A post by Osmery (Ozzy) Guerra
When starting a fashion brand, thoroughly understanding your product, knowing who you’re selling to, and defining your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) are vital for the success of the brand. It sounds pretty obvious, right? Apparently not all businesses follow that.
Niche business - a business targeting to a specific group of customers with a specific common shared interest, passion, or desire.
Many new fashion brands don’t take the time to define their niche and end up spending their money and affords on the wrong targets. Starting a brand of dresses with interesting designs or with the finest fabrics might mean that your product will look good and will show the creativity of your brand but doesn’t necessarily mean that it will sell. For that you need to define your niche and focus on the uniqueness that you will offer which will set apart your brand from others.
Here are 3 questions to answer and help you defining the niche market for your fashion brand.
1. What is the unique purpose of your product?
Ask yourself specific questions about the function and value of your product to narrow in on what makes this product different than the others. For example, let’s say you want to start a line of dresses. What kind of dresses do you want to sell? Cocktail dresses that will form-fit any body using a specific fabric quality and a special construction? Day dresses? Maybe these would be sundresses with special UV protection on the fabric?
As a new business, it is especially important to define a specific purpose for your fashion product; it will make it stand out from the sea of other products which people can conveniently find anywhere else at an already established brand.
2. Who is your target customer?
Once you decide the type of product that you want to sell you must than also narrow in on a target market by building an in depth customer profile. Examining your customer’s lifestyle is an important (and fun) exercise to help you make both design and monetary decisions about your line. Define your customer’s demographic and psychographic; ask yourself what kind of person will wear your product? Where does she/he live? What is her/his income? What are her/his hobbies? How old is she/he?
For example, if you’ve decided to make sundresses with special UV protected fabric than you will be targeting a customer that spends a lot of time in the sun; she might live in tropical weather or often travels to resorts. If she travels to sunny places (but is conscious of her budget) than how much is she willing to spend? Dose she care for sun protection? If so what is she currently using to protect her skin? How much is she currently spending on dresses and how much is she spending on sun protection? Maybe your dresses end up cheaper than that, not to mention more convenient (2 solutions in one item). If not then maybe you should target a different customer, maybe it’s an upper class mother who travels often with her family. They have a stable combined income and therefore she can afford and is willing to spend on a sundress that will protect her skin.
TIP: Social media platforms (Re: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) can be very helpful in gaining access to further research your actual customers, their life style and interests. Learning all that will be a very beneficial tool to know how and where you should reach out for sales. For example: if the above customer loves traveling to resorts than you should focus on marketing your sundresses there.
3. Who is your competition?
Preform a market analysis of your potential competition. Find out if the product you want to create or something similar already exists. Research who is selling it and how much does it retail for? As you come across similar items, note what types of stores you found these in. Were they online or brick and mortar stores? Is your product popular in cities or suburbs? Are they targeting the same customer you are? You might find that a UV protection sundresses exist in the teen market or at a low price point but there is nothing like it geared towards a mature, active mother who can spend more. Or perhaps you’d find that sundresses are offered by other competitors but they don’t have the UV protection fabric.
TIP: A true market research should include a physical visit to the stores. Seeing what the product looks like in the store and especially speaking with the sales person on the floor is extremely helpful. The sales person can tell you what products are best sellers and why, what customers are looking for, how much will they pay for it etc.
So, before designing your next season take the time to make sure you have clear answers for these questions; I promise you that it will make a huge difference in your business!
P.S if you need help with researching these answers, we can help, get in touch here and let us know what you need help with.