Fashion insights by Moda Database

How to Make Your Fashion Brand a Credible Business

Fashion Business Growth Hacks to Score Collaborations and Gain Loyal Clientele

The fashion industry is extremely competitive. Not only is it challenging to fund a marketing campaign, you need to have the right connections to establish a supplier/distribution network. Here is a step-by-step guide for fashion startups on how to make a name for your brand and build your reputation from scratch.   

Step 1: Find Your Niche

The first question to answer is: what is your brand? Having consistency will make your brand more recognizable and memorable. Your mission is to make people remember you for all the key things you want them to. Frequent changes and deviations from your brand’s original character could make fans confused and frustrated. So once you define your niche, stick to it!

Telfar is a great example of solid brand identity. The identifiable T-embossed logo bags represent their “Not for you – for everyone” motto. (Image source: @telfarglobal)

Step 2: Build Your Team

Whether you have an in-house team or outsource the work to suppliers, distributors, sales platforms, and freelance creatives, make sure you pick reliable, quality-driven partners who share your vision. Establish direct and efficient channels of communication, so as to optimize day-to-day logistics. Most importantly, explain to them the needs of your brand, and value their feedback. In order to achieve sustainable growth, teamwork is the only way to go.

Step 3: Expand Your Network

The fashion industry is a close-knitted network. Hence, it is paramount to connect with the right creatives. Online platforms like Moda Database give you direct access to fashion stylists, makeup artists, and hairstylists who can help with your campaign, photoshoot, collection, runway show, or presentation. It is never too early to start building those relationships! These resources will become the foundational blocks to help you build your brand.

During the pandemic, Zerina Akers, stylist of Beyoncé and Chloe x Halle, supported black-owned brands via her IG account and e-shop. (Image source: @blackownedeverything)

Step 4: Be Authentic in Communication

Honesty is the best policy. Being transparent about your limitations in production (and how you are improving), can go a long way in securing brand loyalty.

H&M, Adidas, and Reebok topped the Transparency Index for 2020, yet they admit they still have a long way to go. (Image source: @hm)

In partnerships, learn to clearly express your direction and vision. Furthermore, be kind and constructive when giving feedback. Collaboration is a two-way street, so be respectful and supportive of those you are teaming up with.

Since the fashion industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth and referrals, it is important to always maintain a good relationship with the people you encounter. In fact, you should build a good rapport with everyone around you – including competitors!

Step 5: Focus on Customer Service

In the age of instant everything, brands that master real-time communications have the best customer service – and social media marketing! Therefore, you should utilize every communication platform available to increase your chance of receiving comments, complaints, and feedback about your brand and products. Take it a step further, and be prompt in answering and implementing changes.

Realisation Par became famous via Instagram thanks to high-engagement postings and DMs! (Image source: @realisationpar)

Step 6: Find Your Cause

Consumers today see beyond the actual product. They want to connect with the brand’s philosophy. As a brand owner or fashion designer, your vision is inevitably linked to how you see your product bringing positive impact. One way is to identify a social responsibility or cause that is close to your heart, and raise awareness through your ideas. For example, Stella McCartney is vocal about their commitment to environmentally-friendly practices through working with sustainable manufacturing communities in Africa, Latin America, and more.

Step 7: Curate Your Portfolio     

First impressions matter. Having an accurate and complete online presence will help celebrity stylists, brands, editorials, and businesses find you more easily. It is time to up your social media game and keep it up-to-date! Your digital portfolio can help you land the right collaborations and build clientele, so invest time and effort to make it beautiful and current.