To start a label amidst the hundreds of fashion stores and clothing brands that already exist out there can be daunting. ‘How to start a clothing company and not fail’ is a question that arises in the minds of many young entrepreneurs who also wish to get their foot in the door. This is where marketing can really help. Read on to learn some tips on how to help your brand stand out from the crowd.
What is your brand about, what is its story, what are you selling (beyond your product; a lifestyle) and who exactly are you selling to? This goes back to our previous article where we talk about ‘Knowing Your Market and Identifying Your Brand’. We cannot stress this enough. As this serves as the foundation of your label, you will need to establish what this is before knowing how to market and sell your products. The fashion industry has something for almost everyone at this point, but there are still ways to have people take notice as long as you know how to cater to your target market creatively. Be very specific when you describe your brand and your market, the better you understand your position in the market, the easier it will be to sell your ideas and products.
We’ve seen many of these out there – Fast fashion giant H&M collaborating with luxury designer labels such as Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander Wang, Balmain and Kenzo, and it was the same with Japanese retailer Uniqlo, which collaborated with Jil Sander, Christophe Lemaire, Undercover and even celebrities like Pharrell Williams.
A collaboration should be something your brand can leverage on. For example, with these collaborations, H&M and Uniqlo not only continue to affirm their current target market with backing from designer labels (who are often looked upon as fashion authority in the industry), they also simultaneously pique the interests of new customers in the luxury market. This marketing effort that boosts both brands’ credibility allows them to penetrate a wider market – both mass market and high-end, potentially converting more people into customers and bringing in more sales. That’s leverage.
Be smart and creative with whom you choose to collaborate with as it can really help to attract the right attention and grow your brand.
Be Active on Social Media
As a brand, furthermore a new brand, marketing is more than necessary. You don’t exist unless people know about you. One crucial step in knowing how to start a clothing company is knowing how to promote and advertise your brand. Traditional advertising like TV commercials, billboards and print ads are still feasible methods of advertising, however, in today’s digitally savvy society, there is a multitude of other methods on top of the traditional ones that can really boost a brand’s marketing.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools a brand can utilise today. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest etc. there are more than enough tools just via social media for you to get the word out about your brand and directly to your target market. Facebook’s inbuilt algorithms that match users’ interests and interactivity patterns to relevant profiles have made targeted marketing much easier. This makes ads on Facebook and Instagram potentially more effective as they already filter the market for you.
Social media also allows brands to create more windows of perspective for consumers. Your brand’s Instagram and Pinterest profiles, Twitter feed and/or YouTube channel can speak volumes about your brand story and philosophy, and it gives your brand character. As you interact with your followers on these platforms, it forms an impression about your brand in their minds and this helps your ideas, messages and brand ethos to resonate better with them.
The intimacy of social media interaction between brands and their customers creates a deeper connection between the two; This is a part of the intangible effects of marketing, which is ultimately what builds brand loyalty and keeps customers coming back for more.
Having a presence on social media is hence, really important. You don’t have to be on all of the platforms, just a select few or even one/two that work best for your brand and your market’s consumer behaviour. There are tons of brands already marketing via social media, so when you push content out on these platforms, be articulate and well curated so that your brand can cut through the noise and deliver a distinct message.
If you are selling something that doesn’t already exist in the market, it means you fill a gap. This puts you way ahead in the game and makes selling your products much easier. However, many brands out there sell similar products to each other. If you fall in this category, you would have to find a different selling point from your competitors’. Every clothing company sells clothes. You have to offer your customers more than just clothing to stand out. You need to sell a lifestyle. With selling a lifestyle, there are many ways to go about marketing it, be creative with the message you send to your customers.
Ultimately, if you employ the right marketing methods, it can really help to boost brand recognition and set your label apart from the rest. Keep in the know of what your target market’s interests and needs are and always use that to inform your marketing decisions. Remember, to engage your customers is to be relevant to them.