This year is all about levelling up ✈️
We often get asked for marketing tips and how you can make your brand stand out when there are so many competitors and social media makes it seem like everyone is growing fast except you.
John Gourville (Marketing Professor at Harvard) says that for new brands to stand a chance, they can't just be better. They have to be 9x better.
The harsh reality of building a fashion brand is that even if your designs are better, even if your quality is superior or your prices are lower - you might still lose a sale to the next man.
This is one of the main reasons why
30% of all manufactured products remain unsold
53% of fashion businesses fail within the first 4 years
Investment opportunities are very few and far between
We believe in you and want you to know that with the right mindset for business and a strong plan of action you can do it. You CAN be with the 47% of fashion businesses that DO make it.
We know a lot of you are currently working on your business plans and are thinking of strategies to really take the industry by storm.
When presenting your idea to investors, one common question they may ask is: Are you building a vitamin or a painkiller?
This may sound a bit confusing at first but the correct answer would be….a painkiller.
Vitamins are good for you but you don't really see the difference whether you take them or not. However if you have a migraine and you take a painkiller, you will immediately see the effect.
As a fashion brand, even if your product has more benefits (a vitamin), it doesn’t mean you will outperform them if customers cannot tell the difference or don't rate the benefits highly enough to choose you. You need to solve a problem in your customers' life (a painkiller).
This requires you to understand what your customer wants - whether it's status, body contouring, self-expression... Then you need to assess your offering and be very honest about what it is that would make someone stop scrolling, click through to your website and checkout (even after comparing you with other brands which is so easy to do online).
Once you’ve figured that out, what it is that customers like about you…you’ll have your own recipe for success and you’ll just need to keep giving them more of what they want.
If you think of brands like Skims, Nubian Skin or Hurr Collective, they were all innovative in the sense that they brought something into the industry that consumers didn’t even know they needed.
Be it spandex options, darker skin-matching underwear or the option to rent designer clothes, they all presented a solution to things which may have been a pain point to customers. These type of brands are more likely to stand the test of time and be successful in the long-run.
Most fashion brands are not necessarily always popular for solving a functional problem though. A lot of the time it’s the hype around it, the perception it gives to others when someone wears it or the way it makes the person feel. For example, Nike Pegasus trainers are super comfortable and mostly made for sports. Gucci trainers on the other hand, are mainly designed for styling purposes. The way you'd sell a pair of trainers to a Nike customer is completely different to how you'd sell to a Gucci customer - they are not looking to solve the same problem. Designer brands often do actually get away with selling uncomfortable shoes for that exact reason.
Generally, customers may have a long list of motivations but the point is that you find what that one thing is for you and your brand.
Important questions to think about
What problem does your business solve?
Can you highlight at least one product in your collection which makes a difference to customers’ every day life?
How will you prove to investors that you’re building something which will last long-term?
Written by Giovanna Vieira Co, 2022