You and I, we live in a modern society where everybody is included. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Our society is progressive and follows the newest movements, such as body positivity. Two brands made body-positivity part of their vision and with success: Hunkemöller and Nike. It is very crucial as a brand to communicate who you are and what your brand believes. Are you interested in improving your brand image? Keep reading to find out how these body-positive brands are successful and what you can do for your own brand.
What is body-positivity?
One decade ago, there was a certain ideal model body type. In every photo, magazine or advertisement you see gorgeous models with amazing, but not very realistic, bodies. These images influence our mindset and the way we see ourselves, especially with adolescents according to a social behaviour study (A.S. Hoeksta, 2016). Nowadays, you don’t only see “perfect” bodies but also models with beautiful healthy bodies who don’t wear a size XS. You see pictures of girls with curves or without and different ethical backgrounds. There is a change happening towards a body-positive society within the model industry.
“Body-positivity is the fact of feeling good about your body and the way it looks: gaining self-confidence, deeper self-acceptance and a social movement.” – Cambridge Dictionary.
In 2019, Hunkemöller changed all their models to women with natural curves or a size bigger and improved its brand image. Hunkemöller also added diversity and inclusion to their vision statement. They aspire to realize the dream: “every woman feels their most beautiful self.” The brand values are Passionate, Inspiring, In-touch, Fun, Sexy and Inclusion. “Inclusion can only be achieved if we listen and react to everyone who is part of our brand and appreciate them.” The Celebrating Beauty Campaign 2019 with curvy top model Danielle van Grondelle as one of the faces, was the first step towards a body-positive brand. (Hunkemöller, 2019) Danielle is the embodiment of celebrating beauty because of her power, confidence and being proud of who she is.
“I am beyond proud to be the first curvy top model in a Hunkemöller campaign. This is such a big step for diversity, and I am so happy to have gotten this platform and to be part of the Hunkemöller family. I hope to inspire a change, to create a future where beautiful lingerie will be available for all shapes and sizes.” – Danielle van Grondelle
Social media presence
Hunkemöller posts pictures of all women wearing their lingerie on their Instagram page. They translate the brand’s values online with unique and real content which leads to a high engagement rate. The brand communicates honestly, open and with enthusiasm. Hunkemöller partners with body-positive influencers like Vivian Hoorn, but also with women who are part of the LGBTQ+-community. For example, Loiza Lamers who won Hollands Next Top Model as the first transgender in 2015.
Nike Plus Size
Nike’s mission statement reads: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body you are an athlete.” Nike really lives up to its mission statement. The brand released a women’s plus-size range in 2017, offering sizes from 1X to 3X, with a campaign featuring plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, body-positive influencers Grace Victory and Danielle Vanier, and athlete Amanda Bingson. The extensive size range was only the first step towards a body-positive brand. A year later, the Nike flagship store in London introduced plus-size mannequins. Nike wants “to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of sport.” The new mannequin is a great success. Since Nike debuted its new mannequin, searches for “Nike” and “plus-size” have grown by 387% and clicks on the mannequin’s tights increased 200% on British fashion retailer Love the Sales, according to K. Taylor for Business Insider (2019).
Social media presence
Nike is the second most followed brand on Instagram and has over 33 million followers on its Facebook page. The brand is quite successful and here is what you have to know: Nike is all about its brand identity on social. They focus on creating quality content and telling stories that celebrate positivity and empowerment. The brand actively promotes their campaigns on social media and Nike is friendly and approachable to their customers. Lastly, Nike has great sponsorships and deals with professional athletes and famous influencers like Roger Federer, Kevin Hart and Tess Holliday. (Unmetric, 2018).
But, what can you do?
These are my most important tips for those who want to improve their brand image:
- Online and offline communication aligns with your brand’s vision statement and values.
- Work with influencers who fit your brand.
- Be consistent with your visual style and tone of voice. People immediately want to recognize your brand.
- Create unique and good quality content.
- Think about your target audience. What do they want, what is their user experience like and how can you improve your relationship, while staying true to your brand identity. (Flyer, 2019)
- Focus on ‘why you do it’ instead of ‘what you do’ and ‘how you do it’.
And lastly, it is crucial to stay close to your own original brand identity, while being progressive and following the movements in our constantly changing society. Just keep this in mind when you are ready to improve your brand image. Good luck!