Amanda Lee Lingerie - A Case Study
May 2008 (University of Liverpool)
A few years later, whilst studying for a BA in fashion and textile management that Lee decided to research the capability of the market for mastectomy products, such as bras and swimwear. Other than small internet companies offering a very small range and specialised shops primarily in London, the market was bare.
Lee decided she could combine a design to run a successful business with the ability to provide post-surgical patients with the element of femininity they often feel is lost, as she stated ‘Most women after undergoing an operation that is not just a life but physically changing, lose a lot of their self-confidence. They feel they’ve lost part of their femininity. My products help these women restore some of their body image and allow them to feel body confident again, which is very important as a woman in today’s image-conscious society’.
As a sole trader, the burden of marketing is placed directly within Lee’s remit. Unlike a big corporation where a designated area of the business specialises in marketing, holding a team of marketers with a big budget and successful marketing networks, Lee had to make all these discoveries for herself. However, Lee began to look for suitable funding and managed to gain some free promotion through sponsorship by the Shell LiveWIRE programme. Lee appeared in various media formats – radio, print media and television – along with the accolade of winning the North East Entrepreneur of the Year 2003.
The UK Government financial supports young enterprise businesses like Lee’s to enable them to begin trading and in return the entrepreneurs not only contribute to the national economy, but also act as role models to younger/inexperienced budding entrepreneurs. Official statistics show the level on young people in entrepreneurial start ups has increased dramatically since 2000 which is due to Governmental funding and support from such schemes as Shell LiveWIRE and the ‘Make your Mark’ campaign. Now, more than ever, young people are given far more opportunities to become entrepreneurs.
Lee Sylph embraced the financial backing and business support and continued to enhance her business. She actively researched her market and gained links with twenty two hospital breast cancer groups – aiding in the successful identification of her target market whilst securing orders.
(For further case information, please visit: www.amanda-lee.co.uk)
- How important do you think sponsorship is for a new company?
Consider: - How a new company may spend sponsorship money – should it be spent on staff training? Products to sell? Marketing campaigns? How should you decide?
- How could Lee protect her target audience from substitute companies/products?
Consider: - The entrance of substitute companies and the effect upon Lee’s current business success.
- How could Lee diversify her business?
Consider: - Enhancing her clientele base, developing her product ranges, offering further post-surgical products/garments etc.