With the popularity of the US television programs The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection and Project Runway There’s a buzz in the air about Getting the next up and coming, Sexy Designer. This may lead people to feel that it is easy to transition to the fashion market. More people are leaping into the business with no benefit of fashion education. While it’s definitely feasible to do so, the learning curve is bound to be significant.
Before venturing outside and launching a brand new set, designers should Have the Ability to address the following issues:
1. Clearly and concisely identify your intended audience.
When speaking to young designers such as DWI, the very first question I ask is, ‘who’s your target market, who is the client you are selling to?’ Many react with’s promote to everybody’s they tell me a range of customers that span 20 years in age. My reply to this is, “if you try to be everything to everybody, you are nothing to nobody”. If designers don’t have a clear and specific target market, it is going to difficult for them to formulate a marketing message to reach their prospective clients.
2. Create the brand Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
There are thousands upon thousands of brands for consumers to choose from, how are you really going to stand out? What is your USP? What is so special about your brand? Why is it that I wish to buy from you? Designers need to have a clear idea of what they must provide to customers with their apparel. What problem would you solve for me? Maybe you provide exercise or yoga wear for your plus-size woman, or office wear for very tall men, or shoes for people with wide feet. In many cases what’s on offer is a subconscious desire to be part of their brand identity. The USP should also be conveyed in your marketing message.
3. Produce a meaningful brand name that relates to your product and speaks to your client.
Al Reis & Jack Trout, the writers of Positioning, the Fight for your Mind, identify an integral problem -“In this positioning age, the single most important marketing decision you can make is what to name the product.” I could not agree more. Too often new designers pick obscure or personal titles because they think it’s cute or cool. They will need to be considering the merchandise and the target market. They should pick a brand name that is memorable, simple to pronounce, and is suitable for the product and target market. Additionally, it must easily translate to an available web domain name.
4. Develop the brand personality.
Brand personality – Am I supposed to have a brand personality? Just as individuals have a title and a personality, so do brands. The brand personality is something that should be produced by the designer during the first stages of brand development. Brand personality can be hauled to the customer visually by the product design, at the store design, and something as simple as the brand font or corporate colors that represent the brand.
The brand personality is what the consumer identifies with. The nearer you can get your brand personality to that of your intended audience, the easier it is going to be to sell to her.
5. Establish brand positioning.
How is your product placed in the mind of the customer? What’s your merchandise known for in the marketplace? Volvo holds the position for becoming a safe family car, Tiffany’s is known as the place to go for fine jewelry or the engagement ring’ and McDonald’s is interchangeable with fast food and happy kids. Each designer should set their brand standing by creating a brand positioning statement. The positioning statement takes into account the client, the competition, and what makes you unique in the marketplace. Your positioning also makes it easier for consumers to identify with your brand.
6. Design a sales & marketing plan which brings a steady stream of customers.
In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner continually hears a voice from over tell him”If you build it, they will come” This only occurs in the film. You should have a sales and marketing strategy to create awareness for your brand and a means to continually encourage the products to drive visitors to your store or website. It is simple. No traffic, no sales. Develop a sales and marketing strategy before you start your doors to the public.
7. Make sure your business hat is larger than your designer hat.
Even with the technical and merchandising skills that can be gotten via a design college, youthful designers should understand it takes more than a good looking garment for being an effective designer. Again and again, I see start-ups their masks so focused on designing lovely garments that they overlook the bigger picture.
As the creative force behind the label, designers sometimes forget that they have a business to run. There’s a misconception that being a designer is all about creating beautiful garments and that hardly any time has to be spent on the other less glamorous materials. Designers have to be educated enough to know there are times when they will need to be functioning in’ the business and working on’ the business. Running the business is a larger hat to wear. If you are not prepared to wear this hat, look for assistance such as consultants or spouses.