Brand Strategy

Summersalt is working to be the ‘swimwear of choice for literally every woman in America’

Since forming in 2017, the brand has prided itself on being inclusive of all types of women.
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Screenshot via Summersalt/YouTube

· 4 min read

Since starting swimsuit brand Summersalt, Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, co-founder and chief brand and digital officer, told us that the goal has been to “be the swimwear of choice for literally every woman in America.”

Rather than rely on characteristics like what a consumer looks like, where they live, or what they do, Chattaram Chamberlin said Summersalt tries to connect with customers by relating to the universal and “usually not pleasant” experience of swimsuit shopping.

As more brands jump on the body-positivity and -neutrality movements (like Victoria’s Secret), Chattaram Chamberlin said Summersalt is “focused on making people know what we’re the most authentic” and that “it’s not performative,” emphasizing that the brand started out in 2017 by doing body scans of 10,000 women and taking 1.5 million measurements to inform its sizing and fits.

In addition to selling swimsuits up to size 24, Summersalt sells products specifically designed for bodies with long torsos and showcases models of different sizes on its website.

After years of focusing its summer marketing on how Summersalt works for different sizes and builds, the brand is now homing in on its best-selling product and looking to form long-lasting relationships with its customers.

Suit up

For the last three years (excluding 2020), Summersalt has run its “Every Body is a Summersalt Body” campaign, which featured women like Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City; Betnijah Laney, WNBA All-Star; and Lily D. Moore, actress and Special Olympics ambassador.

“We worked to create a class of [more than] 25 amazing women from all walks of life, essentially thinking about body diversity, race diversity, but intellectual diversity as well,” Chattaram Chamberlin said. “Someone who’s a lawyer, someone who’s a doctor, someone who’s a stay-at-home mom, someone who’s a media personality—we wanted our consumers to feel inspired and feel like they were reflected in our marketing.”

This year, Chattaram Chamberlin told us the brand chose a new campaign for this summer, “The Ultimate Confidence Booster,” after seeing how many reviews for its Sidestroke swimsuit included the word “confident.”

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“We launched a commercial that shows unique situations where women would not be wearing a swimsuit, but choose to wear the Sidestroke because it gives them the most confidence out of anything else they’ve ever worn,” she said. Examples include wearing a swimsuit to a wedding and a job interview.

In addition to working with influencers like Lauren Chan, who was an SI Swimsuit Rookie this year, Chattaram Chamberlin said the brand is running the ad on CTV and social media.

She also said Summersalt is spending more time on Pinterest these days. “I think on Pinterest, what we always think about is approachable luxury,” she said. “It’s great because if someone is manifesting that perfect trip or that perfect outfit, Summersalt is a piece of that.”

a photo of Summersalt's Pinterest page showcasing its various products

Screenshot via Summersalt/Pinterest

All the right places

In its fight against the often unpleasant experience of trying on swimsuits, Chattaram Chamberlin said Summersalt wants to convey itself as a “best friend in the dressing room,” able to discuss things like “butt coverage and boob support and all the things that you need to be able to make the purchase as seamless and easy as possible.”

Communicating that idea to people who aren’t customers, however, can be a different story: “Sometimes you have to explain to men and investors that yes, women do take their mom in the dressing room with them,” she said. “They take their sister, their cousin, their best friend.”

Since friendships go both ways, Chattaram Chamberlin said Summersalt has created ways of interacting with customers directly, as with its “Joycast” emotional support line created during Covid. She said Summersalt is also working on a loyalty program where customers can give input and share their feedback on products.

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