On September 13, Ubras, an emerging local lingerie brand, announced that Chinese supermodel Liu Wen served as the new brand spokesperson. This is undoubtedly an important step in the enhancement of brand value after Ubras became popular with “sizeless underwear”.
Ubras successfully came out of the circle with “sizeless underwear” in 2020, harvested large-scale traffic and achieved explosive growth, and also set off an innovation war in the Chinese underwear market – a number of cutting-edge underwear brands born on the Internet, such as Inner and Outside, Banana Inside, and Youkeshu, followed up and launched sizeless underwear; Local old underwear brands such as Aimer, Maniform, and Cosmopolitan Beauty also chose to transform, abandoning sexy labels such as lace and underwire, and moving towards soft steel rings and underwear without steel rings and sizeless underwear, waiting for them is a “snatch war” with new underwear brands.
“Comfort and health” stands on the wind
“High-grade design, soft fabric, gentle color matching, suitable cut, easy to put on and take off.” Speaking of the advantages of sizeless underwear, 26-year-old Wang Xue is full of praise. In recent years, with the rise of women’s concept of “self-pleasure”, women’s demand for underwear products has begun to change from functionality such as gathering to comfort and health. As an emerging bra subcategory, sizeless underwear has better elasticity and no underwire constraints, and the same underwear can adapt to different size requirements, bringing consumers a better dressing experience.
For a time, the sizeless underwear market representing comfort and freedom rose rapidly, and new underwear brands that embarked on this road also took advantage of the momentum to enter the market. Among them, Ubras has the strongest performance.
Ubras was founded in 2016. According to public data, Ubras’ annual Tmall sales in 2020 were 1.553 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of more than 800% compared with 170 million yuan in 2019. According to data from the Tmall platform, during the “June 18” period this year, the total sales of Ubras exceeded 300 million yuan, occupying the first place in the women’s underwear sales list, with a year-on-year increase of more than 300%, leaving a number of new and old underwear brands far behind.
The track is hot and competitive
In 2012, the cutting-edge underwear brand launched underwired underwear inside and out, reducing the size range to S/M/L. Sizeless underwear is regarded as the “evolution” of underwear without underwires, all sizes are canceled, only a piece of cloth and two chest pads are integrated and seamlessly connected, which greatly reduces the complexity of production, reduces the price of single products, and also lowers the entry threshold of new underwear brands.
These cutting-edge underwear brands that started around 2016 can quickly seize the opportunity with “explosive products” and Internet “digital marketing” and gain the favor of capital and the market.
Magic mirror market intelligence data shows that in this year’s “6·18”, in the first phase of the cumulative pre-sale list of “women’s underwear/men’s underwear/home wear”, the top three are all cutting-edge brands that focus on size underwear, namely Ubras, bananai, and Neiwai. According to the 2021 “China Women’s Sizeless Underwear Survey” report by Toubao Research Institute, from 2017 to 2020, more than 10 emerging underwear brands have received financing. In July this year, the company announced that it had completed a $100 million Series D financing.
While new lingerie brands continue to seize the market, old brands represented by Aimer, Maniform, and Cosmopolitan Beauty are also constantly changing, and have launched their own sizeless underwear. It is foreseeable that as more companies enter the market, the competition in the sizeless underwear market will become more and more fierce.
There is more than enough marketing and insufficient innovation
It is worth noting that the cutting-edge underwear brands that are now flourishing are facing the dilemma of insufficient marketing and innovation. In order to seize consumers, cutting-edge underwear brands spend huge amounts of marketing money on promotion and paid traffic. For example, Ubras’ marketing expenses are more than three to five times that of traditional underwear brands, and the marketing combination of “KOL planting grass + anchor bringing goods + celebrity endorsement” quickly grabbed consumers’ attention.
When all gimmick marketing landed, it must ultimately be reflected in the consumer’s wearing experience. In fact, there is no shortage of questions about sizeless underwear on the Internet. Some consumers have reported that sizeless underwear lacks support and inclusiveness, and in the whole day wear, even in the chest within its cup and weight range, if it is not the right size, its shape is standard and firm, it will often encounter chest rushing, empty cup or chest pressing.
The unsatisfactory innovation and application of the product side will undoubtedly become the key point of whether sizeless underwear can go down. Tianyan inspection data shows that among all underwear patents, design accounts for more than half, more than the sum of utility model and invention patents. In addition, as more underwear companies enter the market, fierce competition and product homogenization and other difficulties have also made many sizeless underwear brands feel pressure.
Some industry experts suggest that the production process of “one-time molding” is the advantage of sizeless underwear, and more requires comprehensive technology such as technology, fabrics, equipment and other comprehensive technologies in one step, in the future, only in the black technology fabrics, innovative technology, patent design and multi-dimensional quality control and other aspects of all-round upgrades, with actions to implement “underwear technology” is not just a marketing pretense, in order to truly create a “long red” new category of Chinese underwear, not just stop at phenomenal brands.