Where to start when starting a fashion brand
If you’re a creative entrepreneur with a strong design ethic, starting your own clothing brand could be an exceptionally lucrative business. The UK fashion industry is worth £43.2 billion annually, with the European total being £411 billion. The simple fact is that if you sell products which people want then you will make money, but disregarding the designs for a moment, here are three very important but often overlooked aspects to starting a successful fashion brand.
Stick to a Consistent Brand Identity
Whether your business is in it’s development stages or a recognised household name, you will always benefit from building and maintaining a recognisable brand.
Your fashion brand is the collection of interlinked attributes that your customers recognise and remember when they think of your business. These include your core business values, your unique selling points and your visual style. You have to make your business something that your customer can instantly relate to, through building your brand identity. You achieve an identity by applying your brand to everything that you do and everything that you intend your customer to see, from your marketing style through to the experience a customer has when they meet you in person or talk to you on the phone.
This doesn’t mean that everything you do has to look exactly the same, in fact if you were to do that you would risk having a very boring looking brand. It does mean though that you should always strive for visual cohesion; making sure your colour palette, visual style, font, font size and spacing of your logo are always consistent. Keep your visual identity and core values consistent and you’ll quickly develop a strong brand which your customers will love.
Don’t Scrimp on Photography
Whether you’re a fledgling designer or the director of a global super brand, there is one thing that you should always have in the back of your mind; high quality, professional photography. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but when people visit your website or look at you on social media, if they’re met by top quality, well lit and professionally edited photography you will instantly gain their trust and hopefully their custom. Trust is the new Black, after all.
Your photographer is an investment if you like, and a key consideration when coming up with your marketing budget.
If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur. That doesn’t mean to say you have to spend thousands, but it’s one of the few areas that are essential for setting you apart from the crowd in the world of fashion.
Social Media Presence
Social media is a fantastic, low cost advertising tool which if used correctly will easily keep your customer engaged and willing to buy in to your brand. With social media platforms being generally free to business users and followers alike, connecting those who otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of each other. With advertising costs in magazines and newspapers stretching in to the tens of thousands, social media is great for business, offering free or low cost advertising outlets which benefit the start-up business owner greatly.
Profiling your customer is vital, and taking the time to understand your target market will pay dividends when it comes to social media. You may be aiming for the general consumer, a magazine editor, a brand manager or a fashion buyer, and your posts should be carefully considered to heighten their interest. You should have an understanding of how to make the most of your chosen social media platform or platforms. For example, Twitter hashtags allow people to find you based on a broad subject, in the case of a clothing brand #fashion on a post will group your post with others of the same type and make it easily located for your target audience. To the same effect, Facebook’s fantastic paid advertising service allows you to target your audience based on their age, location and interests amongst other criteria. Once your social media content and strategy are perfect, your brand will start to grow organically.
The fashion industry is ever changing and competitive, but executed correctly you will find it to be extremely rewarding, lucrative and engaging. We are happy to answer any questions regarding your fashion brand start up, or any queries relating to the fashion industry. Please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] or visit www.hawthornintl.com for more information.