Fashion is a competitive industry; having great prices and unique products is just the start. What ultimately pushes your business to success is your marketing strategy. Generally, fashion marketing is pushing your products by using coordinated elements such as advertising, fashion events, social media and public or media relations. Successful fashion brands utilize both traditional and new media in marketing, to reach more people, thereby increasing brand visibility, and increase brand value.
The main goals for marketing your products includes increasing your sales as well as establishing your brand in the minds of your consumers. Before marketing your brand, it is important to be familiar with your brand. [bctt tweet=”Can you describe your brand’s vision, target market and unique products in two sentences or less? “]If you can that is the first step in being able to effectively market your brand, if not, then you need to revisit your business goals, target audience and brand goals. As you think about methods of marketing your brand, remember that your budget will also determine what methods you can use. Here are few tips and guidelines are you delve into the world of marketing.
The marketing mix
Essentially, fashion marketing applies the same as marketing strategies used by other businesses. Marketing includes tactics such as market research, advertising and promotion. There are many models that can be used, but as a startup business, the easiest and most commonly used is the 4Ps model. The 4Ps stand for price, product, promotion, and place. This marketing mix encompasses everything we have talked about thus far in the series. This mix is a way of gathering information about the market, generate sales and promote brand awareness.
Product; The product in terms of marketing refers to elements that go into making a product or service that meets the specific needs of the market. Some of these elements include, design, packaging, value, quality and branding.
Price; price is not merely about the cost a product but the quality relative to the cost. There is a science behind setting the right price for your product. As a business, your prices must be marketable. You have to study your competition, your target market and your brand goal in order to set a price. To learn more about pricing click here.
Place; this refers to where and how your product is distributed, in other words, how your consumer is going to access your products. Depending on your brand, budget and goals, you can sell exclusively through small luxury boutiques, or sell in various malls, or sell your items online.
Promotion; When it comes to marketing, promotion is vital. The success and popularity of a brand usually depends on how well a brand promotes its products. There are many promotional techniques; from traditional to more modern methods with a blend of these two usually yields good results. These are some of the ways you can promote your brand;
When it comes to advertising, despite the rise of the Internet, the most common approach is still in print, TV and radio. This is done in an effort to promote the brand or a specific product that the brand is offering. This form of advertising is referred to as paid media and is still one of the most expensive methods of communication. Print publications, for example, include things like newspaper, consumer or popular magazines or the brand’s own magazine (if they have one), which are all pricey but can reach a large audience.
As a start-up company, especially if you don’t have a huge budget, the more affordable option is online advertising. It is likely that online adverts are not as effective as print or TV but if proper research is done and you proceed with your goals in mind, then online advertising can help increase sales without costing you too much money. The use of the Internet to promote your product can include; banner ads on webistes and/or e-magazines, increasing brand visibility through features (photographs and articles) about your fashion business.
In addition, you have other methods like posters, newsletters, mailing lists and billboard adverts. You can also spread your brand through word of mouth and social media. The usage of these techniques, especially a combination of them, can prove to be more effective than just relying on TV or posters to raise your business’ standing in the market.
Knowledge of your brand and your consumers will assist in knowing where best to target your consumers thereby determining which method to use in promoting your brand. There is no one size fits all so market research, return on investment and what you seek to achieve in advertising are all crucial factors in making that decision. Depending on your budget, you may approach advertising agencies that are experts in this field to assist in knowing how to communicate and where best your brand.
– Events and showcases
Marketing your brand as a fashion business entails conducting different kinds of promotional events. There are several ways you can use events to build brand awareness such as showcasing your fashion line through a fashion show. Depending on your target market and budget, you can have your fashion show anywhere from a mall to a school. You may also choose to attend other fashion events keeping in mind your return on investment, cost implications and your financial budget and target audience. Moreover, you don’t have to limit yourself. If your budget allows and you have a large enough network base, you can choose to set up a private location and invite some key players in the fashion industry as well as editors, buyers and media.
In addition, you can also host a launch party for your product and invite relevant media and key guests to learn about your products and vision with the aim of creating a buzz. There are many creative ways to network and build your brand through events but one thing remains crystal clear, events are a pivotal aspect in marketing your brand or product.
– Social Media
Nowadays, not having a social media presence is detrimental to any business. The web is a thriving and populous platform, which can be a great promotion tool for a brand or business. As a start-up, your greatest supporters can be found online, using applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Launching a Kickstarter Campaign, for example, can even lead to your business being funded. News dissemination on the web is instantaneous especially on social media. For example, you can post something on Facebook promoting a specific product and that post can be shared on multiple platforms, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
Additionally, it is not just Twitter and Facebook, a fashion blog can also be a way to promote your brand. What you must realize is that a Facebook page does not constitute as a website or blog. People rely on the web for research, which is why it is important to have an active blog as a business. A blog gives your business an opportunity to explain its goals, its accomplishments and even failures to your customers. Not only that, can your blog establish you as a fashion expert and be a reference point to those conducting research. Blogs also help in developing closer and more personal interaction with people, giving your business a voice more or less. Whether you opt for a blog or a website as the voice for your brand, they are both vital marketing and communication tools.
Product placement is a technique in which you display a product without explicitly advertising it. This could entail featuring your brand as a prop in a television show or movie, or having a celebrity (brand ambassador) wear your brand. This marketing technique brings in the entertainment industry to increase brand credibility and awareness. This method can be expensive for a start-up business with few products or not even capital to give out products. However, brand ambassadors don’t have to be celebrities, they can be family or friends whom you use to showcase your product.
There is no perfect marketing strategy; it all comes down to your business and its goals. Developing a marketing strategy is complex and requires that you use different marketing techniques to make it work for you. The key thing to remember is that whatever marketing strategy you opt for, you have to consider your customers and your vision.
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