

Of course, there is a large consumer base for lingerie, but your brand still needs to reach the right people. For example, a company such as ThirdLove, catering to women who struggle to find the right size, found ways of connecting with women who fell between sizes.

There is almost always one or more places to connect with your target audience. Again, it requires research to do this effectively.

Photo by Carina Silva on

Not seeking out support

Very few brands become successful without some kind of support. This might involve seeking out investors to help your ideas come to fruition while there is a stronger demand, taking on a business partner who has knowledge in areas you struggle with or hiring outside help to achieve more in a shorter timeframe.

Excluding people

Many brands are told that when marketing, they should reach a target audience, narrowing down the demographics or psychographics of those they market to. This is good advice, but it’s important not to exclude people who may fall outside of this. It’s impossible to tailor lingerie products to everyone who might choose to buy your brand, but that’s not the same as specifically excluding them.

For example, some lingerie brands might fail because they don’t have enough products that appeal to specific ethnicities. Until recently, most ‘nude shades’ only matched the exact skin tone of a small number of those who wore them. It’s also crucial to show models wearing the lingerie that are representative of the potential customer. Otherwise, seeing hundreds of models with different skin colors, body shapes, or a certain look can make them feel like the brand is not aimed at them.

Although there are few guarantees in business, brands that flourish tend to be those that don’t make these mistakes and are open to trying new things.

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