There is so much to think about if you aspire to launch a Fashion Start-Up, and it’s easy to lose your way at the beginning! Sometimes you won’t realise you’ve missed something until you’re months into your journey. This makes it really difficult to back-track and smooth out the issues you’re facing.
This list of the ‘Top 5 things to think about if starting a Fashion Brand is your next adventure’ will help you head in the right direction from the very beginning…
What is your Unique Selling Point?
This is usually the first thing that we ask our clients. The fashion market is massively over saturated with brands that are making the same type of product. Times are changing; consumers are wising up to this and wanting to be more sustainable, so it makes sense to direct our clients to think about this straight away.
If, for example, you are looking to create and launch a 5 piece swimwear collection, you need to think about what makes your collection different from anything else that is currently out there. Ensuring your product is different will encourage consumers to buy it.
Is your USP a specific target audience/customer? Is it the fabrics that we use on the product, such as using sustainable fabrics? Is there a difference in the actual design of the swimsuit, for example hidden pockets or another innovative design detail? These are all good questions to ask, and identifying your USP before embarking on design will drastically impact the end product.
What is your Budget?
We work closely with all our clients on this topic and aim to provide a rough budget as soon as possible. A budget would typically include details of cost of design, development and finally production & manufacture of your product/collection.
You need to be realistic as you will likely be surprised by how much everything costs to create a fashion brand. If you have a smaller budget this will impact how many items you can actually produce, which informs your initial design brief. This is why it’s important to have a realistic budget from the very beginning of the process, to avoid any unnecessary and unforeseen expenditure.
What is your Route to Market?
Your chosen route to market is another pivotal subject that we discuss with our clients in the very first consultation. There are two typical ways to get your product out there.
The Wholesale route which means that you would be working with Buyers to sell your product into stores. The issue with this is that you are slightly more limited in regard to pricing as you need to work to wholesale prices.
Alternatively, most start up brands use E-Commerce – meaning having a store online to sell your product.
You could also use a combination of this mixed with pop-up shops for additional brand visibility. Whichever option or combination works best for your brand, it’s something to clarify as soon as possible. Your decision will dictate and inform your whole schedule & overall profits/margins in the long run.
Your Route to Market will also be impacted by your USP, Budget and Target Market, as all of these factors inform the most suitable selling technique.
What is your Target Market?
We’ve touched on this a little bit already, but being really specific here will dramatically impact the initial design and development stages. If you have an idea for a product, you probably already have an idea of the person that you imagine buying your product.
It’s now really important to do your market research! You can’t solely rely on your imagination, and assumptions mean that you risk investing alot of money in to a product which may not sell.
This research phase is necessary to make sure that the idea that you have actually attracts a person to buy your product. Does your customer exist? What’s the market potential? What can your customer afford, and why are they buying your product? Will they be brand loyal, or are they likely to be driven by trend and buy elsewhere next time?
While this may appear really obvious, it’s a very important task to carry out…it’s easy to blindly trust in your product and make a risky investment rather than using statistics and making informed choices upfront.
Invest in People
One key phrase that we live by is ‘Invest in People’ and most importantly trust in the people that you are working with. If you decide to work with The Fashion Consultants on any step of your journey from design, development and finally all the way through to production, we believe that you are trusting us to do everything that we possibly can to develop the very best product for you.
We also invest in people that work alongside us – from our manufacturers, fabric mills, print houses and agents. All of which we have worked alongside for over 10 years. We have a great team behind us and we are very lucky to know that we all give our commitment to you and to your brand!
If you’re struggling to find inspiration to further develop your initial brand or product idea, check out 10 Great Ways to Generate Business Ideas! The article has great tips on how to start thinking outside the box and identify your brand direction.