STREET ACADEMY: MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN LAUNCHING YOUR STREETWEAR BRAND
by Timothia Ogbole·
If you’re considering starting your own fashion brand, its easier to learn from people who have been in the fashion industry longer than you have, to learn from the mistakes they made and know how to prevent them. Starting a fashion brand will take a lot of your time, effort and money yet it will to be one of the most exciting yet rewarding moments of your life, but all that excitement can come crashing if you don’t strategize and plan before and after launching your business. To make things easier for you, here’s a detailed list of mistakes you should avoid when launching your fashion startup.
1.) Not building a strong brand identity early on.
To own a successful fashion brand you must have a compelling brand identity, your brand identity consists of your business name, logo, font and visuals, these components help you build an outstanding identity. Great branding shows the world what you stand for and makes people remember your brand. Branding is very valuable to a fashion startup,it can cultivate customer loyalty and in turn boost revenue. For example when you see the tick sign, you can easily recognize that it’s Nike, the logo represents speed and motion, your brand identity allows you to stand out from competitors in the market. A brands identity is not only how your brand presents itself but also your brands values, attributes and goals. To create a strong brand identity you need to consider the following.
- Choose the right name for your brand.
- Design a logo that will resonate with your customers, your logo should capture the essence of the brand.
- Use the perfect font that fits your brand logo, the font is an effective tool in brand recognition.
- Identify your brands goals, vision and what your brand stands for.
- Critically choose a color palette for your brand; this enhances your brand identity. Color evokes emotions so choose colors that enhance how your brand is perceived by customers.
- Brand photography, this includes well crafted pictures of your designs and product, hiring a professional photographer to capture and edit pictures to fit your brand aesthetic. You can have your logo, colors and font down but if the photography doesn’t fit, it could ruin your brand identity.
- Lastly product packaging, never underestimate the value of good packaging, it improves customer loyalty and repeat purchase.
2.) Having no knowledge of design.
You won’t find any renowned designer who doesn’t have basic understanding of design, knowing how to draw is a prerequisite for being a successful designer. Some might say it’s not a necessary skill but there’s no doubt it’ll be helpful in the long run. If you can express your ideas and visualize them clearly it’ll allow you create unique and authentic pieces that haven’t been created before. You don’t have to go to fashion school to start designing your own pieces, technology has made it easier for us by providing accessible software that you can use for fashion illustration such as; CorelDraw, adobe illustrator and repsketch should be a designer’s best friend.
3.) Expecting too much too soon.
It’s easy to think owning a fashion brand is easy, you might think all you have to do is find a vendor from alibaba and plaster your logo on the products and sell. That’s far from it, owning a fashion brand is not an easy task you will need to cultivate some skills before you start and some skills along your journey. Many entrepreneurs are unprepared and have no idea about design, production, marketing, sales, business and how to make a profit. They don’t realize how much money and effort it’s going to take to launch, run, and grow a fashion brand. Lower your expectations and be ready to make mistakes and learn along the way.
4.) Not getting help.
Things like manufacturing, design, logistics and marketing might get more difficult as you scale, doing everything yourself might lead to you making crucial mistakes that can have consequences, so it’s better to find your strength, know the things you can do easily by yourself and delegate the rest to other people. Also you should consider working with a retailer or drop shipper, who would be able to sell your products on demand instead of spending time and money on inventory that might not move and you will have to store.
5.) Not understanding the financial aspect of the business.
Being a fashion entrepreneur is more than just designing and selling, you have to know that it is a business and you have to make profit. You might have to learn the basics of bookkeeping or you can delegate it to a trustworthy person who can help give account of expenses, profit and losses and keep your books in order. This aspect is very crucial in order to achieve success as a fashion designer.
6.) Not having a business/action plan.
Every business needs a business plan; you can’t just wing it and adjust along the way in the fashion business. Think about who you want your customers to be, how you want your brand to be like, how many people you’re employing, the style of clothing you make, the quality, the fabrics ,the goals of the brand etc.all these are important as it will help you make decisions throughout your business.
7.) No digital marketing strategy.
Good marketing strategies can make all the difference in sales and profit.
Creating a user friendly website and leveraging on social media sites are marketing tools you can use to create organic and loyal customers. Using social media to run targeted ads is cost effective and would help increase sales. Research and rate the best marketing mix for your business and consider your target customer, budget and long term business goals.