Many fashion business owners will forget about branding thinking that it isn't an important part of everyday business activities. They have an unclear concept of what it is and why it's so important to build a brand. This article will discuss three common fashion branding mistakes and some examples of brands that do it right.
What is Branding?
To put it simply, branding is the process of creating a unique image for a product or company in the minds of customers. It’s how a business positions itself to stand out amongst other brands to customers. Ultimately, branding is how the product or product offering is perceived by those customers and other potential customers. It's important that you keep those perceptions aligned with business goals as it’s how customers create value for the brand.
Your brand is like a blank designer template; the body already exist but the colors, the textures, the layers, and the details of what the final design will be is unknown. You must learn its personality, the best way to have the fabric fall on the silhouette, how it moves, and where to be sparse or excessive.
Think of branding as a whole and not the different parts that make it up. Like any design, people create opinions on the final product not the work that was put into it.
All branding is the process of finding out what best alters perceptions to keep an audience interested. At times, mistakes will be made but being aware of the common errors will help in avoiding them.
Fashion Branding Mistake 1:
Applying the same cuts and colors as everyone else
In fashion branding, differentiation is key. Attracting attention in a world full of brands serving the same customers will give your brand the edge.
You have a unique voice, opinion, values, and a special insight to bring to the table. Your brand should too. A deadly mistake is to lose your unique outlook by copying what others do. Not only will you create a forgettable brand, you’ll lose your chance to connect with people who truly relate to your ideals.
Lean into what makes you different!
Translate it into something simple that you can easily communicate.
Louboutin heels, for example, have iconic red soles. When they first came out there was nothing like them and they leaned into it. Now it's an easily identifiable brand associated with luxury, prestige, and style
Fashion Branding Mistake 2:
Messy or impractical use of fabrics
Unclear messaging confuses customers and potentially scares them off. When messaging is unclear it creates disagreement between the customers' perceptions and the brand’s values.
Your brand and products bring something specific to the world. It's not just about selling clothing. You have a specific group of people who you want to serve. Those are the people you should speak to.
The branding message needs to answer the question: Why are we valuable to you?
The answer must be brief and easily visible to the customer. Focus on what helps customers remember your brand benefits.
Toms shoes broadcasts a message of, "One for one," or "Together we stand," and donates a pair of shoes to match every pair bought by customers. The messaging is clear and simple: it's not about the shoes. It's about helping others.
Fashion Branding Mistake 3:
Inconsistent patterns and cuts for the same design
Everything done in the name of the business affects the brand. All that's done must branch out of the brand values.
Remember, branding ultimately determines how you're perceived by customers. Brand consistency means providing the right atmosphere so that customers get the same feelings about the brand throughout every process and medium of communication, both visual and cognitive.
Consistency helps customers connect.
Every time a customer or potential customer comes back, they’re welcomed by the feeling they had when they first came across you. The feelings generated while interacting with your brand will help customers create a connection that's meaningful. It will make them want to return, build trust, and recommend you to friends or colleagues.
Supreme, for example, goes above and beyond to deliver a consistent, one of a kind brand. Every aspect of communication from the store layouts, to the website, to the amount of products available leads to the same conclusion: we stand out, we are unique, and you will be too if you wear Supreme.
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