Commentary

Shapermint Parent Expands Body-Confidence Mission

Shapermint, a brand deeply devoted to body confidence, wants women to take a 30-day course to feel better about themselves. Via its app, the shapewear brand is introducing the BodCon Confidence series, led by six different experts. It’s the brand’s latest attempt to wrestle with the reality that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Gabrielle Richards, brand director of Trafliea Tech E-Commerce Group, which owns Shapermint and The BodCon, tells D2C Insider what’s behind the new effort.

D2C Insider: What led to this type of content?

Gabrielle Richards: The company acquired BodCon, launched in 2021 as a virtual conference, in 2022. And in March of this year, we added an app to create a resource and a safe space for people to have impactful, engaging conversations with no judgment. We wanted them to be able to ask questions like 'What is confidence? What is body neutrality? What is body acceptance?’

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D2C Insider: This class is paid. What do people get for their $47? Who are the experts?

Richards: There are six, including people like Taryn Brumfitt, the 2023 Australian of the Year and director of “Embrace,” the Netflix documentary; Dr. Trevor Yates, naturopathic physician; and Morgan Anderson, a psychologist and expert in attachment theory. They address important topics like body shaming, the $2 billion weight loss drug market and the 20 million women who suffer from eating disorders. The course is research-backed. There’s so much misinformation on social media. Gaining confidence doesn’t happen overnight.

D2C Insider: Shapermint walks a fine line with this message. Some would argue that shapewear is inherently an anti-confidence and harmful product category. It’s designed to change the way you look. How do you navigate that contradiction?

Richards: What sets us apart is that our products are incredibly comfortable. And we tell everyone that our mission is to empower you to celebrate your shape and wear anything with confidence. So our garments aren't constructed to change a woman's shape or restrict her from movement and daily activities but to support and enhance her current physique. We do that with a great mix of poly and spandex. There’s a lot of stretch and durability, and it moves with the customer. People often say they can wear it all day and not regret their decision. Imagery is also an important part of that.

D2C Insider: How so?

Richards: We work very hard to make sure that our positioning and our photography also reinforce that mission of women’s empowerment. Our models are diverse and of all sizes, ages, and ethnicities. We don’t Photoshop the skin or the body. We want to show wrinkles and dimples and cellulite.

D2C Insider: Kind of like the anti-Spanx. What brands are your primary competitors? How do you compare to Spanx and Skims, the Kardashian-backed brand?

Richards: Spanx is very sculpting, while we’re more about smoothing and shaping. Skims has done a great job, too. It leans a little younger than us. It’s more aspirational, more celebrity-focused.

We like to say Shapermint is a super inclusive brand for everyday women, with a demographic of between ages 35 to 65. And then, in terms of price, we're more affordable. We’ve got customers who might aspire to Skims and can’t afford it, especially in this economy.

D2C Insider: How does this BodCon class fit into the larger marketing picture?

Richards: We’re promoting it with paid advertising on Meta and using all the retention tactics we’ve got through our owner, Trafilea Tech E-Commerce Group. We currently have over 9 million customers, and our goal is to leverage this as a resource, attracting new buyers and communities.

D2C Insider: How big is Shapermint now?

Richards: The company is projected to top $200 million in sales this year. We've introduced many new items, including shaping and smoothing long-sleeved T-shirts and body suits.

D2C Insider: How are you tracking the campaign’s performance?

Richards: We’ll measure engagements, viewership and downloads, primarily through the app. And since it’s paid, we’ll track revenue.

D2C Insider: In the past, Shapermint has used plenty of humor in its ads. And the BodCon messages don’t – they are sincere and earnest. Why?

Richards: We’ve gone through a beautiful transition, utilizing the research and data of the customer base. We can detect what our customers want to see. And right now, they’re attracted to the real, raw and authentic. So you'll still see hints of humor and quirkiness, but we're getting down to business with authenticity. Confidence is a serious topic.

The pandemic wasn’t good for women’s confidence. So we're meeting them where they are emotionally.

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