The Nudge Series #15: 10 Steps You Can't Skip When You Are Starting a Fashion and Beauty Brand
Are you thinking about starting a brand? Have you already launched your brand, but want to revisit the steps involved? Check out the 10 crucial steps you can't skip when starting a brand:
Develop your brand
Starting a brand isn't easy but with a solid foundation, you can get a great start. There is a big misconception that creativity is the main ingredient to launching a fashion and beauty brand but it is only a part of it. There also needs to be a clear vision, brand identity, and solid business strategy. First, establish your brand identity and who your target audience will be. For many, those things are an afterthought but they should be your starting point. That means figuring out your marketing, packaging, colors, fonts, logo, designs, target audience, and the feel and sound of your brand. Your brand identity should be directly aligned with your target audience. Sales are about making a connection with them and knowing who they are. Every part of your branding needs to speak to your target audience and create an emotion or feeling for them. Essentially, your branding should speak to your audience, as we have seen many other brands successfully do like Nike and Burberry.
Create a business plan
Once you have your branding and target audience squared away, it is time to foster a business strategy. This step will consist of coming up with your business structure, pricing, potential licensing, market research, funding, trademark protection, and permits to a business plan. Your business plan should be used as a blueprint that you can reference at every stage of your business.
Get your numbers right
If you haven't started calculating your numbers, start now. You must get a clear picture of all the numbers to sustain a healthy company. If you can't figure it out on your own, it is ok, there are a lot of resources online or people you can hire to help you. However, not all numbers are equally important to all businesses, so make sure you make the right assessment.
Build a web presence
Building a website can be really difficult but very possible if you take the time to learn how to do so. Your website is one of the most important representations of your brand so make sure it is done correctly, so if you can't figure it out hire someone who can. Your site should be built accurately and any content or pictures posted on the site should be of high-quality.
Create and plan out your first collection
So, you have squared away your branding and business strategy, what's next? If you said design, you were right! This is the fun part, so let your creativity flow and start designing. How you start will be important, so make sure to put out great work and make a great first impression on your first collection. This is how people will be first introduced to your brand, so you want to make sure you turn them into loyal customers.
Plan your sourcing
If you have completed your business plan, you should already have an idea of how you will be sourcing and creating your collections. Some handmake their designs and products, others hire a small team, while others work with manufacturers. Deciding whether you will create your designs from scratch or reselling ready-made products will be a significant decision (refer to your business plan, since most of your ideas should be in that plan).
Create a sales plan
What is the sales plan? A sales plan is the strategy you put in place to ensure you will get sales. This includes a marketing plan and finalizing sales channels you will use to sell your products.
Spread the word
Now that you have squared away your business plan, designs, website, marketing plan, sourcing method, and strategy to garner sales, it's time to start spreading the word. A few ways you can do this is by creating an email chain, promoting it on your social media platforms, telling family and friends to repost it on their pages, or reaching out to blogs and media outlets to get featured. It may take some time before you see any results, but keep hustling, you will get there.
Find partners or investors
As a start-up brand, creating enough capital to sustain and grow your company can be very challenging. If you don't come from a rich family, sometimes your only option is to find a business partner or investor to invest in you. So make sure you have a solid business plan and a well-rehearsed elevator pitch because it will go along way to securing an investor. There are many platforms and networks where you can connect with people that can help you.
Build a team
You know the saying, 'finding good help is hard to find' but sometimes you have no option. Growing an empire takes a team, so knowing when it's time to build yours because being a one-person show may not help you take your brand to the next level. It is important to keep in mind that although these steps give you a broad picture of the steps required to launching your brand, there are still many other steps involved.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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