As a consultant in the fashion industry I meet many emerging designers. The first question I ask when I speak to them is “who is your customer?” They either tell me they’re unsure or they say everyone. The problem with those answers is they have trouble developing a brand because they don’t have a unique point of view. Today branding is everything. “Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet,” according to Scott Goodson the founder of StrawberryFrog.
I think at this point we can all agree that branding is important for a fashion company. But, what happens if a company veers off the track? They see other brands having successes and they want to try what they are doing. Maybe they had a season that wasn’t that successful so in their panic they move away from what made them have good sales to begin with.
The key is not to ping pong all over the place. Brands can evolve wth the trends and the knowledge of what is or isn’t selling. But by staying true to the core DNA of the business you create A more loyal, highly engaged audience. If you don’t then you confuse your key customer base causing them to buy else where
Look at companies like Gap and J. Crew. Their biggest problem is that they lost their brand identity driving their loyal customers to shop elsewhere Companies that innovate and evolve like Eileen Fisher but still stay true to who they are continue to increase market share. Whereas companies who go through revolutionary change loose customers without gaining new ones to replace them . The lesson here is to remember to stay true to your brand and true to your visual identIty
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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