La Vie en Rose modernizes its approach by listening

The Quebec lingerie retailer rebuilt its marketing team and discovered new consumer insights about its product.

Consumers may notice a subtle repositioning in the latest work from La Vie En Rose. But the understated shift is actually the result of a more dramatic change internally that’s helped the Quebec lingerie and swimwear retailer better tap into its customer base.

The new ads bear a new tagline, “Confidence Through Comfort.” It’s an effort to move the brand slightly away from words like “sexy” to focus on what women want from their clothing, as opposed to what their partners may want from it.

Marie-Noël Gervais, vice president of e-commerce and marketing strategy, calls the switch an “evolution” of its positioning, which has always included “comfort” at its core. But acknowledging it more directly is a response to a 15-month period of heightened social media focus for the the brand.

Last year, the company completely altered its internal marketing teams, “taking a digital turn,” says Gervais. The previously siloed marketing and e-commerce teams were combined into one unit and bolstered with a bit of hiring. What were previously two teams of 20 now work together as one team of more than 50.

This reconfigured team operates in five “cells” – traditional marketing and e-commerce, product strategies and design, customer service, merchandising and engagement and acquisition, with that last now led by Nathalie Marcil, who’s been made accountable for social listening.

“We’ve been trying to get the pulse of our consumers, and we saw a real desire from women of all ages to hear more about the impact of the product peer to peer,” Gervais says.

That peer-to-peer discussion revealed a desire for customers to feel validated in their choices, “more empowered,” Gervais says… hence the “confidence” part of the tagline.

The “comfort” component was also revealed by customer conversations. “Women aren’t concerned primarily with pleasing others any more,” says Gervais. “They’re more pragmatic, confident. It’s not about being sexy. I always find it strange that people think women wear bras and panties for men. We spend 70 to 80 hours a week wearing bras and panties, and a very small portion of this time is spent pleasing people.”

This is expressed visually in the ad with a simpler approach: a white background with a group of women standing in front of it (rather than, say boudoir shots).

“Comfort should come first, as opposed to what some of our peers are doing: hitting that same nail they’ve been hitting for the last 20 years. We want to be more modern with our approach.”