When you imagine the most successful names in fashion, brands like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton might come to mind. But what makes these companies so successful? High quality materials and on-trend styles do make a difference, but that’s not all. More importantly, it’s their branding which has truly helped them shine. From memorable logos and fonts to a story that captivates, all clothing companies need a powerful brand that customers can relate to.
When you’re just starting a clothing company, however, carving out a unique and innovative brand identity isn’t easy. To get off on the right foot, here’s how to craft a branding strategy that sets your business apart.
Stray from the Ordinary
There are thousands of clothing brands competing for your customers’ attention. To stand out, your brand needs to create a dynamic identity that resonates with consumers in a personal way. CrowdSPRING says that since people choose clothing to express their own identity, apparel brands need to create an identity that people can relate to. New clothing brands should consider not only what identity they want to become, but also the customer-identity types they want to attract. This will help guide important brand decisions in the right direction.
Furthermore, Go Media says that businesses have to determine a few unique brand traits and hone in on them. Whether it’s how you design your t-shirts or where you source your jean materials, find something that stands out and use that to market yourself. As you do, use these details to create a tagline, slogan, or rallying cry.
According to Mash Bonigala, a startup investor and brand strategist for luxury and apparel brands, a tagline can help unite your target market under a single idea. In addition to bringing your target audience together, a catchy slogan adds dimension to your brand and makes it more memorable.
To understand how a well-established brand defines their brand values, consider how Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture defines her brand values. Hilgart’s brand is committed to using ethical textiles, treating and paying workers fairly and being vegan. While they may not be the biggest brand on the market today, their small size enables them to adopt an ethical business strategy and tell a story of caring and compassion.
Positioning Your Brand
Most emerging brands feel pressured to create something completely new and revolutionary. But in reality, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to carve out a space where your brand has a powerful message in a reliable target market. James C. Gibson says that brand leaders can help encourage innovation in their company by clearly defining where the company is positioned – and where it’s set to go. This helps employees understand how they’re supposed to act and where the company is headed, which creates stronger internal and external brand alignment.
Another way to position your brand in a unique niche is to determine your brand personality. StartUP Fashion suggests finding your brand’s personality by thinking about your brand’s voice, tone, point of view and values. Then, you can think about your ideal customer. What are her or his values? What pain points does he or she have? These questions will help you define your buyer persona.
And if developing a buyer persona wasn’t first on your list – it should be. Why? Because ESTILA Magazine says it’s one of the main branding mistakes businesses make. They explain that failing to define your brand’s buyer personas is a fundamental part of your branding journey and that it becomes harder to fix over time.
Whether you’re planning your first logo or undergoing a rebrand, it’s important to know all the logo designs and styles available to you. T-shirt printing company Printsome explains that a typographic font logo can exude a sophisticated, minimalist feel. Symbolic logos, on the other hand, can be either abstract or figurative. Abstract logos involve geometric shapes paired with letters, and figurative logos take the form of animals, objects and other everyday objects.
Another apparel brand logo tip comes from design expert Ali Qayyum who says that high fashion logos should feel chic and stylish in order to attract people to the brand. Elegant fonts and classy scripts can help you evoke this sense of sophistication and class. Design is important for establishing your brand, but it’s important that it’s considered with caution. As reporter Lindsay Rothfeld puts it: “be wary of becoming inspired by only aesthetics rather than deeper meaning.”
Crafting a Digital Presence
In today’s age, it’s impossible to create a new brand without considering your digital presence. For most brands, a digital presence is key to telling an intriguing brand story. Amit Bhardwaj explains that showcasing your brand story on social media helps build trust with consumers while involving people in the brand experience.
HubSpot marketing blog editor Karla Cook writes that the fashion industry is leading the way in visual brand storytelling on Instagram. The most successful fashion brands have mastered how to tell their brand story through inspirational images, lifestyle shots and carefully curated posts that showcase what the brand stands for, not just what their product creates.
Another way to promote your digital presence on social media and on your website is to put together an online style guide. Uhuru Network says that having a guide will inspire customers and help them visualize how to wear your clothes. This makes it easier to tell a story about your clothing, which helps customers better understand your brand story and the lifestyle it promotes.
If you’re stuck on how to tell your story specifically, consider touchpoints on your website. For example, your product descriptions are an ideal place to start. Poq Commerce writes that product descriptions can reinforce your brand values through a consistent tone of voice. If your brand is a sustainably-sourced jean brand, for example, you’ll want to take on an approachable yet sophisticated tone. Product descriptions can be further enhanced through user generated content like reviews and ratings. Jignesh Gohel explains that having real feedback from buyers helps increase conversion rates, decrease bounce rates and boost organic search rankings.
When you’re starting a brand, it’s important to give your customers a powerful experience they’ll remember. Enakshi Sharma stresses that the best way to do this is through consistent and reliable brand experiences. Your typography, brand colors and all other design elements must be uniform across in-person and digital brand experiences. Additionally, these visual elements must reinforce your brand values and beliefs.
As you build your brand and time goes on, your brand will inevitably change and adapt. It’s important to continue testing, tweaking and adapting to your audience’s needs and desires. Toby Nwazor explains that entrepreneurs should always re-examine their business model to ensure that they’re maximizing profits in every area possible.
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