Branding, what is it? Why is it so important to my collection? Who are my targeted consumers? What sets me apart from other brands?

ButtonsPhoto Credit: rememberwynn

These are all great questions when starting your line. Each new business has to ask themselves those same questions. Knowing your competition is part of the battle, but knowing yourself and what your company represents is entirely more important.

Whenever a new designer decides to take their vision to reality, there are several processes involved. From creating the initial design, to refining that design, to creating a tech pack, to selecting fabrics, to working with the factory, to receiving your first sample, to finalizing your style. It can be a daunting and intimidating time for new designers. There are so many steps that it is easy to forget the small, albeit important, pieces to your first collection.

Establishing your brand can be daunting, but coming up with who you are and what sets you apart is the fun part! Now, I’m not going to sugar coat it, there will be times while establishing your company that will be just plain frustrating. But, once you have clear answers to each of the following questions, you will be one step closer to the rewarding part!

  1. What is branding?
    Branding is the method of adding the name of the company or brand onto a garment. Buttons, labels, and zippers can all carry the company name or logo, and this helps the customer to differentiate between one company and another.
  1. Why is it so important to my collection?
    Branding is your voice, it is how you communicate to your customer who you are and helps them to find more of your pieces in the future. There are two types of branding; seasonal branding and generic branding, which stays the same season to season. This can include anything from hangtags to buttons, the trim of your garments are just as important to relaying your voice as your logo is.

    Ralph Lauren
    An example of Seasonal Branding – Ralph Lauren changes the color of their logo
  1. Who are my targeted consumers?
    Knowing who your targeted customer is just as important as knowing yourself. If you do not understand who they are, how are you supposed to create a product that is appealing to them? Go shopping, do some good ‘ole investigative work! Find the boutiques and brands that your consumers shop at and find what brings them in. Do they wear a lot of the same types of fabrics, is it sportswear, is it work casual, are there a lot of dresses, or blouses, some peter pan collars? Whatever it is that defines your target audience is vital to knowing part of your voice, part of your brand, and may even give you inspiration into your next few lines.

Branding quote

 

  1. What sets me apart from other brands?
    Now that you know who your targeted consumers are, you are able to find your niche. What will make you a commodity for your consumer? Is it the elegant designs at discount prices, or is it sustainability and your echo friendly process? Creating your voice is hard, but this is how your customer will recognize you from everyone else. It will also help with incorporating that voice into your collections.

Selecting and creating your trims; labels, buttons, zippers, and hangtags are just as important as selecting fabrics. There is so much to know about branding. I have just scratched the surface! However, don’t let that intimidate you, you have resources available to assist you during each step of your journey.