“Our business is big boobs!” That’s the opening line from the interview pitch I received from Maxine Windram of Brava Woman to appear on my marketing podcast. And yes, she got my attention. And yes, the interview contains Dad jokes. But it also is busting with marketing G O L D! See what I did there ;0)
When Maxine and her mum (both full-busted women) launched Brava, a lingerie store for women D cup & up 9 years ago, they had never had a business, never worked in retail or even fitted a bra, but they knew fuller busted women needed a better deal. Today, they have three retail outlets in prominent shopping areas across Melbourne plus a bustling online store.
Join me for a fireside chat with Maxine as we discuss:
- Creating a business from a personal problem
- The importance of great customer service
- How & why to treat competitors as collaborators
- The importance of spending considerable time on marketing
- Plus so much more
PLUS I help a listener generate some ideas about how to create a personal brand through social media, and share some listener feedback from a motivated 65-year old business owner.
Yep, this episode of Australia’s best marketing podcast is busting at the seams – so let’s get stuck … right in!
Oh, BTW, here’s the full pitch Maxine emailed me with. It’s excellent.
Hi Timbo …
Our business is big boobs! May be a new subject, and a slightly uncomfortable one for your listeners. Our business grew from personal experience of feeling humiliated as a teen because there was only one bra to fit, and that was a beauty! Nude, full cup, thick straps, something your granny would wear. Mum and I both small 8-10 frames and unable to find bras to fit because back then big cups were only made for big bodies. We opened Brava, a lingerie store for women D cup & up 9 years ago, we had never had a business, never worked in retail or even fitted a bra, but we knew fuller busted women needed a better deal. We now have 3 stores (Prahran, Highpoint and Bourke St and a busting online business – see what I did there?). Its a big market. The puns you could have with this one Timbo, oh boy! We have had to re-educate women that using a tape measure to size up breasts is like measuring a glass of milk with a ruler! Its nuts! Convincing women that what they had known to be the way to fit a bra is the exact reason why they were probably in the wrong size. We did an in-store test and out of 50 new customers only one was in the right size – this can equal body image issues and health problems including back pain. Anyway, lots to tell, but our most successful marketing has been through great customer service via word of mouth and referrals from other stores, including department stores. Everyone said they were our competition, we discovered they are our friends, as well as bridal, plus size and active wear stores, and physios. We’ve also featured in the media. In the end what is important to us is helping women feel better about their bodies. BTW Timbo, you could do a little research, ask any woman with a fuller bust about their bra shopping experience. You will learn a lot….and possibly get a few odd looks.
Check us out www.bravawoman.com.au Cheers Max
00:38 Welcome & overview
02:35 Today’s guest introduction – Maxine Windram
05:00 Interview with Maxine Windram – Part 1
21:50 Insights in to 99Designs & Netregistry
23:44 Interview with Maxine Windram – Part 2
40:38 My top 3 marketing learnings fro my chat with Maxine Windram
42:40 Listener Question
45:28 Listener Feedback
47:04 Motivational marketing quote of the week
47:19 Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guests
EPISODE SPONSORS (PLEASE SUPPORT THEM)
Netregistry special offer – Get your online marketing sorted. Websites from $79 / month.
99Designs free coupon – Get a design you’ll love. in 7-days. 100% guaranteed.
RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED
Brava Woman’s official website
Brava Woman on Facebook
(GO ON, SHARE THE LOVE, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO)
MY TOP 4 MARKETING TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
- Who can you start treating as collaborators and not competitors?
- Always wear your customers’ hat.
- Actively seek feedback from your customers and share it with staff.
- Spend much more time than you currently are on marketing.
INSPIRATIONAL MARKETING QUOTE
“Someone is sitting in the shade today
because they planted a tree a long time ago.”
OVER TO YOU …
What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?
Leave your comment below.
My guest and I respond to each and every comment.
13 thoughts on “282 – Boobs. Yeah, Big Boobs. They’re Why This Business Exists.”
What!? No one wanted to comment on the BIG boob episode?? Leave it to the America I guess. I thought she was great, and I thought you were (mostly) a gentleman Timbo. I found it interesting that 25% of her business is now coming from her website. I would guess that once someone is fitted, they could then easily order online. I thought she should host Bra Day and do free measuring around in outside areas away from their stores, and then ladies could simply go online to order (with free returns of course). Just like with Zappos.
It is always good to be the most helpful in a space. Good on her and her mom for identifying this void in the market. She could do a video campaign like what Dove did a few years ago and talk about real beauty.
Lastly, I liked the way she talked about her team and shared the stories of success with them. They are the face of the business.
Great interview. Great small business story. Keep em coming Big boob, I mean guy. 😉
Ah, you make me laugh, Nicko.
I like your idea of Bra Days – Maxine could actually implement a pop-up store strategy as outlined in this recent episode – https://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/pop-up-store-trend/
Yes, interesting no one else is yet to comment – welcome to the interesting world of shownotes.
I do -as always – appreciate your involvement.
Oh and Big Boob instead of Big Guy – I se what you did there ;0)
Hi I loved this show. A couple of ideas…the UK store she mentioned have now expanded to sell clothes that fit women better, she could do the same. You only buy one or two bras but people will buy loads of dresses. Also there is a charity link to do with breast cancer, there’s a great opportunity there.
Just wondering Timbo, why don’t you like testimonial pages?
What an uplifting episode and very supportive of small business with big marketing
Thanks for the compliment Nick. Great suggestions thankyou. I wish it was as easy as measuring, then buying online but so many factors are involved in the fit aside from size but certainly bra checks using a pop up could be great to create some awareness, maybe at women’s events. Love the idea of the video campaign and Tim also touched on this. Thanks for the feedback.
Hi Harriet, Thanks for the suggestions. We actually designed women’s business shirts with more room in the bust area a few years ago. It was challenging and in the end we decided to stick with what we knew, bras! There is certainly a need for better designed clothing to cater better to our customer though. May be an idea for a clothes designer out there, but who knows, we may revisit it. Also the charity idea, absolutely! We currently collect preloved bras for women in Fiji, however we are in the process of considering which charity to support. Thanks for your comments:)
Another great show Timbo. Sounded like you really had your hands full with this guest. It’s great to see a small business serving a specific need really well for their customers. I really liked how Maxine approached feedback from customers with their staff, by asking the staff what happened and passing on the feedback, so that they could then work out together what to do differently next time, as opposed to just blaming the staff for not performing.
A couple of things I thought of for the Maxine and her mum to consider, if they haven’t already:
– developing their own label
– video stories on their website of customers who had bad experiences buying bras until they found Brava
– Brava Fashion Week – modelling all the hottest bras you stock using right-sized models (maybe your customers might like to be the models, and provide them with a day of make up and pampering as part of the show)
– on the charity front how about working with groups that help women escaping from domestic violence, getting them fitted for work or starting a new life. I see the link between getting a bra that fits, and a new safer life that fits. I would think your customer base would be very supportive of this.
Keep up the great work Maxine.
Ah Timbo, this show just knockered me over!
Is it just me, or have you stepped up the interview process, you seem to challenge the status quo this last few episodes and dig deeper into the guests strategy & thinking?
Almost like setting them booby traps but with a happy ending.
OK, I’ll stop now with the stupid jokes.
Likewise, our business has to think differently to cater for all body sizes & shapes, it is a challenge but achievable, it’s actually a great differentiator for us & our competition.
Well done Maxine & thanks for being so generous with your knowledge & experience.
OK, gotta rush, off to lunch at Hooters!
Boom-tish, Sean. Or should that be … boob-tish? ;0)
Tim, I don’t think you will ever run out of boob puns, I reckon you’ve been saving them all up waiting for an opportunity like this 🙂
True, Maxine. They just seem to jump out at me 😉
My pleasure, thanks for the comments. Hope you enjoyed Hooters, I should have given you some business cards to give out. Pretty sure they are in our market!
Thanks for your comments Justin much appreciated. We actually tried our own label with business shirts with more room in the bust, but there were challenges. As for Brava bras, not sure we want to venture into that territory, but there are certainly some gaps in the market, many of our bras have over 30 components and over 100 sizes 6 – 22 & D – K cup, its quite complex, but we are considering it. Great idea about Fashion Week and we have been exploring charities lately, just working on the right fit, love the ‘starting a new life’ thought. So many opportunities, thanks for thinking about it for us.