Curvy Kate have accomplished a brilliant feat in marketing, in getting their own fans to create and rate their own combination of swim-wear on a new face book app. Creating them involves surfing through the American, Australian and British Brands and choosing their favourite style of swimwear, top and briefs, and customizing them with a choice of patterns, colours and designs. Not only will the sales go up from this prompted catalogue browsing, but also it will make bustier women more aware of the Brand, once the designs go for public vote. Greater awareness and acceptance of what is natural and just as beautiful in the public’s eye, will encourage women to come forward and make them more confident to invest in their curves.
Lingerie Buyer says that Curvy Kate ‘hopes that the tool will provide insightful information about their customers’ needs and wants.’
Gathering women’s choices, but more fun than a paper survey, the app is set to give Curvy Kate a growth rate not to be knocked. According to Lingerie Insight, “There is reportedly a potential reach of over 7,500,000 through the ‘Swimwear Design’ concept.”
Tapping into social media and the world of online shopping, is slowly becoming of more interest for companies, at a time when sales on the high street continue to be lower than expected. If companies want sales to go up, one way is to bring back the power to the consumer and to give them what they want. An app, such as the one for Curvy Kate, allows customers to be at the centre of the company and have a better customer experience. For Curvy Kate, it has also helped create a loyal customer base.
If we take this model for all businesses, and put it to the extreme, in some ways what the customers want will tie the hands of the designers, and perhaps some styles will become off limit as it were, but is it a small price to pay for customer satisfaction? Each company will have to decide what they want or if they will lose the best leading designers because of this? Perhaps the role of the designers will be challenged and shaken, but surely it is still in the interest of each company to be customer centric.
Whether others will follow or not remains to be answered, but it will certainly influence other companies and force them to decide whether to change and adapt or to carry on with designing in much the same way they always have.