Stylistic identity, like branding, is a powerful tool that is vital for differentiation and for preventing imitation from other competitors. Branding encompasses stylistic identity, which includes stylistic and aesthetic codes of a brand, ranging from colors, products and apparel. Even though fashion businesses follow trends, they still need to uphold a certain individual characteristic to maintain brand recognizability. For fashion businesses, stylistic identity is the heart of each product and their branding system. For example, the brand Lalesso consistently produces a particular aesthetic in their designs over all their seasonal collections. As a result, it is important for a fashion business to have its own distinctive and unique stylistic identity in order to build a strong and successful brand. In essence, what is your brand about and what elements make it yours over others?
Country of origin
An important feature, as you think of your brand’s stylistic identity, is country of origin. Where your brand originated from, be it in Kenya or Korea, gives you a foundation for your identity. However it doesn’t limit you in marketing and selling your products all over the world. This concept is reflected in many brands and among designers through their design, choice of colors and brand’s image. This is evident in brands like Deola Sogoe and Chilli Mango, which incorporate their countries lifestyles of vibrancy and color into their styles and designs. Other brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani have darker, grayish colored styled apparel, reflecting Milan’s fogginess. Thus, for designers their countries and cultures are important in shaping how they operate. In addition, this aspect is a way to connect to customers in that certain region; as much as you can expand, [bctt tweet=”your first customers come from home”], and as a way to connect to them, establishing apparel that touch on heritage and culture is profitable.
In every business, not just fashion, there is a specific service or product that a business provides. In the same vein, within the stylistic identity of a brand or fashion business, there is an iconic product. An iconic product, that embodies your brand, is for example, the Chanel purse or URU Diamonds bracelet. Although, iconic products are more significant for luxury brands, more and more brands are establishing their iconic products. Since items that are iconic are easy to sell, most brands have them. In order to create a marketable and popular iconic product, businesses have created a unique product that they have sold, with or without small variations that have done well in the market for a long period of time. Then they usually collaborate with celebrities, bloggers or retailers. Iconic products are more often than not historical products that embody a brand’s heritage and have overtime become timeless best sellers.
Even though it is important to develop a stylistic and visual identity that is consistent and related to your brand, you should be careful not to become irrelevant and boring. [bctt tweet=”What marks fashion businesses that flourish is the ability to evolve together with the market and customer needs.”] As a result, as the market evolves, so should your style, not drastically, but should incorporate the needs of your new market. Evolving is a necessity, as a brand needs to demonstrate growth and a cementing of their brand; the ability to translate their story, uniqueness and distinguishability across different collections without losing themselves in the pursuit of a quick buck. As more and more brands emerge, competition becomes fiercer, and losing touch with your costumer’s needs can mean the end of your line.
Communication and consistency
As your business flourishes, it is essential that your brand and style remain related. Your brand’s visual identity is what characterizes your communication style. Your brand’s message, tone, merchandising, packaging and media strategy should be consistent with your recurring stylistic identity, so as to etch that style into the minds of your customers.
Since, you and perhaps your team are behind your fashion business’s brand and stylistic identity it means you have to directly oversee products, messaging, presentation and advertisements to maintain consistency and link between your brand and stylistic identity. No matter how big your business gets, do what Armani does, stay in touch with all operations. Moreover, as you grow, be yourself, don’t try to imitate styles, use your experiences, country and market to develop a style that is uniquely yours.
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