Brand Analysis: Yellowberry

The topic of branding is fascinating and complex, and I love to examine brands that impress me, either positively or negatively. One brand that I recently became aware of is Yellowberry, a brand aiming to sell young girls their first bras. I’m not exactly their target demographic as an adult woman without a preteen daughter, but I do have a daughter and work with preteen girls. Here’s what I love about this brand:

1. The Story

The business is beautifully explained on the website, but, in short, the founder of the company, only in high school herself, created the product after her little sister couldn’t find a bra at the mall that wasn’t some ridiculous push-up, padded affair that was not age-appropriate and was meant expressly to be seductive. (Founder Megan Grassell said in a Fast Company interview that her bras are for girls who in all areas of development need support, not pushing. Clever, and true.) The six slogans of the brand (“Go barefoot”, “Seek and find a hug when you need one”, etc.), were inspired by a third sister who died when she was only five. I find the concern and centrality of family in the brand very appealing, and I find the young, female entrepreneur inspiring. It makes me want to share this brand with others, which is just what a good brand should do.

2. The Sensitivity

Yellowberry is so very careful to focus their brand on innocent fun and keep it age appropriate, an intrinsic part of their story. The models are pictured from the back, and their shopping section pictures just the bras. There are lots and lots of pictures of girls just having fun, sometimes holding the bras or wearing them on their heads even! Honestly, I wouldn’t complain if bras for adult women were marketed this way. It doesn’t suppress or deny sexuality, but it clearly communicates, “Hey, I’m a whole interesting, fun person, I’m not defined by what’s in my bra!” I think we could all use more of that.

3. The Style

The bras come in cute colors with fun coordinating names (chocolate chip is brown lined with pink, lily pad is a true green, sugar cookie is white lined with tan, lemonade is a happy yellow) and all in all are just very appealing and look well made. The Intro to Yellowberry kit with two bras and “Hello Flo” period kit are something I would love to buy my daughter as a rite of passage gift someday. My own coming of age was horribly awkward and I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t have a fun kit like this. 🙂

Yellowberry has a fun blog that posts interesting content aimed at the girls they make bras for, but I highly recommend checking out their January 2, 2014 post for interesting links to publicity they have gotten in their first year of business. There’s a lot to learn through those linked articles: Megan Grassell ran a successful Kickstartr campaign, was willing to be vulnerable and find business advisers, made her own prototypes (yay, makers!), and did her own informal early market research. One line in the post explains exactly why you should take a good look at this brand as a business owner, regardless of your need for undergarments: “Yellowberry does not have a PR agency or a marketing team of any kind. This has been an organic spiral of press that we are incredibly grateful to have had!” They’ve started from the ground up, just as many of us have or are trying too, and they’re succeeding! That’s what I call a good brand.

How do you define your business’s brand?

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