This week Boaz was teaching a class at the Dg Expo show here in New York called - The 7 Points Checklist for Launching a Fashion Product. The 7th and last point on the list was Building awareness to your fashion brand - EARLY, before you even have something to sell.
The general assumption is that until you have everything ready (re; product, website etc.) you can’t do much on that end, but that is not true. As an independent designer, building hype before the official launch of your product is essential to selling your collection! Whether you’re just beginning to develop your samples or you’re waiting for production to finish, now is the perfect time to create the buzz for your customers. Below are some ideas That can be especially helpful for all you emerging designers out there:
1. Collaborate with Like Minded Designers - As a young brand you might have limited impact but when collaborating with others together as a group you can have a lot of impact! Many times during Market, designers with a similar aesthetic will join and rent a space together and each will invite the buyers they know to come. This way, everyone has the chance to be seen by more attendees and everyone increases their network. This principle can also apply to a PR event, launch party, a trunk show or even home parties in which you invite your friends and potential customers to a fun environment where you’ll market your line and generate sales! The same collaborative idea can then also be applied to sharing content on each other’s blogs and social media pages.
Tip: If you don’t want to have other clothing brands to compete with in an in-home party, consider collaborating with a jewelry or accessories designer to give your customers options.
2. Brand Ambassadors - Find someone who has a strong social media presence to show that the pieces in your collection are versatile, wearable, and relevant! It doesn't have to be a celebrity.This can be a friend, blogger, or a network acquaintance but the most important part is that this person represents your target customer so your customer can identify with them. While models in a look book with professional glossy pictures serve a purpose, ultimately people love seeing the product being worn in real life!
3. Hashtag Haven - Keeping a consistent internet presence (Instagram, tumblr, pinterest, etc.) will ensure your brand stays at the front of your customer’s mind instead of seeing one thing they like and then forgetting about it. Test the water to see how your followers respond to a certain number of postings per day as well as the type of subjects, content and pictures. If you keep your content diverse enough (yet strictly targeting your customer’s lifestyle and interests), you’ll make sure they stick around and more so you will plan the first seeds of establishing yourself and your brand as the experts and go to resource for your niche. Do your research and find existing hashtags that are relevant to your content while at the same time Create 1-2 unique hashtags for your brand and content, in today's market that is essential.
Tip: While keeping relevant hashtags can draw in customers, having too many (or ones that are too long) can be obstructive and unappealing.
Once your collection has launched keep the momentum going to gain a greater following and never stop! Consistency is key to brand awareness!