Targeting your Product

As a marketer I enjoy looking at how different brands, that sell a similar product, target different segments or markets.

Take for example the two Australian fashion swimwear brands Aussie Bum and Budgy Smuggler.  Both make and sell men’s swimwear products, most well know for their  brief or ‘speedo’ style togs.

However, they are very different in the way they approach marketing, branding and indeed the target audience they are selling to.


Aussie Bum, don’t just sell swimwear, they are probably more well-known for their underwear but they sell lifestyle and surfwear as well. They have a highly curated marketing and branding stream. The products on their website are shown on models in various settings, often the beach. Aussie Bum use video on the product information page. Every image or video is of a high production value and feature models, mostly buff muscular types.


Aussie Bum are across a range of social media platforms. Including Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and You Tube.  Each of these platforms are aligned with a similar banner image and often the same image at the same time. This is planned and well executed campaigns – obviously selling a product while always selling the same brand image of Aussie Bum.

If you doubt yourself, wear something else.

This is a brand for confident, guys who match (whether real or imagined) this image of good looking fit men.


Aussie Bum are also known for the WonderJock, these products are design to enhance assets of the wearer. Which in my mind is very fitting with the over all image of the brand. The curated images and well managed social stream are all about a perfect image, perfect body and look. This is traditional and well understood marketing for fashion.


Budgy Smuggler also sell other things than Men’s swimwear. They sell Women’s swimwear, kid’s swimwear and Active wear. They also sell Custom swimwear, these can be branded for a club, special event or just one offs.

The (men’s) products on the website are displayed by showing an image of the product. No models, or videos, just a front and back of the design. The other interesting difference is that there is only 1 style for men’s and 2 for women’s swimwear. They do show the women’s swimmers on models but these are studio only and not on site at a pool or beach.


Budgy Smuggler are also on social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  They have a more disparate strategy for these channels, the banners across these pages are often totally different. The images on each of these streams are filled with reposts from fans. They are natural shots of people wearing the brand in different locations.


These are not models, they are not curated and professional images. Most of the image are fun, silly and in some instances showing guys in ‘Budgy’s’ in non standard locations, i.e. NOT at a pool or the beach! Sometimes this has gotten people in trouble.

This fun carefree attitude is seen in the sporting teams that get custom smugglers and recently culminated in the competition to search for Australia’s most Ordinary Rig.



So we have two brands that sell very similar products in two completely different ways and to different target markets.

Interestingly both are doing very well and selling internationally, all from Sydney, Australia. The power of their marketing is very strong and each caters to a different audience through very different ways.

They both use images to convey their brand message, AussieBum are picture perfect models in staged, produced locations. Whereas, Budgy Smuggler are fun, silly and driven by a very large part by user driven images.

Ultimately they are selling the same thing, swimwear… and doing a great job.

Is one better or worse? Which is better? What do you think?


The right attire…

I like to wear speedos.

Yes I wear them to swim laps at the pool – that’s pretty much a standard. If you are serious about swimming for fitness you wear the right gear. Some guys go for jammers others the more traditional brief-style “speedos”.

I am one of the later.

I used to wear them all the time, beneath my board short or swim shorts. However, I always had the desire to whip off the baggy shorts and swim in the streamlined close-fitting snug speedos.

That changed when we moved interstate.

New city, new place. No-one knew me at the pool. Plus we moved to a much bigger city – one with a hell of a lot more people at the pools and more diversity. The fact that pools in the city are a mix of cultures many of whom have not had the US driven ‘fear’ of men being exposed in some way meant that the pools here had a higher level of men in speedos. In fact some nights the board-short wearing guy was very much in the minority.

The first time I went in the pool ‘just’ in my speedos caused me to feel a little bit of fear, a little bit of embarrassment and a lot of unanswered questions. All of which vanish when I pushed off the edge that first time, since I was a (very) prepubescent child of maybe 10 or 11, clad in only a small thin piece of material. The water glided off me, my legs kicked free from any encumbrance and I felt good, I mean, I felt great. I swam so much easier, and on top I felt like a swimmer, like I belonged in the swimming lane and not the walk and talk lane.

That good feeling came from both the way I swam (it really was so much easier), and also the sense that I was (outwardly) unashamed and confident in my body. Now I need to say I am no Adonis, I haven’t got the perfect swimming body (not sure I ever will at 40) but I certainly feel like I look better just by the fact that I do wear swimwear design for swimming.

Yup kinda like these guys… 

To me wearing a form fitting speedo is akin to wearing a well tailored, good fitting suit. You put on that suit, the shirt, the tie and do your hair well – look in the mirror and you look and feel great. That’s the same feeling I get when wearing the right and (in my mind) the proper swimwear. It’s almost a ‘fake it till you make it’ scenario. Dress the part and you are the part, that kind of thing.

I am no longer ashamed (although I have had moments of doubt) and I am beginning to become less worried about what others may think. Sure I have my days when I get to the pool and see a group of mostly younger guys in board-shorts (mostly just playing in the water) and not doing laps, but I build up my wall put on my game face and walk-on down to the pool deck. Wearing my suit with confidence. It’s also true that I haven’t actually seen anyone looking at me, or commenting to me… so that helps!

Besides, I feel good and I swim better.

That’s the whole point I have to writing this. It’s not about how I look, I would be the first to say don’t take my picture in speedos I will NOT look good. As I said I don’t have a swimmer body, there are no visible 6-packs (the making of a keg maybe) on my belly. I am also hairy… I’m not an ape but there is body hair… proud manly body hair! The point is about how I FEEL.

I feel strong, I feel fit and I feel like a stud!

I will say that when I swim with the kids in the kiddy pool I wear board-shorts. The nature of needing to be the lifeguard and helper isn’t the right environment to wear briefs. That may be more a societal thing than anything to do with me, but it just feels more ‘right’ to at least wear more modest swim attire. It probably shouldn’t but there you go! Life ain’t easy.

So I say if you swim, if you are at least semi-serious about swimming for exercise, remove the board-short, get rid of the drag. At least get a pair of jammers or go the whole hog and ‘don the ‘does. Take it from me, you’ll never look back.


Isn’t it weird how sometimes life throws things at you. I did not know about William Gibson until a few short months ago when a friend suggested I read Neromancer – so I did and I loved it. Now I see that are doing a endnotes on that very book. I have also read Pattern Recognition recently and that is a great book as well… So I thought why not share the love and here is the link the endnotes on Neromancer

Oh the swim front we are off to the pool again tomorrow morning!!! WooT – I am the exercise Machine!!!


OK this is for real – I have been swimming… like doing LAPS at the pool!!! Shock horror eeks (etc)

Dazza and I were talking the other week – both trying hard to suck in our guts when we realised that we should not be doing that at our age and that we really should not even have these guts… So the question was how do we get rid of them…


Running – Yeah right…
Dieting – Yeah right…
Swimming – Hey I can swim, Dazza can NOT drown whilst moving forward (sort of) Hmmm maybe we should… yeah lets think about that…

“Did you two say you where going to start swimming” Dazza’s other half asked… OMG she heard us…

“Ummm maybe…” I replied weakly

“You should!” she looked at us waiting for the affirmation. I struggled to come with something to get us out of it. I was too late… “I’ll Google the opening times…” she turned to her laptop and started typing…

Suddenly we where stuck, locked in, unable to escape the fate that laid before us… We would have to go swimming.

Deciding to meet in the morning of my next day off I went home thinking of ways to get out of this knowing that I really shouldn’t yet scared to think maybe I really won’t be able to make it one length of the pool… I awoke that morning with dread as I dressed and packed my bag for the pool – I dug out my old goggles and towel grab some shorts to change into (I wore my boardies to the pool) and drove to Dazza’s. He was ready and pumped for the morning session… I was excited by his general demeanor of slightly scared and anxious state of mind, maybe he was a worse swimmer then me.

I was proved right…

We choose to swim in the 25m indoor pool, a) it was heated and warmer, b) it was indoors therefore less people would see us… (wrong on point b as Dazza’s classmate was the lifeguard of duty when we arrived – yet part a it was warmer and a nicer place to swim). So off went our shirts to show off our manly bulging bellies… then quick into the water.

We played about for the first little while getting used to moving in the water and getting the old muscles to move in some fashion… other then the mouse click and remote flick that they where currently being used for. Then we took the PLUNGE… we started to swim a lap.

Shock horror dismay … I DID IT!!! I swam a lap and did not drown nor stop and walk – a whole LAP of the 25m pool – I will leave what happened to Dazza to Dazza… I dare not write it here… save to say that at the end of the session Dazza had swam 3 complete laps by the end of the morning (Go Dazza Go!!).

And do you know what! We went back and did better then before…

I feel really good – dunno if my belly is shrinking but I guess that takes time… at least I have gone back and tried again and Dazza even swam better the second time.