Online growth. Expose your brand to a global audience.
There are many ways you can grow your online business. It can be through brand awareness, entering new markets and gaining new customers. The first thing you must do though is deciding what your business priorities are and focus on achieving one objective at a time. Growth takes time and patience, not greed and speed!
In this post, I will cover a wide range of techniques to bring about growth. They will focus on exposing your brand to global expansion in the fashion industry.
Method 1 – The methods to increase sales and brand awareness.
To grow to a global audience, you need to be present on key platforms around the world. The greater your presence on these platforms will mean the greater the opportunities for your brand.
I would recommend wholesale as the best channel through which you expose your brand to global growth. Wholesale requires minimal outlay and enables you to test the market before having to invest through your own operation.
A traditional wholesale model is sale with no return. This means as a brand you would sell your product to the platform and have no further stock liability. Therefore once your stock is sold and delivered you will receive payment.
Deciding which channels to use is simple. Ask yourself, which new market do you want to launch in and why? When you have the answers, carefully research those platforms which have similar values and fashionability as your brand. As a result, this will create your target list. I recommend focusing on growth in one market at a time, ensuring you are present on all the right channels before moving into another market. By taking this approach, it will help reduce shipping costs as you will be able to consolidate shipments.
COVID means that for now, we have to substitute live streaming for face to face meetings at trade fairs. Though not perfect, it is still a fantastic way to meet buyers first hand and display your brand name to a global audience. Key trade fairs like Coterie and Pitti are attended by all the global platform and retail buyers. They are a one-stop-shop to meet numerous new clients.
If you are to create a stand out presence at a trade fair, be prepared to make a substantial investment in both money and time. Another option could be to hire a hotel room nearby and invite buyers to an appointment. A further option could be to hire a sales agent to show your collection in a more intimate setting. I have extensive experience acting as an agent for fashion brands, for more information click here.
There are various ways to collaborate with others to help grow your brand. You can choose to work with a high profile social media account or with a wholesale account creating an exclusive collection. Either way, collaborations are a great method to raise your profile and make a noise in the industry by using the phrase ‘exclusive’. Exclusives create hype with consumers, as they don’t want to miss out on a limited collection. Use this demand for exclusivity to your advantage.
Retain control of any collaboration so you can keep it on-brand but don’t let it restrict your creative intentions.
Become a sustainable brand.
The industry has changed. Sustainability does matter and is now a mainstream offer lead by the likes of H&M and Zara. Organic basics are the norm; now the challenge is how can fashion be delivered in a sustainable manner.
To become a global success, I would encourage all brands who are not already sustainable, to work to be so by 2021. You can achieve this through effective sourcing and using material and methods that are better for the environment. Refine your product collection. Only design what is needed, and consider circular or seasonless products.
Sustainability is a great marketing tool for your brand’s growth, so make the change now and tell the world about the good you are doing.
"To grow to a global audience, you need to be present on key platforms around the world. The greater your presence on these platforms will mean the greater the opportunities for your brand. "
Method 2 - Listen to data and demand that will help your brand grow.
Be open to change.
A successful brand will only grow if it is open to change and reacts to feedback. The power is in your hands to make your brand the best it can be.
If you have chosen to work in wholesale, listen to your buyer’s feedback as they are the market experts and understand their consumers’ needs. If they request a style, I recommend brands react to the demand. As a result, this will build a strong open relationship, which will reflect well when they plan the following season’s budget.
As a brand, ask for consumer feedback and openly encourage it on any DTC channel. Methods could be; post a new item on Instagram and ask for feedback or create a poll. Display product reviews on your website, ensuring you always comment back on their feedback. Reacting positively to customer feedback will promote growth and help your brand evolve.
Repeat best-sellers and create NOS lines.
A product is a best seller for a reason, so never walk away from what your customers clearly love! A suggestion could be to move your best sellers into a never out of stock item (NOS), ensuring it is always available for your consumers.
As a brand challenge your designer to slightly tweak your current best-seller with the aim to create a new one. As a brand really study why it is a best-seller, and use this to inform further designs.
Method 3 - Improve and refine your customer service.
COVID seems to have brought about a growth in the demand for personalisation and it is now a hot trend. As more consumers are using eCommerce, you need to ensure that they feel that your service is personal. You need to create trust. It is important that each customer can find everything they need on your site with minimum effort.
To grow as a brand you need to improve your DTC channel. Improve your product copy and ensure all customers’ questions are answered. Offer a live chat. Tell your story by having an about you profile on your site. Offer pay later options. Improve and refine your customer journey, by surveying your current customers and seeking feedback on what could be improved.
Improved delivery service.
Ecommerce is booming; it is the new high street. As more shoppers use this method, the market is becoming saturated and competitive. A proven way to appeal to consumers is by providing a unique delivery service.
Consumers expect free delivery, free returns and next day delivery, so give them this. As you grow as a brand, work these costs into your margin, as you should see a higher demand for your product as a return for your improved delivery service. A way to ensure this is to talk about your amazing service, post on social media. Even better get customer reviews about your service and post these quotes.
Personalisation means you are in control of the process from receipt of an order through to the delivery or return so why not customise it? Surprise your customer by doing something unique. Handwritten notes, referencing their nickname, giving away a free gift or even personalise your choice of packaging material. Make it unique, make it something they will remember and talk about.
Method 4 - Grow your brand by growing your team and network.
Never stop talking about your brand!
One of the most powerful ways to grow your brand is marketing by word of mouth. You are a brand ambassador and a perfect representative of your brand so speak up and spread the word.
I would encourage brand owners when asked what they do to never say, ‘I run a business’, but to always say the brand name and a brief description about your product and services and even ‘it’s available on…’.
Try onboard fellow brand ambassadors within your network, and encourage them to do the same on your behalf.
When planning your social media, ensure that it covers your brand’s approach and as well as your own personal account. For example, on your own personal Linkedin account, you can post about your brand and build awareness, the same goes in forums. The more your brand name is referenced across a cross-section of platforms, the greater awareness.
How to grow your team with minimal cost.
If you work in the fashion industry you will have been an intern at some point. I would encourage brand owners to give back to the industry and offer internships. It is a low-cost method to out-source work, whilst giving the intern insight into running a brand.
Aside from internships, use Linkedin to seek help for your brand. Linkedin in is an amazing directory of individuals available to you. You can post your ad/request, or target people through personal messages. This approach will save on recruitment costs.
All the methods I have shared in this post are relevant throughout your brand’s growth. Keep these tips safe to refer back to time and time again.
Remember growth is an exciting journey to be on, just ensure you define your goals and tick them off one at a time.
Enjoy your growth journey and be sure to check out our brand growth services.