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Brastop Q&A: The power of personalised storytelling in ecommerce

Epsilon Client Confidential

Client Confidential is a series of thought leadership interviews in which Epsilon provides a forum for its diverse ecommerce clients, partners and marketers. The aim is to discuss the marketing challenges they face and showcase the innovative solutions these industry pioneers create in response. 

Since 2019 Epsilon have supported Brastop by developing their customer retention and new customer acquisition programs across the UK and the US. With messaging focused on body acceptance, great fit and excellent value, Epsilon have built a suite of creatives showcasing both products and brand, as well as delving in more specialist programs with bespoke messaging for key seasonal moments such as Swimwear.

Brastop Q&A: The power of personalised storytelling in ecommerce

Brastop is a multi-brand lingerie, bra and swimwear retailer specializing in the D to K-cup size range. The firm, which was launched in 2003, offers customers a wide range of third-party products as well as own-brand lines. Value and quality are central to the Brastop brand, with most of its stock sold at clearance prices. Amanda Clifford, digital brand marketing manager at Brastop, and its sister website Curvy Kate, explains how the company has developed a laser-like focus on customer-centricity, using carefully personalised storytelling to support customers throughout their buying journey.

Q. What ecommerce marketing challenges does Brastop face?

A. With such a broad stock position our biggest challenge is reaching to the right customer with the right message at the right time. Although this challenge must resonate with all retail marketers, lingerie ecommerce adds another layer of complexity because the product is so incredibly size-sensitive. This is especially the case in the D to K size range we target. Lingerie shopping can also be an intensely emotional experience, so it needs to be negotiated with care and sensitivity to the customers’ needs.

Q. How do you overcome these challenges?

A. We need to factor in a support message in every story, interaction, and buying journey we design. Every story also has to be tailored to the individual customer – who she is, what she wants and how she found us. Has she found us through social media, web research or a friend? The answer is to personalise our stories so that they resonate with our customers and ensure they feel comfortable.

Q. Explain the Brastop storytelling process and how it is tailored.

 A. This process starts with a meeting we call a ‘rack-up’, when key members of the Brastop team view new Brastop products, learn about their key features and the value they provide. These key team members include designers, bio-merchandising, marketing, and others. Based on key product features we’ll take into account the time of year, key calendar dates and customer insights to create product stories. So, is it a plunge bra for wearing out or feeling sexy in, or is it a bralette for traveling, or is it a great supportive item of swimwear for holiday? We take all of this into account and start to segment our stories and understand how each channel will play a role telling those messages back to our customers. We generate different creative treatments for all of our channels, markets, categories, and customer cohorts. The core of our messaging always comes back to our USP, however, which is our value-led approach.

Q. How has Brastop’s marketing approach evolved in recent years?

A. Social media has become an increasingly important channel for us since the start of the pandemic. In particular we have become TikTok experts, which is great fun and a massive learning channel for us. Social also helps us to champion all of the people who shop with us, our lovely lingerie community of influencers and customers and they get involved in our storytelling. We can ask them what they do and don’t like, listen to what they’re telling us, and use that in our messaging in a cyclical way. It all comes back to bringing our customer into every conversation we have.

Q. What would you say to marketeers who are unsure about a customer-focused storytelling approach?

A. Product-focused marketing doesn’t necessarily address human needs. We’ve really realized the power of storytelling. Every time we have a customer conversation, every decision we make, the customer has to be at the heart of it. Storytelling is a way to connect on an emotional level with your customers and it makes interactions infinitely more memorable. If a customer has a great experience with your brand you are going to be top of mind when the customer starts the buying journey again.