Knowing how to brand is one of the most difficult things any business owner can encounter. Great branding involves creative and consistent marketing and earnest customer engagement. It requires you to develop a deep and nuanced understanding of your fashion business, your values, and how your business embodies them, and to consistently make decisions that fall into step with those concepts, your customers, their ideas, and their goals.
Here are 3 easy steps you can use to get started doing exactly that:
Step 1: Know what your fashion brand is and write it out
Writing out what your fashion brand is on paper will make you accountable for keeping your brand on track. It doesn't need to be a structured statement, but it does need to be a concrete one that you've put some thought into.
Do it in a way that makes sense for your brand, whether it's to create a:
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Value proposition
- Diagram on a whiteboard or digitally
- One-word statement of purpose
Maybe you need some inspiration to get started? Just in case, here are some sample company mission and vision statements to use as inspiration.
Once you have something written out, remember to review it as your brand grows so that you can track your path.
Step 2: Create a brand guide
A brand guide is a helpful tool that will help you define your brand in detail. It's a visual guide that structures the brand framework for everything you use to communicate your fashion brand to customers, fans, and potential fashion buyers and partners.
The guide usually includes a brand's:
- Identity - Who they are
- Strategy - What they work for, how they reach their audience.
- Voice - How they communicate their message
- Visuals - Logo, colors, fonts, sizing, etc.
You can break your guideline into different sections based on possible future scenarios, for example collaborations with other brands.
Make sure you think through this tool carefully. It will play a critical role in preparing you and your team for anything to come. Also, as an added bonus, it will help anyone new to your team get to know your fashion brand more in depth.
Don't worry! There are some excellent examples of brand guidelines out there to gain some inspiration for creating your own.
Step 3: Don't wait
Consider the creation of your fashion brand a foundational element of your fashion business. This is the blueprint that will guide how you interact with and market to customers, fashion buyers, clothing manufacturers, potential brand partners, and more. It should guide the look, feel, and language of your website. It should ooze from every email, shelf sign, and sale promo you set out.
If you're building a fashion business, but haven't started working on the concept of your fashion brand yet, stop what you're doing, and switch gears. Having a solid fashion brand as you're starting your business will save you from potentially costly course corrections later on in your business timeline and keep you on track to most efficiently accomplish your goals.