LONDON, United Kingdom — In Part Four of Fashion Business Basics, Imran Amed explains how to build brand awareness in the early years of a business.
KEY LEARNINGS: As a creative director, you will be overseeing multiple parts of the marketing mix. In a fashion brand, the person designing and developing the product is often also responsible for the advertising campaigns and the brand communication.
Know Your Customer: A designer should keep a specific target customer in mind as they develop the collection. Think about their lifestyle, budget and what is important to them. Understanding all of these things will help you communicate with your customer and create awareness about your brand.
Brand Story: A brand story is what people will talk about when they think of your brand. It summarises why your brand exists and what are the unique characteristics of your product that makes it distinct from everything else in the market.
Marketing Mix, The Four Ps: The marketing mix is a set of tools that allow you to craft a clear marketing direction and tell your story.
- Product is the tangible physical product or service you provide. The fashion industry has all sorts of different products. You might be known for footwear, evening dresses or active wear. Be specific about what you are selling.
- Price effectively positions you in the market. This determines who your competitors are and also the different materials and quality of materials that you will use for your products.
- Place is where you distribute and sell your products to customers. You want to make sure that your product is available where your target customer shops and at a place that is consistent with the positioning of your product.
- Promotion includes everything from traditional marketing with advertising and PR, to new media marketing on social media. Today it is absolutely essential to have a website and a digital presence.
Advertising: Advertising can help you reach a large audience, control and increase brand awareness and secure press coverage. However paid media comes at a high cost and it will probably be a long time before you can afford it. The real potential for moving your brand forward in terms of image and what you control is online.
Public Relations: When you have things to share, new products coming out or announcements to make, working well with different types of publications is going to be a key part of building your brand. Therefore you should build a good relationship with the press, especially the ones that have taken interest in your product and what you are doing.
Social Media: Social media is a powerful and affordable way to build awareness about your brand. Only engage in those platforms that address your target customer. Be aware that it takes time and resources to manage and provide content on social accounts, so it is probably the right choice to begin with only one or two social media channels. The fashion community really engages first on Instagram and then on Facebook.