INVISTA’s latest underwear consumer research shows gap in the market
After examining new research findings, LYCRA® brand owner INVISTA is introducing new quality standards for natural fiber based undies.
A global cross-gender consumer study led by Strategic Insights* surveyed 4,000 men and women. It yielded interesting statistics on customer preferences, revealing that consumers have high standards when purchasing underwear. The most important attributes being:
- comfort (women 62%, men 54%)
- fit (women 57%, men 45%)
- overall quality (women 49%, men 40%)
The study findings also highlight that the majority of men and women check the underwear label before purchasing (men 63%, women 56%), which shows that fabric quality is important to them.
In terms of fiber desirability, cotton was quoted to be the most desirable at over 70%. LYCRA® fiber came in second at 30%-- ahead of the generics, spandex and elastane.
In parallel, INVISTA researchers analysed more than 300 commercial underwear styles around the world, testing a large variety of fabric properties for both men and women underwear, including shrinkage, elongation, recovery force, air-permeability, fabric weights or shape retention over time.
This study pointed at a few issues and gaps in the existing underwear market including a lack of consistency in current fabric testing measures, and no suitable basic standard for underwear fabrics, which prompted INVISTA to take action.
“INVISTA was surprised to identify such a gap and problem in the underwear market, and we have spent time and resources in the past years to fill this gap with a proprietary test method, which is part of a new quality standard specifically engineered for low LYCRA® fiber content fabrics blended with natural fibers that go into underwear. We are raising the bar in the underwear industry to bring the end-consumers more comfortable and longer-lasting underwear, and we’re very excited about what this will mean for the market. With this, underwear has become a new strategic marketing focus for us,” says Kim Chi Phung, INVISTA’s new underwear global segment leader.
Kim adds: “In addition to bringing to market a unique new quality standard for underwear fabrics based on specialized performance criteria, INVISTA is introducing two powerful platforms to market the improved feel and fit of underwear made with LYCRA® fibers.”
Indeed, independent research** explored thousands of potential combinations between brand names, logos, taglines, benefit statements and features. The concept most likely to inspire purchase intent among women was LYCRA® INT!MATE fabric (73%). The majority of men responded to LYCRA® FREEF!T® fabric (80%).
“The gender-specific brands offer a more dynamic and targeted approach to consumer appeal,” Kim concludes.
INVISTA has teamed-up with leading French underwear company Pull-in in designing a promotional LYCRA® FREEF!T® fabric men underwear (90% cotton/10% LYCRA® fiber1), to highlight the value-add of underwear garments providing a comfortable, long lasting fit.
Join Kim at a conference given at Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, on Sunday January 20th starting from 1pm to know more about INVISTA’s Underwear Platform.
Underwear brand Pull-in brought freshness and creativity in prints to the very conservative lingerie world. Today, it is renowned for the originality and quality of its underwear products designed in France and manufactured in Europe. The brand has come a long way since its creation in 2000, with concept stores openings in France and in the US, broadening the range of its products. Pull-in uses LYCRA® fiber to provide freedom of movement, wearing comfort and dimensional stability in all its range.
*Strategic Insights, Global Consumer Research 2011, 4,000 consumers 7 countries.
** Affinnova® concept optimization testing, 1300 respondents, men and women aged 18-49, France and US, 2012
1 Designed by Pull-In, France. Qualifying fabrics from French fabric producer Bel Maille
Photo credit: © 2012 INVISTA - Promotional LYCRA® FREEF!T® fabric boxer short designed by Pull-In