5 tips to build a clothing brand
If “business is for gladiators,” as Tony Robbins says, then the clothing business is for the most elite gladiators of them all. The fashion industry is fast-paced, competitive and constantly changing. Consumer tastes, available textiles and production methods evolve rapidly. Figuring out how to build a clothing brand amid all this chaos can be intimidating. But when you keep in mind the 2-millimeter rule – and chunk down all your tasks into manageable daily goals – you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
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How to grow your clothing brand
The success of any business starts with a quality product. There are three levels to a quality product: At the first level, “quality” means that your product fulfills its purpose – in this case, clothing a person, but also conveying their sense of style. Quality clothing brands use long-lasting, great-looking materials and skilled tailors.
Quality also means fulfilling a customer need – and it may not be what you think it is. As Tony says, don’t fall in love with your product, fall in love with your customer. Listen to feedback and meet their needs. This is what will really set you apart from your competitors.
You’ll also need to get familiar with the business side of things: reading financial statements, benchmarking your sales, increasing your profit margins and more. Growing a clothing brand involves both analytical skills and creativity. But the real key to success is marketing.
How to market a clothing brand
You can’t create raving fan customers until you acquire customers. But how do you do that? To discover how to expand your clothing brand, you must discover your story, your target audience and your differentiator. You must create your brand. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Get on social media
In today’s digital world, you must be on social media. You must also have an individual look and tone of voice that gets you noticed. Check out the bold colors of Asos, the down-to-earth feel of Aerie or the worldly travelers of Everlane. Team up with other brands or with influencers for cross-promotion. And always offer exclusive deals and offers to your followers – then watch your numbers rise.
2. Target your marketing
You can’t appeal to everyone, all the time. The target markets of Asos, Aerie and Everlane are also very different. They’ve used market segmentation to narrow down who is most likely to love their products – and spend their money and energy more wisely. You may not have their budget, but you can still create user personas and brand guidelines that speak to your target market.
3. Be unique
This doesn’t just mean use witty taglines, crazy patterns or out-there images. Look at your competitors. How does their website look and feel? What do their images look like? What kinds of words do they use to promote their product? If you see common threads, do something different.
4. Be authentic
Modern consumers are bombarded with marketing and sales tactics – and they can detect a fraud from a mile away. Even more important than being unique is to be authentic. Find your personal purpose. Then, define your company’s core values based on your own beliefs. Your authenticity will inspire loyalty and grow your brand.
5. Find your X factor
What is the one thing your customers get from you that they can’t get anywhere else? What are you great at? This is called your X factor, and it’s the most important part of your brand voice.
Inspiration for growing a clothing brand
Learning how to build a clothing brand that inspires emotional connection and customer loyalty is a mixture of both science and art. For the creative piece of the puzzle, a little inspiration never hurts. These three brands are great examples of brand identity.
This outdoorsy clothing brand is a master of marketing – because it is a master of storytelling. Its ads feature real-life customers with inspiring stories. Its sustainability initiatives place it squarely in the “green” movement. And it makes the news by doing things like donating Black Friday proceeds and its tax refunds to charity. All this creates intense customer loyalty among the ethically-minded.
Johnny Cupcakes, Inc. is a clothing brand founded in 2001 by Jonny Earle. This clothing brand replaces iconic symbols with…cupcakes.
You may have seen the cupcakes and crossbones logo. Its Boston flagship store is designed to look like a bakery, and all its T-shirts are limited edition. Not only does the brand provide unique experiences – like movie nights with one-night-only merch – it has hosted more than 400 pop-ups around the world. Johnny Cupcakes is fun, exclusive and a little bit weird – and its brand is recognizable anywhere.
You don’t have to be new and trendy to know how to market a clothing brand. Brooks Brothers has been around since 1818 – and was a family-run business until 2001 – so they’re doing something right. That something is making high-quality clothing with clean, classic lines and colors. But the brand also maintains an image of understated sophistication across all of its marketing, making it truly timeless.
These three brand identities are vastly different, but they’re all successful because they are authentic, specific and incredible storytellers. They’re also successful because their leaders have diverse knowledge and good advisors. Attend Business Mastery to gain the knowledge you need – and get inspired. With the right strategy and a little creativity, your clothing brand will be successful, too.