As an entrepreneur you wear many hats, we all know that. It’s one of the things that makes being an entrepreneur so exciting. At the same time you are developing your product, you’re ensuring everyone is on task, trouble shooting “situations” (otherwise known as problems), hiring contractors etc. etc. In this all encompassing process don’t forget about marketing, specifically branding. This is a crucial component to launching your product for the first time. So, how do you get it right??
Frances Harder, founder of The Fashion Business Inc., recently gave a talk on Brand Building for success which I found very valuable. First off, ensure your first season or product launch, identifies your product as recognizable. What is going to make your product stand apart from the crowd?? What is that je ne sais quois that consumers will identify with? Is it the fit, the fabric or maybe the need it fulfills? Ask yourself, what is your product’s signature. For example, clothing designer Diane Von Furstenburg is known for her signature wrap dress; even some men are aware of it.
In today’s marketplace, as we all know the general consumer is overwhelmed and savvier than ever. What they want is an experience rather than another purchase. Try to think of seasonal destinations or seasonal themes instead of seasonal deliveries; provide that escape people are searching for. You might try including some savvy text on the hang tag or an insert they get with a purchase that drives them to your website to continue “experiencing” your brand.
Be consistent. It is not enough to deliver that first collection, you must follow up with continuity in order to build that brand. Yes, consumers want newness but they want to be able to rely upon your products to continue delivering the positive experience that initiated their first purchase. Also, when developing products focus on lifestyle. What will the consumer be doing when they are wearing or using your items? This takes us back to fulfilling a need. What life is the purchaser living that makes them desire certain consumer goods?
What is your brand story? If you don’t have one, make it up, it is called a story right. Associating with charities often makes it easier to convey this as well as elevate the authenticity. I know, I know, you have enough expenses without giving money to a charity as well. The experts say it’s worth it to give a portion of the proceeds to your favorite charity no matter how small. In the long run, the way you touch consumers with your story provides more warmth than the sweater they bought.
These are just a few tips I thought I would pass along. Remember, you don’t have to do everything, it’s all about hiring the right people for the right job…
I would love to hear your feedback, feel free to email me or comment on the post.
Kristin ~ Self Assured