So you’re going down the well-trodden path of designing clothes, but why? What has influenced you to do so and what will make you stand out in a now borderless market, where clothes and brands from all over the world are so easily accessible one internet search away? It is simply no longer enough to create good quality clothing – in this day and age the consumer is just as concerned about things like the history of the brand and its environmental impact even, as well as the quality.
We shall look at the four basic foundations you will need to get right in order to build yourself a successful clothing brand.
1) Develop your brand’s identity
Given how closely we as humans associate what we or others wear with identity, it is incredibly important to build your brand’s identity to match your company’s attributes. Clothes make us feel a type of way, and if you notice, even the smallest label or logo can make a world of difference in how a person can feel about what they are wearing. Take for example instantly recognisable brands such as Nike and Louis Vuitton– their logos can be tiny, yet instantly recognisable as a sign of quality and exclusivity, and the wearer will almost certainly have their head held high!
2) Take care of the business side
Now this is everything from sourcing materials and manufacturers to make, for example, your awesome raincoats for men, to creating the business structure with departments such as marketing and sales etc. You will also need to learn how to price your products accordingly as well as set up all your permits and tax payments. Basically, much of this is the more boring work you may not think about when deciding to create a clothing brand, but is nonetheless just as important. If you have these organised from the beginning, you will be giving your business a strong foundation to build on.
3) Build your brand’s web presence
Let’s be honest, in this day and age if you want your business to be truly successful, you will have to be online and active. We’re talking about a legitimate, working website; a presence in web searches, advertising through various channels– it all has to be done. You should be aware that the majority of consumers do online research before purchasing products, so it is useful to have a website or at least some honest reviews posted about your products, somewhere online.
Build a website that truly matches your brand, i.e. same logo, layouts, designs and images– something that allows our customers to engage with and that can answer any questions they may have, such as sizing and deliveries.
4) Find partners and investors
If this is your first foray into this industry or any business for that matter, you may benefit from guidance and financial backing from more experienced heads. Sure, we hear a lot about entrepreneurs going it alone and becoming successful, but that doesn’t mean they always turn down help. You will make a lot of mistakes and you will learn from them, it is just much less painful if you can spread the work around, whilst also having to worry less about the finances, and focus more on your brand.