A brand’s spirit and personality, or Brand DNA, makes up the true identity of any company. For fashion brands in particular, remaining true to this brand identity is crucial for long-term success. However, given the fast-paced world of fashion, this is often easier said than done.
During rapid growth it can be hard to keep a brand consistent. Fashion industry trends tend to change quickly, which can make it seem like you are constantly making new decisions about product development or marketing campaigns. It only takes one wrong turn from your core customer base to detour your company off the path to success.
Businesses that stay true to their identity are able to foster better customer relationships and ultimately drive consistent long-term sales. Here are some tips for emerging fashion brands looking to identify and remain true to their brand DNA:
CREATE A CUSTOMER PERSONA
Develop a brand deck (whether it’s a physical or digital document) that describes who your best customers are and how you sell to their personas. This needs to be a detailed description of your customer — from their hobbies, income and lifestyle to their values, wants and needs.
This document should be available to everyone in your company — from intern to CEO — to ensure that all employees are on the same page every day.
BE DATA DRIVEN
While personas ensure that your company truly understands the deep down values of your core customers, smart businesses will also rely on actual data to make crucial decisions.
Monitor customer behavior over time to predict trends and ultimately guide your decisions. This can help you anticipate the effects of new investments — whether it’s a new product line or a unique marketing campaign. If you’re able to use data to predict the outcome of your initiative six months, one year or five years down the line, you’ll maximize your chances for success and ultimately stay true to your customer base.
The type of data fashion brands should be analyzing can range from seasonal fluctuations in sales to trending styles. If sales for a certain color or style of clothing seem to be increasing at a faster rate than others, it would be smart for brands to look into maximizing revenue for those trends by maybe increasing inventory or looking into new product lines.
Simply put, you need to evaluate the employees you hire. Your brand persona is more than just your customer base — it needs to also be a part of your employee culture. It’s not worth it to hire employees who do not fit with your brand vision during periods of growth, regardless of the quality of his or her resume.
This might also require letting go of previous relationships that no longer match your company’s DNA. During this period of growth, you will have to make tough, yet strategic decision. In order to continue to grow the success of your brand.
STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND
You won’t be an emerging brand forever, but as you become more established, it’s important to remain true to your foundation. Trends in the fashion industry are fleeting, so choose what you will follow wisely. Never forget what is most important to your customers — no matter how big your company becomes.
Navigating the fashion industry as an emerging brand is no easy feat. You’ll face many roadblocks along the way that might make you question if the business world is really for you. But by developing and maintaining a brand DNA and truly believing in what your company represents, any emerging fashion brand can find long-term success.