The Fashion Business Epiphanies We Garnered From New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019

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The recently concluded edition of the New York Fashion Week held not so many design surprises as it did business lessons. It is only natural, then, that we wanted to do a feature right away!

Fashion is a form of expression- there’s a reason why people buy so loyally from the brands they love. This applies to all strata of the fashion society. People love their labels as much as they enjoy the ease and comfort of label-less, brand-less clothing. And that’s what NYFW was all about- shunning the label in favor of the individual.

Here, we deconstruct eight ideas from NYFW SS’19 that are worth exploring in your own fashion business.

  1. The Return Of The Self: Colors to make you feel better, shapes and silhouettes to help you feel safe- clothing is now about your mood. You may remember from one of our earlier features that color is a huge determinant of how we feel and how we express this to the world outside. A similar idea was extensively visible in the designs of Prada and Givenchy.
  1. Landmark Collections: Ralph Lauren turns fifty. Fifty years of bringing enhanced sports fashion to mainstream shows. Emotions ran high at NYFW, but what we took away is the message that sportswear is becoming the new casual wear. Looks that respect this notion will go very far.
  1. Tailoring Done Differently: Was it only yesterday that form and fit were the fashion buzzwords to look out for? Well, both form and fit are on holiday at NYFW, and the focus is instead on comfort and function. Not surprising, considering the urban commuter who moves around so much, and people’s general lack of interest in buying pieces that only ever sit in the wardrobe.
  1. Feminine Goes Fierce: This year, even the more conventionally minded designers shifted their focus to clothing that made a stronger statement. Case in point- Brock Collection. Their collection is so much more refined and represents strength, inside and out.
  1. Subtlety Over Statement: While everyone is busy making a statement, The Row toned it down. This is a potent message for fashion houses designing their collections right about now. Sometimes, in a world that is screaming statements, not making any statement at all may just be the most powerful way to go about anything.
  1. Nostalgia: Perhaps the harshness of the world we live in today, with its myriad issues and its elected leaders, is making us fond of the services, army, and even the eighties! Junya Watanabe and Isabel Marant both took this nostalgia and channeled it into something beautiful.
  1. Beyond Visual: The tink-tink of Paco Rabanne’s dress collection proved, yet again, that there’s no end to innovation in fashion. Auditory stimuli aren’t the first thing you’d associate with a dress, but they need not be the last either. We’re not rooting for squeaky shoes and hopefully, haven’t descended to dresses that play songs, but as long as the sound is pleasant to hear, why not!
  1. The Return Of The Unisex: There’s no way to know how much of it is because of a movement, and how much merely a factor of comfort, but clothing collections are no longer split along gender lines. Case in point- all of the designers who exhibited their collections for men and women at the same time, on the same stage. Come to think of it, why doesn’t love a multipurpose piece?

The looks we loved from New York Fashion Week SS’19: 

  1. Mara Hoffman: We love a designer with a voice, and what a statement voice she has! We love her easy whites, stand-out silhouettes and statement florals.

Mara-Hoffman runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Marc Jacobs: elegance never goes out to style, and neither do high collars and breezy cuts suggestive of the elite. Culottes can be statement pieces too, if you know how to stitch them.

Marc Jacobs runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Naeem Khan: contemporary has never been this classic. Spaghetti dresses and high collars meet more modern ideas of prints and embellishments in this highly versatile collection.

Naeem Khan runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Prabal Gurung: did we say pops of colour? Prada is not left alone on that count, what with Prabal Gurung joining in. We love the bright shades sure to make any day better.

Naeem Khan runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Rebecca Minkoff’s collection is perfect for a statement workwear.

Rebecca Minkoff runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Tadashi Shoji: a master of the feminine, if there was one. Also one of the few collections we spotted this season with animal prints. They’re not going out of style anytime soon.

Tadashi Shoji runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

Which of these ideas will you use as inspiration for your next collection? Tell us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

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A Toast To The Best Formal and Semi-Formal Styles We Spotted At Lakme India Fashion Week

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If you’re a fashion aficionado, an aspiring designer or a follower of celebrities, your timeline was probably flooded with images from Lakme India Fashion Week that concluded just a few days ago.  We know because we’ve been digging some of these styles, too.

Here at Fuel4Fashion, we’re huge believers in practicality. Some of the most stunning styles on-ramp often fade away from existence entirely. Some others look great on models but probably not so much on real people in real situations, minus the flashbulbs. That said, three designers absolutely stood out for us and showcased designs that can be adapted into wardrobes.

Take notes, fashion entrepreneurs- your customers will be asking for these styles very, very soon.

  1. Saaksha and Kinni

Perhaps the clearest example of a designer’s clarity of thought comes through in this designer duo’s collection for Lakme India Fashion Week this time around. Prints are a very urbane expression of the self- in fact, think back to your ancestry, and you’d be sure to remember one print or one weave that everyone spoke about.

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Interpretations of Ikat and Pochampally in 8-bit game pixels is a genius move, we think.

Also, everyone needs space, people!

Flowy fabrics are in, especially for formal wear. In a tropical country like India, and for the sake of comfort the world over, people are seeing the virtue in abandoning the sharp suit for more statement pieces. Think blouses with bell sleeves and prints, printed formal pants with plain shirts, and jackets in a variety of cuts and styles. We’d go so far as to say that you should think of one statement accessory in the collection to lift up all the Boring formal wear that all of us inadvertently own. Excited yet? Thanks, Saaksha and Kinni!

  1. Kunal Rawal

We love Kunal Rawal’s collection because it comes as a breath of fresh air in the parched men’s formalwear section this Fashion Week. It’s still super cool to wear formal-ish suits and all-black this festive season too, guys!

Also, come to think of out, wardrobes should always be function over fancy, and while it’s nice to have the flower-embroidered jackets, we all need evergreen pieces that can be adapted to a variety of occasions.

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And that is precisely what this collection brings to the ramp, and to wardrobes. We highly recommend including some earthy hues in the formal menswear collections this time. They add a nice touch to an array of blues and blacks.

We also like the idea of using self-designed motifs on pants and jackets for an extra layer of detail. Dinner jackets in shades of orange and burnt umber, details on trousers, and brogues with extra motifs at the toe cap- all recommended.

Did we mention athleisure? A wholly tailored suit with pants that mimic tracks are in right now, and this is a trend you can adapt for both genders with relative ease.

  1. Amit Aggarwal

Bringing some much-needed sass to women’s evening wear is Amit Aggarwal. We particularly love his silhouettes because of the sheer global appeal of those gowns. Here’s a cocktail dress that one could pull of absolutely anywhere in the world.

Shades of grey and bronze, a dress separated into coordinates, African culture inspired gowns- is there any better way to go global? Also, grey is a color that is kind to all skin tones, and in all climates, so that’s an added plus too. Think cocktail dresses with one central motif, and add in geometric details.

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Another way to adapt Amit Aggarwal’s collection into your stores, apart from the gowns, is to design peplum tops in metallics, tailored pants and thinking of bow pants a la Emma Watson.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

 

Authority Marketing: How To Give Yourself A Voice That Is Heard

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Have you noticed, of late, just how many influencers there are on Instagram? That’s the thing with marketing- gather enough people and demonstrate expertise, and you have a market for your products.

Instagram influencers aside, personal branding is the buzzword of the day. “If you don’t build a personal brand, you have no influence,” they say. This is because we are a generation that loves stories. Born to a generation that experienced globalization and the consumerism that came with it, today’s crowd needs an experience. And even better, they need the experience to come from someone they can trust, because of (drumroll) their past experience.

Enter, authority marketing. 

Unlike regular marketing that says, ‘here’s a product, it is so awesome!’, authority marketing says, ‘here’s a product, and here’s why you’ll like it. I know, because I’ve tried it.’

Why do celebrities launch, endorse and be seen in their own fashion labels? Think Beyoncé, or Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop- these celebs know that products launched, tried and endorsed by them have a better chance of selling in the market. In other words, gone are the days of bringing in a celebrity and advertising a product. Today’s customers ask, “Why should I listen to this celebrity on this matter?”

How to use authority marketing effectively for startup fashion brands

Now that we’ve covered the concept, how can you adopt authority marketing to promote your fashion business?

  1. Build Your Personal Brand. Don’t just be a face in the crowd when you can be the face of your brand. Alicia Souza does this right, through her eponymous brand and also through her Instagram handle. Many Alicia Souza customers can genuinely claim that they know the person behind the product. The same goes for you. What are your fashion sensibilities and how do they influence your brand? Put it out there.
  1. Use Content: Have you ever wondered why copywriters make as much as they do, seeing as they actually write so little? Because lines like ‘Because she’s worth it’ sell products, and brands know it. Market your product through content- offer helpful guides, styling tips, day-to-night looks. The list of things you can do with your material is almost endless. Become an authority through the written word.
  1. Influence The Influencers: Make your product so good that authority has no option but to advertise it. But don’t stop at that. Influence your influencers. Send them free samples to try. Ask for reviews. Tell them your story. In short, make an impression on them.
  1. Don’t Be Salesy: Sounds counterintuitive? Yes, we’re asking you to sell a product by not selling it at all. Because, when a product speaks for itself, there is no need to sell it actively. Take a look at Fizzy Goblet. They make handcrafted footwear. But they make the footwear so unique that you can’t resist buying. They tell a story around each piece with exciting product titles. What can you do to make the product stand out?
  1. Get Coverage for Yourself: Grab every interview and every podcast opportunity that comes along. Answer questions thoroughly. Show the world that you are an expert. You can also submit articles about your entrepreneurial journey to relevant publications to get featured.
  1. Attend Events: If you knew just how many deals are closed at an event, you wouldn’t miss attending a single one of them. Sign up for regional fashion events, or put models in your clothes for a pop-up. Advertise to many people in one go, without making it look like an advertisement at all.

Remember, it is all about authority. The more of an expert you come across as, the more people will believe you and take your advice. Consider offering free in-store consultations with yourself. Make the story of the brand the story of you. There’s no better time than now to do it.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Bootstrapping Your Fashion Business? Let These Seven Tools Help You

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Choosing to start a business of any kind with no external funding can be a daunting task. If you’ve chosen this path, well, bravo! We’re here to help you succeed. And in today’s work environment, we know that success is directly proportional to the degree of automation we can create.

How to bootstrap fashion startup with the right use of fashion software and fashion tools for the fashion entrepreneurs

Here are seven tools that our team uses and approves for running a successful fashion business.

  1. Pixlr: Pixlr is a photo editor for those with minimal photo editing skills. Pixlr’s advertised USP is that it has over two million free combinations to try out and it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for something beyond a photo editor and need a tool that can help with design, look no further than Pixlr. A host of icons, illustrations, and base templates almost ensure that you always find something that you need.
  1. Pexels: We all know that stock images are costly, and while we may splurge on them for branding, a free photo or two ensure that your campaigns are not held up for want of a beautiful image. This is where Pexels comes in with a host of stock free images that are easy to find with the right keyword. Another tool you can try is PixaBay.
  1. AwesomeScreenshot for Chrome: Those who use a Mac probably don’t need a screenshot tool because a keyboard shortcut and the Preview app are quite sufficient. For everyone else, there’s AwesomeScreenshot. This Chrome extension allows you to take screenshots of virtually anything on the browser and even provides cool editing features.
  1. Calendly: As a businessperson, you will now be meeting and interacting with a lot of people. You want to ensure that you don’t miss an appointment and that you’re adequately prepared for each one. This is where Calendly helps. Just send a link to the people you’ll be interacting with and schedule them into a time slot. Gather their email address and phone number, and call them proactively. Another handy way to use Calendly is to incorporate the link into your email campaigns.
  1. Google Drive: A paid cloud subscription is almost irreplaceable now that you’ll be gathering a lot of raw data. Sign up for one of Drive’s paid plans and store all of your data safely, prevent losses and share what you need to easily.
  1. Noisli: It’s okay to admit that our days are often filled with distractions. The Noisli app is just what you need to put a hard stop to these distractions and do your best work. What better way to do it than with music and white noise? Still, have doubts? Give it a try- you will not be disappointed.
  1. Zoho One: Many entrepreneurs call Zoho One their own personal assistant. And why not? With over forty app integrations that work seamlessly with each other, it covers the whole gamut from sales and productivity to finance, and people management. And the price will really, really surprise you.

Which of these tools would you like to try for your business? Also, have you taken a look at our article on Design Tools for your business yet?


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Start-up Fashion Entrepreneurs Are You Looking For Some Inspiration? Look No Further Than Design Tools

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Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, as every creative professional knows. Long gone are the days of using notepads and colored pencils to jot down ideas. Today, ideas have a new, virtual home. What’s more, these homes are that much prettier and detailed, and at any given point, you can access them from any device in the world.

How to use fashion software for building your startup fashion brand

As you may have discovered by now, we are huge fans of online tools and applications. Call us geeks, but once you take a look at the list of these design tools, you will wonder why we didn’t swap notes sooner!

  1. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop: No designer’s arsenal is complete without these tools. Adobe tools are to a designer what a sketchbook is to an artist. Some start-up fashion entrepreneurs opt for a crash course to learn the basics and then develop skills on their own. Give them a try!
  1. Sketch: Sketch is a simple, easy-to-navigate alternative to Adobe InDesign, as its Facebook Ads rightly claim. Grid guides are especially helpful for those with no eye for design except knowing that something looks good. You can also use Sketch for free for a while to see if you like it and create your basic garment sketches to share with the design team.
  1. Ideaboard: GoMoodboard is an excellent way for startup fashion entrepreneurs to gather their ideas and design a professional mood board. The best part is that they come with pre-designed templates, so it is easy for a novice designer to get started with. Tools like this allow you to gather and share your ideas with the design team, primarily if you’re working remotely.
  1. Pinterest: No article on design tools is complete without a mention of Pinterest. The original inspiration board is also a source of relevant pins. Create your own board and share with your external design team, or curate ideas from around the Pinterest globe to get started with. Pinterest is also very intuitive in that once it learns your search patterns, it begins to show you a lot of relevant content that you can also pin.
  1. Coolors: Why generate a color scheme from scratch when a machine can do it for you, and perfectly at that? All you need to do is lock in one color after another until you are happy with the palate. You can then export this palette in a variety of formats such as SCSS, SVG, and COPIC without losing an inch of the precision. Again, for teams that are coordinating virtually, this tool is an invaluable resource to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  1. Pantone Color Finder: This is every designer and color enthusiast’s bible. Just enter the color number and see how the shades translate to your specific requirement. Even better, just enter a color name to see all suggested variants in one go. The beauty of this color finder is that everyone who accesses it and searches for a specific code sees the same exact color.
  1. Canva: For the start-up fashion entrepreneurs, Canva provides templates, illustrations and thumbnails to be used in a variety of different contexts especially your social media marketing. The paid version unlocks many more features. Canva for Business allows you to standardize colors and use it for all of your communication needs.

Which of these tools have you already tried? How would you rate them in terms of ease of collaboration? Share with us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

 

Why You Need A Business Plan For Your Fashion Business

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 Many people falsely assume that a business plan is only for those businesses that want to raise funding or make an investor pitch. There’s no easy way to say this- the first person who needs a business plan, and will most likely use it extensively, is you!

As the adage goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ So, a business plan is not just a spruced-up, fancy document that you rarely take out. It helps you determine exactly how you run your business, right from using your cash well to managing inventory.

Why You Need A Business Plan For Your Fashion Business

Mind mapping ideas before creating a business plan

Here are some goals, apart from being an investor document, that a business plan serves.

  1. A Communication Tool For Your Team: A business plan is a great way to show your team precisely what each person needs to do to achieve a very defined set of goals. Without a plan, most people don’t know where they’re heading. Worse, you’ll end up paying all of your resources without grasping why you aren’t getting any results. So, use a business plan to communicate your ideas to your team.  
  1. A Ready-reckoner Of Goals: Having a business plan means putting down goals and objectives in as granular a manner as possible. You can always go back to your plan and review if you’re meeting goals. If not, the plan serves as a guide to see what went wrong- was it your strategy, or was it execution?  
  1. A Flexible Calendar: One thing that all businesses, and young business, in particular, should remember is that no plan is set in stone. A business plan serves as a guide and allows you enough leeway to make adjustments based on the market from time to time. This is one key reason why a structure is essential. It is always good to make changes to a base template than to throw ideas around and let them stay amorphous.
  1. A Guide To Inventory: In the first year of your business, when you have no past sales data to fall back on, a business plan serves as a projection tool to decide how much inventory you need. As you know, holding too much stock can block up your working capital, and having too little can cost you a sale. Projections obtained from a business plan are an excellent way to assess just how much inventory you need.
  1. Cash Flow Management: Retail businesses need cash to procure inventory, to sell and to keep up sales channels, as well as to pay employees. In fact, a continuous supply of liquid money can decide how far you go into retail. Having a sound business plan helps you decide which months/years involve more spending so you can cut down on other costs proportionately. Likewise, a plan also enables you to determine how much of your profits should go back into the business, and under which head.

What does a good business plan involve? Broadly, it contains your executive summary, your vision and objectives, market potential and implementation plan over both the short and long runs.

As you can see, the headings in themselves are simple enough. However, filling them up with workable solutions is the real challenge. Most of the new fashion brands either turn to mentors or consultants to help give a proper shape to the plan. If you already have experience working in the fashion industry, consider seeking help in those areas that you are not yet entirely comfortable with.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Beyond Digital: Offline And Inbound Marketing For Your Fashion Business

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Digital marketing may sure be the only way to get the attention of an online audience. However, does this mean that merely by betting on it, you’ll be able to get your brand visibility and sales? The truthful answer is, no.

For one, online shopping is just about catching up, and before buying clothing and accessories (beyond the t-shirts and tunics), most people would want to experience the product, especially if they’re new to the brand. It is thus safe to say that just as brands and retail are present both offline and online, marketing efforts should be directed in both channels. In an earlier article, we have spoken about digital marketing for fashion brands.

In this one, let’s discuss offline and inbound marketing.

Today, most marketers understand inbound as a subset of online marketing, specifically, emails. However, anything that actively brings customers and their buying intent into your store is inbound, and this can be anything from a store level event to a pop-up. Without further ado, let’s look at some offline methods you can use to market your brand.

  1. Go Beyond The Billboards. Today’s customers are bombarded with static and dynamic billboards wherever they go. This influx of information does nothing for brand recall. Instead, focus on value. What can you offer through your advertising that is useful to a potential customer? This can be anything from a lookbook to a consultation. “But how do we get them to come to us first?”, you may ask. Online advertising is an excellent place to begin.
  1. Level Up Your Ideas. For brands that are beginning to sell in multi-store settings like malls, it is essential to direct the attention to yourself actively. Remember a decade ago, when mascots would be standing around to guide you to a place? You need to do something similar, but make it much more sophisticated. What if you could organize a treasure-hunt around the mall, with simple cues in the elevator or stairs? Marketing has long moved past flyers and bills.
  1. Make Packaging Awesome. Many lingerie brands do this, as do perfumeries. Make the packaging so attractive that people feel like they’re giving themselves a present. Chances are, they’ll share it online and tell more people about it. In any case, it doesn’t hurt to add a small CTA (call to action) on the box asking people to share their experience online.
  1. Look At Pop-Ups and Collaborations. Pop-up stores are insanely famous today because they offer an element of the unexpected. Make your pop-ups interesting, but not intimidating. Depending on your brand’s core audience, loud music may or may not work. Likewise, look at collaborating with other stores to conduct events on grooming and makeup, or to educate people on the different kinds of handbags. You’ll be surprised by how many people look for such advice.

As you can see, offline and online marketing today do not exist in two separate vacuum containers. They go hand-in-hand to help you gain more out of your efforts. For example, an event could be offline, but its promotion takes place online.

What is the most exciting marketing campaign you’ve ever encountered? Tell us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

6 Ways To Leverage Digital Marketing To Get Your Fashion Brand The Visibility, And Sales, It Needs

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Once you set up your fashion business and work on branding yourself, marketing your products becomes almost an immediate concern. And why not? It is only if you sell sustainably that all of these efforts will come to fruition.

Today, everyone knows that there is such a thing as digital marketing and that they should somehow find a way to use it. However, how does digital marketing work specifically for the fashion industry? In this article, we’ll give you insights into a few things you can do right away.

How to use digital marketing for fashion brands for better visibility and sales

Digital Marketing for Fashion Brands

  1. Make Retargeting Your Friend. Ever Googled for something, only to find a relevant ad pop-up on Facebook? This handy trick is known as retargeting and works as an efficient combination of a website’s cookies and Facebook’s Ad Exchange platform. To retarget effectively, you need to install a cookie on your visitor’s browser- ask your web developer to help out. Once this is done, set up your Ad Exchange and begin retargeting those people who have visited your site but left too soon.
  1. Make The Most Of Holidays. Different regions have different periods that are best for shopping. In India, it is Diwali, while in Europe and the US of A, it is the Christmas season. Depending on where you sell to, create online sales during holidays and promote extensively.
  1. Create Content. Apart from your store experience or your social media presence, it is always a good idea to offer your consumers a bit more. Many brands use social media as a boring dump yard for their products and descriptions. Instead, what if your Facebook page offers fashion advice, or if your Instagram handle showcases your clothes in action? Think about ways of adding value to the customer.
  1. Host Giveaways. Instagram is particularly popular for hosting giveaways on. This is because, with the right hashtags, you can reach a wider audience. Host an exciting giveaway- you can ask people to share how they’d style a particular piece or the song that a product reminds them of. When hosting a giveaway, one rule always remains- ask those participating to post with a hashtag that you decide upon.
  1. Use Fashion Influencers. Influencer marketing is growing, and how! Especially in the domains of apparel and accessories, it seems like Instagram has created stars overnight. You can use platforms like Influencer to find someone who aligns with your brand’s purpose. Share your brand guide with them so they can keep the content relevant. However, influencer marketing can be expensive.
  1. Get Their Email Addresses: This is, by far, the most important thing you’ll do for your marketing efforts. By capturing email addresses, you are guaranteed someone’s attention, at least until they choose to unsubscribe. In what is known as Inbound Marketing, we will discuss in the next article how to do it right. But first steps first, set up a pop up on your website, or offer gift cards in your store, to those people who provide you with their email address.

Which of these approaches have you already tried, and which ones would you like to explore now? If you have questions on any of these aspects, drop a comment below, and we’ll get back to you soon.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

What Your Branding Kit Is Made Up Of

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This month, we’re talking all things fashion branding. If you haven’t yet seen our first article on what branding means for you, take a look here.

Once the process is out of the picture, it is time for the outcome. A fashion branding kit can, in essence, be considered the end product of a branding exercise. It includes all the information you need to represent your brand across different media correctly.

Brand Identity Image

Image courtesy: Gafferitsolutions

As with any good kit, a branding kit has certain key components. In no particular order, they are:

  1. The Style Guide: A branding style guide is the comprehensive account of everything that your brand stands for. Often a thick book or a bulky file, this is where you will come to refer to what you must and must not do for a social media post, or how small your logo can be before it becomes too small. Use the style guide as a reference point more than a hard-and-fast solution. When in doubt, always use your own judgment.  
  1. Logo Guidelines: These guidelines specify what your logo should look like in a host of situations. Think of printing the logo on labels vs. putting up a billboard, or designing your office space. Dimensions are just one aspect of the logo guidelines- they also account for the many different surfaces and media that your logo might eventually play on.  
  1. Color Theory: As the name suggests, this set of visual cues is meant to help you decide which combination of colors best represents your brand. Not just that, say you have four color guidelines. Should you use all of them in one go, and in every possible situation? How can these different colors be used to represent your brand? Moreover, how can these colors be used to generate quick recall? These are some questions that the color theory can answer.  
  1. Type Direction: Your typography is as powerful as the text itself. Imagine using a powerful quote, except you type it in Comic Sans. The effect is drastically different. Fashion brands, in particular, should focus more keenly on this aspect, because it will impact everything from clothing labels to corporate presentations. As the name suggests, a type direction is flexible with fonts to the extent that they evoke the same reaction.  
  1. Fifth Element: In the world of branding, a fifth element is a visual cue that is as powerful as the logo in representing the brand. This element is often used when a logo might feel too repetitive, or too obvious. For example, ‘Conscious’ is H&M’s fifth element for their clothing recycling program. What’s more, the fifth element can also serve to illustrate your brand’s values in a manner that people can easily connect with.

These are often the essential components, and depending on the scale of the business, social media guidelines can also be created. A branding kit serves as the starting point of the actual design. Why is it important to have this kit? So teams make as few mistakes as possible at the execution stage.

Some companies may choose to go through a rebranding exercise as they scale and gain more clarity on their priorities. Whatever be the case, a professional fashion branding agency is your best bet to succeed.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram