Protect your brand. As your brand becomes more popular, more counterfeiters arise. It’s imperative to protect your brand’s reputation and revenue by working with a partner like Red Points to help maintain customer trust.
As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Katherina Borve.
Katherina Borve, Kat for short, created Brassybra after a painful experience using duct tape on her wedding day back in 2012. Knowing there had to be a better way to flaunt strapless or backless clothing, Kat experimented with family and friends using different fabrics, shapes and materials to create the world’s first breathing adhesive bra that stretches like skin. As a result, Kat launched Brassybra in 2016. Kat is a firm believer in body positivity and made sure that her products satisfied women of any size and shape — no matter how small or large.
Kat is originally from Norway but currently lives in Miami with her husband and two children to pursue business in the US. Kat previously worked in the airline industry and in skincare before her fateful wedding day.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Back in 2012 when I was getting married, I found my dream wedding dress, but I couldn’t find any bra to go with the strapless design. I tried everything on the market but couldn’t find anything that provided invisible support that would last throughout the whole day and all the dancing. I ended up trying what many women have tried before — duct tape. I suffered throughout the entire day and barely made it to the end. Removing it was even worse. A few months later, I was invited to a party and wanted to wear a backless dress. I had the same problem. Then and there, I decided there had to be a better solution than duct tape and Brassybra was born.
I began experimenting with different shapes and materials. I asked my friends, sisters, mother and mother-in-law to be my guinea pigs. In the beginning, it was just a hobby. But as time went on, more friends inquired about the product and I began to really develop it. Now, years later, Brassybra has been on the market for five years. It’s the world’s first adhesive bra that stretches and moves with you like a second skin. My product works for cups of all sizes from A — G unlike our competitors. We’re the only breast tape on the market that is ethically produced and offers inclusive skin tone options so that everyone can find a close match.
I believed in the idea so much so that I invested all my savings into the business to get us started. Once we got going, we received support from Innovation Norway to help us find a factory for product development. We ended up with a 97 percent cotton-based material with elastane, which creates the second skin-like feeling. The most important thing to me during the product development phase was to ensure that the product quality and working conditions were excellent, so that consumers could trust that they’re receiving a safe and guilt-free product.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It’s not that funny of a story, but the biggest marketing issue we’ve had is trying to sell a product that can’t appear on most social media platforms. We’ve had hundreds of posts and ads taken down due to censorship, essentially because our skin-toned tapes blended in so well that algorithms were translating our posts as “nudity.” Despite our many efforts, we continue to have this issue today. We’ve had to be extremely creative in how we showcase the product to promote it at all.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our passion for body positivity and inclusivity is what sets us apart. We truly want to help as many women as possible feel beautiful. Our customers appreciate that we showcase a multitude of body types and skin tones to inspire everyone to feel gorgeous. Our company’s general tone is not only to be “Shamelessly Bold,” but to be approachable and relatable in how we engage our customers.
We’ve received so many compliments about our content, from the models and influencers we work with, to the artwork (all of which is my original artwork), to our marketing emails. We like to call our team “Boob Fairies,” and this term has only gotten even more popular.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, we have new products on the way in 2021. One of our new items is extremely unique and unlike anything else on the market. It will help a lot of women wear their dream wardrobe in a way they may not have ever been able to before.
Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
Advertising can enhance brand awareness, while branding drives the style and direction of advertising campaigns. Marketing can manage brand accountability and shore up a brand’s reputation, in addition to promoting ad campaigns.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
Early on, I was advised by a patent lawyer to not patent my product because it wasn’t necessary, which I later regretted after Brassybra’s popularity skyrocketed and counterfeit products with it. With Brassybra’s reputation and revenue at risk, I decided to reach out to brand intelligence platform Red Points to find and remove counterfeit products using its AI-driven software. To this day, Red Points helps not only protect our brand, but also our customers by giving them more assurance to trust in Brassybra.
Another reason to invest in branding is that it helps you identify your brand’s personality and target market. We want people to not only purchase from us but to feel like they know us when they buy from Brassybra.
Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.
- Transparency. Creating realistic expectations and telling the truth in a polite way even when you know it won’t be received well.
- Answer everyone. We answer every DM, email, message, and comment on all social media platforms. We want people to know we’re listening.
- Protect your brand. As your brand becomes more popular, more counterfeiters arise. It’s imperative to protect your brand’s reputation and revenue by working with a partner like Red Points to help maintain customer trust.
- Make things right. We do everything we can to make sure our customers feel heard and understood.
- Keep your promises to the customer. We assure all users of Brassybra that the product really works, so we do everything in our power to offer everything we’ve promised.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
Sara Blakely built an amazing product and company. She inspired me to build my own company. It requires a lot of hard work, and I’ve made some mistakes, but not trying gets you nowhere. As Sara Blakely said, “failure is not an outcome; failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?
Brand awareness is a measure of success. Brand building is about creating a space where customers can learn more about you and what you stand for.
What role does social media play in your branding efforts?
For us, social media plays a huge role in our branding efforts. It’s where we show who we are and also how to use the product. Instagram is our top referral for sales and we take it very seriously. Our social media content is all about women loving themselves and it shows the market that we’re bold and fun.
What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?
I love what I do. I like to think of Brassybra as my third baby. Loving what you do helps so much. Delegating is crucial. You have to hire people who align with your goals and bring them into the family. I treat my staff as I would my extended family, and I genuinely feel like they have my back.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Body positivity is so important to me and the Brassybra brand, so I align with many aspects of that movement. If I could impart any knowledge to others, it would be to love yourself now. Wear your dream clothes even if you don’t think you’re “ready” to. Go for your goals. Be shamelessly bold and don’t let anyone treat you like you’re not beautiful.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have two answers:
1.“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know, that can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” — Sara Blakely
As I said earlier: You have to be with people who align with your goals and bring them into the family.
2. “I know I can.” This is my own life quote. I have always been someone who finds a way to do the things I dream. Prior to Brassybra, I was told that I could never work in a cabin crew because I have dyslexia. That didn’t stop me because I worked in a cabin crew for ten years. I might have to work a little harder, but it will never stop me from achieving my dreams.
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
My idol is Sara Blakely; she is an iron woman. It would be a dream to meet her! She’s built something amazing. She was also my inspiration when it came to building my company.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
On my Instagram @katherinaborve.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.