For ThirdLove, it’s about data, data and more data.
The bra firm’s cofounder and co-chief executive officer Heidi Zak, told attendees, “Data is in every part of our business.”
According to Zak, who spoke on “To Each, Her Own,” the company has data on 10 million women and 600 million data points. The firm garners much of its data from its online proprietary fit finder, which was created to replicate the styling and fit information a woman would have received from a personal fitter had she been in a boutique store. Data from the fit finder also provides the company with intel on fine-tuning its inventory levels from style of bra to how many in each size, a must for a brand that now boasts 70 size options.
Zak noted that sometimes the data that’s most useful “comes from people who don’t keep the product.” She explained that “returns and exchanges” can provide useful product information, while queries and responses about the customer experience can inform one on how to improve customer service.
Zak got the idea for the company from her own attempt at trying to find a bra that fit, and hating the experience. “I want a brand that relates to me as a modern woman,” she said. Her goal was an experience that helps women everywhere gain confidence. “The best thing I can hear from a ThirdLove customer is when they say to me ‘I wear your bras and I don’t even think about it,’” she said. That means she can go about through her day and do other things, instead of pulling up her bra straps or feeling uncomfortable, Zak explained.
The company, which has sold more than 3 million bras and has 1 million active customers, employs 300, including 30 on the data science team. The key focus is on personalizing the experience through understanding the customer, both on who they are and what they want, she said.
“We’re the only brand in the world that has half-cup bras,” Zak noted. She also explained her mission to create a bra that’s both “beautiful and comfortable.” One example is that there are no tags used on the bras. Printing of information on the material adds 30 cents to each bra, which has an average price point of $60 to $70.
“It’s about creating something better that makes a difference in women’s lives,” Zak said.
In addition to data driving the company’s decision-making, in part because it doesn’t have any stores or pop-up shops, the co-ceo said listening to customers also helped the company determine the best “Seven Shades of Naked,” a group of skin-tone color options.
Zak said listening to customers — in particular, a woman named Hope, aged 50 — helped inspire and change the look of the brand’s new catalogue, which now includes more mature women as models. Hope sent a photo of her wearing a ThirdLove bra, pointing out that the catalogue models didn’t include older women. Zak, who said the brand always was meant to be inclusive for all women, invited Hope — and she accepted — to be a model.
Separately, the company earlier this month unveiled its new campaign tagged “To Each, Her Own,” starting with a takeover of the Bleecker Street subway station in Manhattan for one month. Two other stations will follow, one at Columbus Circle and the other in Brooklyn, along with a national television commercial ranging from 30 seconds to one minute. The campaign includes women of various ages, who are at different stages in their lives.