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Business, Politics & Society

Spanx Case Studies

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 6:37 min

Sara details the development of a few of her most successful products, providing more insight into various stages of the product-development process, including naming, innovation, iteration, and differentiation.

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Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - So I thought it would be a great idea to take actual specific innovation from Spanx, products that we have out in the marketplace, and what our thought process was behind them, how we A, identified white space; B, wanted to solve the problem; and what the why was behind each one of them. These are big successes by Spanx. And you'll be able to see a pattern in our thinking and how we went about it. Yep. We named it Bra-llelujah because it was so comfortable that women actually sang when they put it on in wear testing. And they would be like hallelujah. We're like, that's perfect. So the way that I thought about this is I like to look at a product or something and say how's everybody looking at it and is there a different angle. So I knew that bras, for however long bras have been around, everyone in the industry was obsessing the front of the bra, the cups, the support. It was all about the front. So I thought, well, nobody's thinking about the back of a bra. What if I really obsessed is there a better way to make up the back of the bra. And that's how this process started. I also really don't like bras. They were uncomfortable. I didn't think they fit right. And I was always messing with them. But the one thing I noticed is that forever the industry had been putting two pieces of elastic, one here at the bottom across the back and one at the top that pinched your skin and left an unsightly look under blouses and tops. So I went and said, what if we just totally threw the entire industry on its head and created a whole new back to a bra? We ended up coming up with a bra that the front is regular molded cups. You get the support that you want but the straps and the back is literally made out of hosiery. What did we end up doing? We created the world's most comfortable bra. And it was completely invisible under t-shirts. And it was supportive. And the industry woke up and said, whoa, wait a minute maybe we don't need to be constructing bras the way that it's always been done. So another invention was the Power Panty, which I mentioned how important naming something is. Once we named this the Power Panty, it took on a total life of its own. It made everybody laugh. It was memorable. And so we did name it halfway through development the Power Panty. And literally even the factory started getting more excited about making iterations once they all started calling it the Power Panty. And what was this invention? Well, shaper shorts existed. OK. But they were flawed. And what happened was they all had a leg band on them. So you wear them under your beautiful cream pants, your white pants, and you would see this line or bulge go across your thigh where it ended. So I thought, what if we could create a shaper short with zero leg band and keep it down on the leg? Well, this one was at least two years of iteration. And it was super complicated and super exciting to break through on this one. What we ended up d...


Find your big idea

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

holy cow !!! that was amazingly useful. Thank you so much.

I even got emotional in some parts. Absolutely useful, practical, honest, open , hands-on, fully informative MASTER class. She is one of a kind.

Great class! Blakely is such a dynamic motivator and instructor!

I didn't even know who Sara Blakely was before this masterclass and had faintly heard of her company so everything, including Sara was new for me. She is defines self made in every way, and her humility, drive and generosity was inspiring. As I guy I will probably never wear her products, but as a person and professional I have profited immensely from this experience with her. Thanks Sara!


Comments

Murugi K.

I wish there was a demo for each of the case studies. I wasn't able to visualise the fitting Sara is talking about.

Frank H.

I CAN'T WAIT TO BE THE SAME...I HAVE A SYRUP THAT KEEPS PEOPLE HEALTHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN. THANK YOU.

Camille M.

Ok, I was only two minutes into this video before I pressed pause and went to the Spanx website to buy one of these bras! :)

Janet M.

Really great. Sara is so easy to listen to, lots of real life examples, lessons and just relatable situations. I'm a small business owner in the service industry so not everything was pertinent to my business but I learned a lot and just got overall inspired. Thank you.

A fellow student

Just really amazing! I am starting my own Business in a foreign country at the moment. And as a young woman, I can not tell you how much your lessons helped me figure out many challenges I am facing. Each single one of them held an answer to a problem I was facing. I really hope you would do more!. I eat, sleep, shower and breath with your course going on and on over and over again. It is literally the very first thing I put one the minute I enter the house.

A fellow student

Amazing! So informative and inspiring. The tips and her simple ways of resilience shows that it’s all possible.

Glenn J.

Sara, your class was the most inspirational and informative of ALL the classes I have watched! I have been an entrepreneur since the age of 20, I'm now 66 years old. I learned so much from your class. Thank You SO MUCH!!!