LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--British size-inclusive brand Simply Be is turning its focus on the U.S. market with a relaunch supported by a global rebranding program, a strategic digital strategy, a dedicated New York-based team, exclusive collections designed specifically for its American consumer and U.S.-specific campaigns featuring prominent curve models Natalie Nootenboom and Sarina Nowak.
After six years in the U.S. market, Simply Be is moving away from a catalogue model in favor of becoming a digital pure-play by the end of 2018, in line with the spending habits of its millennial, Gen Y and Gen Z consumers, and is adopting a new look for visual marketing communications that will make all campaign images, videos and Instagram posts shoppable.
Richard Clark, International Director at N Brown Group, the parent company of Simply Be, “We saw in our sales data the huge market opportunity for Simply Be in the U.S. that required new design and marketing approaches that can better engage with our consumer in a language she responds to and through territory-specific content created for her that will inspire her to look and feel her best."
THE NEW CAMPAIGNS AND TALENT
Rich Storer, U.S. Vice President of Marketing, Americas, at N Brown Group, “Simply Be has always been proud, brave and pioneering in its communications and now for the first time, we are creating territory-specific product category campaigns for Simply Be in the U.S. to keep the brand agile, current and ensure focused attention is placed on key categories for consumers."
Shot on location in Palm Springs and Los Angeles, the campaigns feature Natalie Nootenboom (niece of super model Devon Aoki and DJ Steven Aoki) and Sports Illustrated model and face of Khloe Kardashian’s Good American denim brand Sarina Nowak modeling swimwear, athleisure and festival collections that have been designed and curated exclusively for the territory.
Rich Storer, "We have seen a shift in age demographics for Simply Be US and the relaunch will help to target existing and new younger age demographics. These women are millennial’s and Gen Z shoppers and they consume brand communications differently than women did in the past, and most certainly differently from a catalogue customer," continues Storer. "They want new-now-next from the brands they are engaging with, a constant but authentic dialogue; and they don’t want to feel 'sold to' so we need to respond to their appetite in a language they understand and relate to."
"We have a responsibility to empower women and this comes in many different forms, but first and foremost we are a fashion brand so our new image is an assertive step away from the often-vanilla campaign images hitherto used in the US curve market. These images convey confidence, sass, verve, sex appeal and energy and beautiful curves in a more editorial manner.”
EXCLUSIVE U.S. COLLECTIONS
In another first, Simply Be is committed to creating exclusive collections for the U.S. market that will make up a substantial proportion of the product offering over the next 12 months and beyond, beginning with the brand's debut athleisure collection being released in March 2018 and a specially curated festival collection released April 2018.
Ralph Tucker, Chief product and supply officer, "In order to give our customers the best range of products possible we are introducing these collections after much research with focus groups and feedback from dedicated influencers, brand ambassadors, customers and leading industry players. Some of these collections will also be released in the U.K. and will be key tools in informing us of market potential we can capitalize on in all our territories."
GLOBAL AND U.S. ROLL-OUT & POP-UP STORES
The Simply Be U.S. relaunch will be marked by the launch of three new digital campaigns dedicated to the U.S. market. These feature bold new images that are a marked departure from the kind of prosaic images proffered by most plus-size brands in the sector, and new branding of Simply Be's logo will coincide with the relaunch, created with LOVE agency based in Manchester, England.
Rich Clark, “The US market is part of our ambitious global roll out to make our N Brown power brands become synonymous with fashion that fits. We understand that the global citizen has become closer, however we also understand that the way the consumer content, advice and inspiration has, and will continue to change. To help on this road, we are placing content and social at the heart of our strategy, to ensure we create social currency and become part of our customers' every day conversation.”
The launch will be supported by a number of pop-up stores in cities and universities across the country, beginning in New York this summer, where shoppers can interact with the collections, try them on, and experience Simply Be's market-leading fit. Brand fit experts will be available in store to guide shoppers and digital purchases will be sent via a home delivery service.
Simply Be is working with Sarina Nowak, Natalie Nootenboom and model and social media star La’Tecia Thomas beyond the campaign images on forthcoming collaborations and other projects throughout the year.
Rich Storer, "These women are incredibly beautiful and have the kind of strong personalities and opinions that we champion, and which have earned them the loyalty of legions of Instagram fans, who value their authenticity and unapologetic love of their bodies. They also have unique insights into what really moves the millennial curve market making them ideal partners for Simply Be."
Angela Spindler, chief executive officer at N Brown Group, "We are a size inclusive brand but our focus is always on the curvier woman. There are significant barriers to entry for those wishing to compete in this market. Firstly, developing the expertise in fit and design needed to produce compelling fashion lines for this customer. Also, the economics are challenging when you consider that typically 60% of the cost of a garment is in the fabric. At N Brown Group we have been serving this market for over 50 years, we have the expertise and the economics built in to our model. We constantly evolve to serve our target customers better and currently go to market via 11 brands providing size inclusive offerings to different demographics, this enables us to buy significant volumes from our suppliers partners ensuring that we are competitively priced within the market."
Additionally, Spindler explains “the N Brown Group has invested in excess of £100m over the past few years to ensure our customer offering is the best it can be, including technology to enhance the fit through U.S. sizes 6 to 32.”
DOWNLOAD LINK TO CAMPAIGN IMAGE SELECTS
The Simply Be USA re-launch will roll out from the 15th March 2018.
- EDITORS NOTES -
ABOUT SIMPLY BE
Simply Be was founded in 1999 and caters to an audience of women aged 18-35 in a size range spanning U.S. size 6-32. The brand ships to the U.K., Ireland, U.S. and will be opening in Australia and South Africa later this year. It is stocked by ASOS and Zalando.
ABOUT N BROWN GROUP
N Brown Group plc is an online retailer headquartered in Manchester, England, founded in 1859. An expert in fashion that fits and flatters, N Brown is one of the UK’s leading digital retailers. Its key retail brands are JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo. It offers an extensive range of products, predominantly clothing and footwear. N Brown is all about democratizing fashion and is size inclusive, focusing on the needs of underserved customer groups – size 20+ and age 50+. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. The group employs over 2,600 people. Group revenue for the financial year ending 4th March 2017 was $1.2 Billion.
THE PLUS-SIZE MARKET
The ‘plus-size’ market in the U.S. makes up just 10% of overall apparel sales. But 67% of women wear a size 14 or larger – that's a big disconnect. Sales of women’s plus-size apparel in the U.S. rose 6% to $21.4 billion in 2016, twice the growth rate of overall apparel sales, which totaled $218.7 billion (NPD Group). Growth in the plus-size market is expected to increase at a rate of 4% per year to reach $24 billion by 2020. Additionally, another study showed that 34% of American teenagers were purchasing plus-sized clothing in 2015, an almost two-fold increase from 19% in 2012.