5 Branding Questions you Should Ask Yourself if you Own a Start-up Fashion Label
Ask someone ‘what their favorite fashion brand is’ and they will answer you promptly. But ask the same person ‘why is it their favorite fashion brand’, they might muster some words but most won’t be sure of the ‘why factor’. This ‘why factor’ is what branding is all about. There is something intangible and mystical about branding, it is very difficult to articulate, why customers prefer one product over another?
No one can give you a formula for creating a successful brand, so we won’t even try to do it. You will have to do the work yourself, but there are certain questions you can ask yourself as a fashion brand, which might help you to crack the secret code of branding.
1) Can someone name your brand without looking at the logo?
Joey Ng, VP of Marketing gives you a very simple and actionable rule of thumb to follow for branding. It is even more important if you are a newbie or an emerging fashion label. Try to describe your brand in three words. Have a brainstorming session with your team and come up with every adjective that you can think of. It might be difficult but try to eliminate them down to three words/adjectives. Every decision you make henceforth, be it the look of your website, the content on your social media, should be made based on those three words. Three words to describe Calvin Klien, for example, can be modern, sophisticated and laid back.
2) What is the first impression of your brand?
If branding is done right, the customer will feel like the product is an extension of their own personality. Most brands ignore the emotional factor of branding, but it’s the connection that a customer feels with the brand that sets a good brand apart from an awesome brand, Gail McInnes, Communications Director at Stylist Box advice. Also, it is important that the branding message is consistent from the inception of the brand to the moment it reaches your customer. The beauty of branding is in the details. The decor of the store, the packaging, the social media accounts, the website down to the customer care service that you provide. Each touch point should be perfected.
3) What can your brand offer that a big corporation can’t?
Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, Founder of Vaute Couture has a brand story to tell and she believes every good brand has one. She says it loud and she says it proudly -“For us, in production, it’s with ethical textiles, treating and paying workers fairly, fittings with an all-female team trying things on our bodies. We are all about dichotomies and having it all. Being vegan isn’t a sacrifice. Caring isn’t a chore. It’s empowering.” What she means is a big corporation may have bigger stores, fancier websites, but do they have your ethical take on business? Maybe not. Try to think what sets you apart from your competitors and convey your brand story accordingly.
4) How would your brand be described by your tribe?
Thanks to Instagram and Snapchat every good brand can boast a tribe in the forms of followers, likers, commenters and double tappers. According to Carolyn Delacorte, co-founder of Boxwood Press, the branding message you convey should be crystal clear yet inspiring and entertaining. As a new and upcoming fashion brand, it should be your constant goal to develop a following so cult in nature, that the mere mention of your brand name should evoke a positive feeling in the minds of customers. Of course, this can’t be done overnight, but the idea to have very specific differentiating elements to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
5) Do you need to outsource to a branding agency?
Helen Rice, Creative Director at Fuzzco, believes if you must hire a branding agency, you must hire one at the beginning stages of starting your ecommerce business. The reason being that if the branding agency is aware of your history and original goals and intentions from the beginning, they can help you navigate through any hurdles smoothly. They can point you to the best strategy for merchandising, positioning, shopping experience, content creation, social media, graphics and the tone of your marketing message.
The elements above are unique to each fashion brand, so each brand will have a unique branding map. Let’s just say that we have given you the dots, it is up to you how to connect them.
Deepika is ILFR’s Marketing Expert and oversees various ILFR marketing functions, including Brand Positioning, Social Media, Influencer Marketing, and Content Marketing.
Deepika is ILFR’s Marketing Expert and oversees various marketing functions, including Brand Positioning, Social Media, Influencer Marketing, and Content Marketing.