Wanting to launch a fashion brand?
Here are the first important steps you need to take.
You might be a fashion entrepreneur with an idea or you might be a fashion brand, either way, it is crucial to triple verify your choices by following the prompts below. These prompts could be completely new considerations, so I encourage you all to continue reading.
What is your purpose?
Take a step back and, as a brand owner/entrepreneur, ask yourself what is the purpose of your brand?
- What do you enjoy?
- What are you good at?
- How do you want to serve the world?
By doing this you are questioning your products worth in the market and this is necessary for success. There is no point in launching a product that a) isn’t wanted and b) serves no purpose.
It is a sensible and resourceful move to create a brand that will tap into your skills. It is exciting to think outside of the box and push your own capabilities, but trust me if this is your first brand stick with the security of what and who you know.
Only when you are confident of your brand’s purpose, move onto verifying your idea.
Moving from idea to brand.
Before launching a fashion brand, you need to work through all the steps that will move your idea into being a brand. To launch a fashion brand you need to have product and a range. Work through each header to ensure you have considered every factor for your brand ahead of launch.
Branding is your personality; it is a true representation of who you are. This is one step that you shouldn’t rush or overlook, as once you have defined your branding it is there in everything you do. Branding is your name, logo, colour palette, back neck labels, swing tags, tone of voice and all forms of communication.
Ensure you have answered these questions that summarise your brand.
- What are your brand’s 3 values?
- Which words best describe your brand? (max 10)
- What is the perceived personality of your brand?
- What problems does your brand solve?
- Does your brand have a tagline?
Your goal – through your branding, you want your brand to be recognised, by everyone no matter where they are in the world.
Do not launch if you do not have a unique selling point (USP). The fashion market is saturated, so you need to offer a point of difference; your product needs to be wanted. So before designing a collection, do your research and make sure there is a need/want for your product.
To successfully launch a fashion brand, I would encourage you to consider these pointers when considering the range:
⮚ What is your U.S.P?
Having a U.S.P will help you market and sell the product. You will have a focused target market.
⮚ Do you want to be a sustainable brand?
You need to do this at the beginning [ pre-design], as it will affect so many factors. How is your target market, where will you source your sustainable material? This, in turn, will affect the selling price (RRP).
⮚ Are you catering to both southern & northern hemispheres?
After launching many fashion brands over the last 8 years, I strongly encourage you to offer a hemisphere range, that is a range suitable for both the N.H. and S.H. At least 70-80% of the range will work in both hemispheres, but a small percentage will need to be designed for a specific climate.
Think global, this will only increase your sales reach.
⮚ Men, women, children? Apparel or non-apparel?
These are the basic decisions you will need to make when creating your range. By deciding who your product is for and which category, may also create your USP. Ensure you consider what is actually wanted when making this decision; does the market need this product?
One final tip.
Don’t launch too big. Launch a range within your means and especially within your skills. When launching a fashion brand for the first time, you need to play to your strengths.
"It is a sensible and resourceful move to create a brand that will tap into your skills. It is exciting to think outside of the box and push your own capabilities, but trust me if this is your first brand stick with the security of what and who you know."
Choosing who manufactures your range is critical. Why? Because the make, finish, look and feel of your product is part of building your brand’s DNA. Without a viable product what are you selling?
I would advise that the most important criteria to cover are reliability, standards and reviews. You need to ensure that they meet your brand’s standards and that the product is the best representation of who you are.
Before launching a fashion brand you need to decide which channels are right for your brand.
It is essential that you have a shoppable website as the absolute minimum. I would strongly encourage any new fashion brand to also launch a shoppable Instagram account. Social media, specifically Instagram, is an amazing sales tool for your brand. It enables you to tell a story, it is scalable and it is so simple to do! A third option is to simultaneously launch your product onto third party platforms (wholesale). This will give you the opportunity to test a new market for free using someone else’s website. You will immediately reach a global audience which will enable you to grow faster.
What is your launch strategy?
The key factors you should have already decided pre-launch are:
⮚ The seasonality of the product. When was it made for?
⮚ Which hemisphere was it designed for? More importantly what market?
Through knowing answers to these questions you can decide the exact month you will be aiming to launch. All that is left to decide is the week and day.
Do your research. You should know every aspect of the market in which you are launching your brand. Know when the best sales week is in that season then launch a few weeks before. This will give you the time to create hype and market the launch.
One final tip.
Do not launch your range if it is late. Ensure you project manage through the launch of your fashion brand as timing is everything. Getting the timing right will determine the success of your brand.
Do you now feel confident about your idea?
It’s now time to progress to the next steps.
- Market validation and discovery of your customer traits.
- Global pricing analysis, to ensure you’re a competitive brand.
- Compliancy, for both eCommerce and product.
- Marketing your brand and building an online presence.
- Project managing the launch of your brand.
We can help you learn this. Join the Unzipped course today, and learn how to launch your fashion brand online.
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