Let's take a second to talk about the feasibility of your fashion business.
Before you jump all in to execute your vision it is really important for you to do your homework and find out how feasible your idea is.
Yes lots of times you will need the help of industry professionals which is where we can help, but even before that there is market research that you can probably can and should do on your own that will answer that question.
I thought the best way for me to address this subject will be to share an example of a general conversation that i often have with a designer on a feasibility consultation session.
Boaz: Who do you see as your completion and what will set your product apart from the competition?
Designer: Gap, J.Crew, Banana Republic. My brand will offer better design, much better quality, better fabrics and it will be cheaper than these brands.
Boaz: How much cheaper are you thinking?
Designer: About 25-30%
Boaz: Do you have financial baking? How will you finance this venture?
Designer: To start i have some savings (about 15k) and when it’s getting bigger i will look for investors.
Boaz: How many styles and units are you looking to produce?
Designer: Well, i want to start small and i can’t really afford to produce a lot so…. Maybe 10-15 styles and the minimum quantity that i can make. What would that minimum be?
Boaz: Basically we don’t really have minimums, we can make any quantity, it just that the less quantity per style that you’ll produce the more expensive it will cost you.
Designer: So can i only make 25 or 50 per a style?
Boaz: Sure you can. Btw what stage are you in?
Designer: I have this idea for a long time and after saving this money for the last year i think I’m ready to start but i don’t know where to start.
Boaz: Ok so you are still the idea stage, good. First thing let me make sure that i understand your vision: You are looking to start a brand that will compete with mega brands like Gap, J.Crew, Banana Republic and looking to offer a fashion product that is better quality, using better materials and is cheaper than their product in about 25-30%? This business will be sponsored by you to begin with (with 15k) and you are looking to start with 10-15 style and make only 25-50 of a style to begin with?
Boaz: Have you tried to look into why these brands are not able to offer that themselves? The first thing for you to explore is if your product idea doesn’t exist because: 1. no one thought of it before or 2. because they tried and it wasn’t feasible?
Designer: I have no background in the industry so this is where i need your help with.
From reading the above what do you think? Is this designer’s vision feasible?
Let’s break it down and look at it together:
- Making a better quality product than what is already out there and using better materials - Realistic.
- Making a cheaper product - Realistic.Starting a brand that will compete with mega brands with an investment of 15k – NOT Feasible! Many designers consider their cost to be only the cost of the samples, but this is just the beginning (website, logos, legal fees and cash flow are only some of the other cost to consider). Even if we do consider just the samples cost, depending on the product but developing one style can end up costing anywhere from $1000 and up. If you want a list of things to consider for set-up cost email us here, we will get you one.
- Making a better quality product than what is already out there while using better materials and offer it cheaper all while making small quantity - NOT Feasible! The more quality you’ll add the more expensive a product will get, and the less units you’ll make the higher the cost.
Therefore offering a better product than Gap for a cheaper price is most likely impossible.
Gap for example is a brand that is targeting the mass market, their price points are calculated carefully and based on their customer needs. Their product is designed to offer the main stream customer with the best quality at that price point. As a mega brand it has incredible resources that a start-up brand can only dream of and most likely Gap is able to get the best price for their quality.
A customer who is looking for designed product with high quality understand that it will cost more and they will not look for this product at the Gap.
When you start forming your brand vision and before you jump all in, take the time to research the feasibility of your idea.
Starting a fashion brand should start with a very strong, well-researched and convincing identity. Finding a product/market that is untapped is awesome but make sure that this is really the case. Think about the connection between your product, your customer and your competition very carefully and do your market research. If you still feel that what you’re looking to do does not exist, question why doesn’t it?
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