In a previous post, I discussed how French Luxury has set the bar for global brands, what is savoir faire along with its importance to the industry. Often times as a designer, you can get so focused on products that you forget about the true value of what you have to offer your target audience, your brand’s unique proposition.
I have seen designers classifying their companies as luxury yet their visual presentation screams fast fashion but luxury has always been refined & exclusive. On the other hand, in order to create the right ambiance for your brand you must start with its story. In today’s market, whether your category is Moderate or Luxury, a brand story is vital. What exactly is a brand story you might ask? Simply put, it’s why you started your brand, how it all started & what it’s all about.
One of my favorite brands is Ralph Lauren, which I consistently use as an example to demonstrate brand development. This company represents the perfect model of how its culture seamlessly transcends its products. Ralph Lauren’s “Americana” New England prep style began with high-end neckties, which he sold at department stores. Over time, it became a lifestyle brand as it expanded to include men’s, women’s, kids, accessories, home goods & restaurants. These products, in spite of their differences, are a part of a bigger vision, the brand story. When looking at them together, we can see the lifestyle.
When developing your brand, your goal should be to create an experience that you want to share with your audience. As a result, the culture of your brand must reinforce the quality of your products, your mission, but more importantly, your “why”. These elements define its culture, therefore, each one must consistent. The truth is, potential customers don’t care about your products because there are many other designers who can offer something similar, if not, better. This is the reason that your “why”, your purpose - which drives your process- is so important. It allows you to draw an emotional connection with your audience & an emotional connection often equals brand loyalty. Today’s customers want to feel like they are a part of an experience. This is the reason why you must appeal to the emotional side of your target market, it promotes sales, repeat customers & customer retention. The streetwear brand Supreme, is one of the greatest examples of establishing a brand that has achieved all three.
Does your brand have any of these elements in place? Share your thoughts in the comments below! If you with to join the fashion club for exclusive information on how to start/manage your brand or how to break into the fashion industry, sign up today! In the meantime, follow me on Instagram