When Jenna Kerner and her cofounder Jane Fisher spotted a gap in the bra market for an affordable, premium solution, they dived straight in with an authentic, quality product that’s seen huge success..
Q: Reading the brand story, there is an emphasis on "affordability" yet a premium-look to the products. How do you think you've managed to achieve this? Is it just a case of awesome design, or was that always a challenge when it came to product development?
A: The key has been understanding our customer and what she needs. It was clear from the beginning that women did not want to pay over $65 for a bra. We personally felt that way, and we heard it from hundreds of women. But there's a delicate balance, because a bra is a complex undergarment, and one that serves a really important purpose both in feel and in function. Women don't want to buy a $15 bra because it isn't high quality, but they also don't want to give their first born for undergarments that they wear every day. We spent nearly 2 years doing research and perfecting our first line of products. We spoke to women about what they need and don't need in their bras, and we designed a line that delighted her in every respect.
Q: Which digital marketing strategies have been most successful in growing the business online?
A: Our most successful strategy is authenticity. It's not so much a strategy as it is a value, but it's something that permeates all of our channels and allows us to connect with our customers in a real way. Every brand is on every channel. There's only so much you can do to "win" on a channel before prices are driven up and you need to switch to the next. By having a great product and authentic messaging, you can build a real community who loves what you're doing, wants to buy when you release new products, and most importantly, wants to talk about you to a friend.
Q: Is there any plans for Harper Wilde to enter offline retail, or is the focus on staying as a D2C brand? Plus, what are the advantages/disadvantages you've found in following this path?
A: Right now, we're online only. Given everything that's going on with COVID-19, we'll likely remain that way for a bit longer than planned, since everyone is unsure of what the new normal will look like and right now we can safely get products to our customers.
Q: There is a lot of focus on "empowerment" of women related to the brand/products. Do you think it's essential for new brands trying to penetrate established industries to have a higher purpose these days?
A: Sure, brands can break through without a purpose, but what remains to be seen is if those brands will still be around in 5, 10, 20 years. More and more consumers are voting with their wallets and with their influence for brands to do more than provide a product or service. I think it's this mission that connects consumers to brands in the longterm and I hope consumers continue to demand this over time.
Q: Lastly, what's in the immediate future for Harper Wilde?
Our goal is to provide women with the most comfortable bras for the best value. We have some new products on the way that will continue to build on that mission and we can only hope to continue delighting our customer.
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