MeUndies; A Social Media Marketing Evaluation

Paper

Subscription Underwear

MeUndies Inc., founded in 2011, claim to sell “the world’s most comfortable underwear,” and consumers seem to agree. Boasting free shipping and returns as well as a 90-day money back guarantee, the company aims to take over your underwear drawer with their hallmark 92% MicroModal®/8% elastane products for both men and women.

Navigating the company’s website is a breeze and currently they offer 15% off your first order on an initial website visit with email submission. The underwear comes in multiple cuts and is priced at $18 for women’s styles and $24 for men’s styles, but that’s only the beginning. Signing up for a monthly subscription lets you snag the ladies’ styles for $14 (22% off) and guys’ styles for $16 (33% off). Not only do you get crazy soft underwear in the mail on the regular, you also get access to exclusive prints as well as special member pricing on all products, plus you can skip or cancel at any time. The product line moves beyond your bottom and offers coordinating socks, loungewear, a lace line for women, and even a bandana for the dog. Mens’ sizes range from small to 3XL and women’s sizes run extra small to 2XL. Packages of undies and socks are offered at near-subscription prices, depending on how many you want to stock up on, including Mystery Packs and Build-A-Pack options. Additionally, they offer matching patterns in all styles so you can match your loved one from top to bottom. Finally, they wrap up everything by staying sustainable through the use of natural fibers, ethically sourced materials, low impact dyes, and eco-friendly packaging. (MeUndies, 2019)

The market is currently saturated with subscription services for literally everything, as well as probably hundreds of different brands of underwear. We can assume that the customer shopping for underwear in this manner has moved beyond big box store brands like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom and is looking for a high quality, comfortable product that meets their particular undergarment needs. Taking a look at major competitors can give us a feel of what consumers are looking for and why they might choose MeUndies over them.

Splendies began in 2013 as a women’s underwear subscription service. They currently offer 27% off your first order with subscription on an initial website visit with email submission. This underwear company caters to women of all sizes range (S-XL is called Splendies, 1X-4X is called Volupties) and is only available through a subscription. Subscribers receive 3 pair of underwear per month; Splendies have thong, no thong, and mixed options starting at $14.99/month and Volupties have mixed and no thong options starting at $16.99/month. The company offers a referral program, as well as encourages users to share their unboxing using #splendies to win a free pair of underwear the next month. Customers are overall pleased with the surprise, pink tissue wrapped panties they receive every month and continue to grow and share this company. With a well-designed and functional website and active social media engagement, sensual undertones set the stage for an elegant underwear buying experience. (Splendies, 2019)

Shinesty Inc., also founded in 2013 and originally started to sell vintage clothing combed from Colorado thrift stores, boasts a wacky business model that just so happens to include underwear subscriptions. They currently offer 10% off your first order on an initial website visit with email submission. Their claim to fame in the undergarment department is the men’s boxer brief that features a unique, cradling hammock design for $24.99 a pair, but they also offer a coordinating women’s collection in a seamless thong only for $14.99 a pair. Detailed, humorous patterns abound, with significantly more color and pattern options available for men. The company offers a buy more, save more pricing structure on their men’s underwear, with discounts up to 20% off when you buy 5 or more pairs. Subscriptions were added later and offer recurring customers a 35-40% savings when purchasing monthly, with the ability to skip a delivery and or cancel at any time. Featuring funky products ranging from ski wear to onesies, this company features a well-designed and functional website with active social media engagement. The company’s creative wording across platforms almost comes off as abrasive, or at the least very suggestive, but that’s sort of what they are going for. (Shinesty, 2019)

Duluth Trading Company, in operation since 1989, makes the list due to its popular television advertising campaigns and competing keyword optimization. You receive 10% off your first order on an initial website visit with email submission and they offer free shipping on orders of $75 or more. Unlike the other companies, Duluth offers only one-time orders, not a subscription service. The company touts a 100% guarantee on all products and offers a substantial range of products beyond undergarments, from clothing and footwear, to toiletries and tool bags. As for their knickers, they offer a range of styles flaunting clever product taglines like “Buck Naked”, “Armachillo”, and “Free Range”. Customers will see a higher price point (regular price $18.50 – $32.50), as well as a wider size range (small-4x, 3-4x at an additional cost) with this brand. The rugged presentation of the “trading company” targets primarily a men’s audience, but the women’s line includes appealing offerings such as seamless underwear (dubbed “invisi-skivvies”) and “no-yank” under shirts in multiple styles, but does not offer thong style underwear. The color options are overall lively with a few fun pattern choices offered in the men’s line. They too feature a well-designed and functional website and are very active with social media engagement, but have the additional presentation of over 40 storefronts across the nation. (Duluth Trading Company, 2019)

Social Media Presence

@MeUndies on Twitter has 70.2K followers, 18.1K tweets, 27.4K likes, and 2,793 photos. They appear to actively post at least once a week, often with video and photo links displaying different products and new pattern releases. They also retweet engaging customer posts, recently sharing “My @MeUndies subscription is my favorite guilty pleasure,” from @brianhasfun. They occasionally tag their “CheekSquad” account (@helpmeundies), which is dedicated to customer support from 7am-5pm PST 7 days a week, to encourage communication with customers with problems in real-time, both through direct messages and replies. They frequently linkback to their own website through the shortened URL meundi.es. (MeUndies, 2019)

MeUndies on Facebook (@meundies) has 492K likes, 486K followers, over 1,300 photos and is tagged in over 600 photos posted by other people. Mostly promoting their new products, the company also shares behind the scenes headquarters shots as well as screen captures of both their own and customer tweets, showing off their creative side as well as tapping into the popular meme format. Butt touching innuendos and couples of all ages, genders and orientations are featured, as well as images of the company’s creative and economic packaging. Staying on top of trends is important to the company, so the patterns pictured are on point with the consumer world, featuring Star Wars characters, hipster succulents, yoga sloths, and a myriad of holiday prints. Facebook appears to be one primary source for sharing images of their products and also holds a large portion of their advertising budget, with sponsored posts appearing regularly in target markets’ newsfeeds. (MeUndies, 2019)

MrMeUndies on YouTube has over 4K subscribers, videos dating back to 2012, and a top video view count of 736K. The company features short clips of new products, videos of models dancing along to popular music, video game parodies, behind the scenes photo shoots, and collaborations with musicians, charities, celebrities, and artists. (MeUndies, 2019)

@meundies on Instagram has 302K followers, 2,250 posts, and hustles #MeUndies for a chance for user posts to be featured on their account. They highlight similar posts to Facebook and Twitter, utilizing the photo and video sharing site’s interface, but also engage with customers by posting phone wallpaper versions of popular prints, “Ask Me Anything” video sessions with the founder Jonathan Shokrian, behind the scenes corporate clips, and more. They feature the new “Shop” button at the top of their account when viewing from the mobile application and are surely driving more traffic to their website through this product interface.  (MeUndies, 2019)

MeUndies on Pinterest has 9K followers, 4.8M monthly viewers, and appears to have a higher follow back rate through this platform than with others. They have utilized this platform to share full photo shoots of newly released designs as well as associated photos sorted into categorized boards, with subject matter ranging from their own pizza print underwear to their collaboration with the Los Angeles LGBT Center in 2018. They appear to have a pet appreciation board, with photos of animals near packaging or by owners sporting the undergarments, however no photos of their recently released BuddyBands™ (dog bandanas) have made it onto this platform. The lack of recent posts seems to lead me to believe that they have let their marketing efforts flow away from Pinterest, looking elsewhere to actively promote their product line. (MeUndies, 2019)

meundies on Snapchat appears to be completely taking advantage of the ephemeral nature of the application by posting occasional interactions that are exclusive to the interface. Having little experience with Snapchat myself and also not having followed them prior to this paper, I was unable to garner how exactly they utilize the platform to promote their products, but I likely assume it includes linkbacks to their website for product purchases, as well as instant interaction with real MeUndies employees and marketers.  (MeUndies, 2019)

Strategy and Recommendations

  1. Decide what to do with Pinterest; update it or ditch it. We know Pinterest is one of the lower performing social media sites, but we also know it has a large female target audience. With new buy buttons integrated directly into pins, the company could drive traffic to their website through their active monthly viewers. Alternatively, they could bail on the platform and remove their presence from it all together. I think maintaining an updated presence is important and out of date information may be construed as lazy on the company’s part.
  2. Ramp up the production of YouTube videos. YouTube is one of the most popular websites across the board, for both news and product reviews, among both the young and the old. An effort to represent bodies of all shapes and sizes is a must, as well as all facets of gender representation. MeUndies has a really great photographic presence with their products and any efforts towards video are surely going to be successful.
  3. Go commercial with advertising. Take those awesome YouTube videos and turn them into traditional media commercials. I’d not be terribly upset to watch a MeUndies ad on Hulu or YouTube and probably wouldn’t fast forward through it on a DVR’d show as long as it caught my attention. When my daughter saw purple underwear with cute pink jellyfish on them, she immediately demanded I buy her a pair. They could have easily got to her through YouTube advertising very effectively because of how much time she spends on the platform.
  4. Continue to stay engaged through existing high-performance channels. Their newest release of a Star Wars Disco 3-pack prompted a mention to Mark Hammill (@HamillHimself) and an appropriate user response for a post that’s only a day old. @helpmeundies could engage more in the real-time Twitter community, but tracking their direct messages is impossible from an outside standpoint. On Facebook, the company appears to have created a group about two years ago for exclusive member benefits and updates called “The Undie Pack” and I think with the rising popularity of groups on Facebook, they should try to relaunch this community. Encouraging photos of members’ latest #MUHaul, #laundryday, #drawergoals, and users in their undies could be a fun and interactive way to tie into this platform. Instagram appears to be updated on the regular, but utilizing live chats with company executives or collaborators would be a feature I’d enjoy seeing on the platform.

This growing company stays hip on trends and fashion and is constantly producing new and exciting prints to put on your behind. With great attention to detail and a sustainable business model, as well as efforts to give back to their local community, MeUndies knows their way around the undergarment market and is surely going to remain in business as long as people need new underwear.

References

Duluth Trading Company. (2019, May 2). Retrieved from Duluth Trading Company: https://www.duluthtrading.com/

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). Retrieved from MeUndies: https://www.meundies.com

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). @meundies. Retrieved from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meundies/

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). @MeUndies. Retrieved from Twitter: https://twitter.com/meundies

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). meundies. Retrieved from Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/meundies

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). MeUndies. Retrieved from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meundies/

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). MeUndies. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrMeUndies

MeUndies. (2019, May 2). MeUndies. Retrieved from Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/meundies/

Shinesty. (2019, May 2). Retrieved from Shinesty: https://www.shinesty.com

Splendies. (2019, May 2). Retrieved from Splendies: https://www.splendies.com

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