- Your niche will become an integral part of your line’s branding, pricing, and personality. So take some time to mull over potential niches and weigh up their pros and cons.
- Every brand, new or old, large or small, exists because of its consumers. This is why identifying your target demographic is imperative.
- Use a brand name that resonates with your target audience.
So your head's bursting with ideas and creativity that you want to put into action with your new clothing line. Although launching a fashion brand is as fun as it can be rewarding, it's also hard work and comes with its fair share of challenges.
As such, even the most accomplished and enthusiastic creators need to take a step back and consider the following before diving into the deep end:
1. Know Your Niche
First things first, find a product that isn’t offered by more prominent lines. Even better, if you can market apparel that your customers don’t even know they need...yet! These flagship products will be crucial in establishing your niche. Maybe your niche is part of who you are, your heritage, or your values and principles. For example, you could be running an eco-friendly fashion brand, or you might source products from somewhere that inspired you while you were on your travels.
Just remember, your niche will become an integral part of your line’s branding, pricing, and personality. So take some time to mull over potential niches and weigh up their pros and cons. Don't settle on the first thing that comes to mind. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out brands like The Postbox, SeventyOne, and Everlane—these are all great examples of fashion brands who identified their niche and ran with it!
2. Find Your Audience
Every brand, new or old, large or small, exists because of its consumers. This is why identifying your target demographic is imperative. Once you've created an avatar of your ideal customer, you'll have a better understanding of who will best respond to your online marketing efforts.
This means spending some heavy-duty time conducting market and competitor research. This is the only way to establish who your potential customers are. You could even survey your existing social contacts to find out what they’re interested in spending their money on.
3. Write a Business Plan
No business survives on passion and enthusiasm alone. Yes, it can be one big yawn if all you’re interested in is being creative, but without a robust business plan, you may as well hang up your boots now. If you're unsure where to begin, below are a few business plan must-haves:
- A budget that includes the costs of materials, manufacturing, packaging, branding, and delivery
- An outline of your staffing costs if you intend to use a fashion designer and/or a website designer/developer
- Your sales and marketing strategy
- Admin costs including registering a trademark, state filing fees, website payment plans
If this sounds like a tedious task, just remember that planning can help companies grow 30% faster, so it will all be worth it in the end!
4. Establish Your Brand
Use a brand name that resonates with your target audience. If you’re stuck, there are tons of free domain name tools online; just remember a few basics:
- Avoid names that are hard to remember and spell
- Do a thorough search to ensure no one else is using your brand name or trademark
- Avoid a name that limits the scope of your business
- Get some feedback to see what others think before settling on anything
Interestingly, 72% of the most successful brand names comprise words or acronyms. So, be sure to bear that in mind!
Remember, you’re the engine that’s going to power your new fashion line. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of success. Good luck!