Updated: Jun 19
The Fashion Industry is a rapidly growing and highly competitive industry with a global value estimated by Statista of over 2 trillion US dollars. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has boomed back with e-commerce and revenge shopping as a very viable and profitable sector, with a strong increase in demand for fashion and apparel products.
One of the biggest advantages of the fashion industry is its ability to constantly adapt and evolve, with new styles and trends emerging every season. This keeps consumers engaged and drives sales, allowing fashion brands to continue to grow and thrive. The industry also offers a wide range of job opportunities from designers, photographers, and models to marketing and sales professionals. Another factor that makes the fashion industry viable is its ability to target a diverse range of consumers, from those looking for high-end luxury products to those seeking affordable and trendy fashion.
With the rise of fast fashion, consumers now have access to a wide range of options at different price points, allowing the industry to reach a larger audience. But starting a Fashion brand is profitable only if you have a talent or a specific idea that can be turned into a business.
Elements of a Fashion Brand
The fashion industry is a complex and dynamic sector that encompasses a wide range of activities, products, and services. At its core, the fashion industry is about creating, producing, and marketing clothing, accessories, and related products to consumers. However, the industry is much more than just clothing, and it comprises a number of interconnected parts that work together to create the fashion products that we wear every day. The Fashion Industry has 4 main components:
One of the key components of the Fashion Industry is Design. This involves the creation of new fashion concepts and ideas, as well as the development of existing styles and trends. Designers work closely with fabric suppliers, manufacturers, and other industry professionals to bring their ideas to life and ensure that their products are of high quality.
Another important part of the Fashion industry is production. This includes garment manufacturers and the entire supply chain from fabrics and accessories to logistics and the assembly of these products into finished clothes. Garment production takes place in several large or small factories depending on your order quantities and the complexity of work involved. For smaller order quantities and complex handwork requirements, India also has a very robust infrastructure of independent pattern masters, designers, tailors, embroiders, and artisans. There are buying houses like NoName and other sourcing companies that help you get your clothes manufactured for your fashion brand irrespective of your order quantity.
3. Marketing and communication
A key part of any Industry, marketing for fashion brands involves the use of various strategies and tactics to promote fashion products and reach target audiences. This can include advertising, promotion, public relations, and events such as fashion shows, pop-up shops, online marketplaces, and many others.
Retail is another important aspect of the fashion industry, and it is where the majority of fashion products are sold. Retailers range from large departmental stores to independent boutiques, and they offer a variety of products and services to customers.
How to start a fashion brand in 7 Steps
1. Choose a niche
The first step involved in starting a new fashion venture or even a new line by an existing fashion brand is to decide what type of clothing you want to make. Are you looking to go for sustainable fashion or do you want something post-modern? Does your brand reflect your personality - humorous, laid back, eclectic, or sentimentalist? Choosing a niche also means creating products that resonate with your target audience.
2. Do market research
Research is important before starting any business and similarly for the fashion business as well. A fashion brand should consider the following steps:
Identify a gap in the market: Study the existing fashion brands and identify an unfulfilled need or a gap in the market.
Know your target audience: Determine the demographics of your target customers and understand their fashion preferences and buying behaviour.
Define your brand identity: Develop a unique brand identity and image that sets you apart from your competitors and appeals to your target audience.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses: Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and resources and determine the type of fashion products you can realistically produce and sell.
Study your competition: Analyse the competition and find out what they are doing right and wrong.
Test your ideas: Conduct market research and test your ideas to validate your niche before fully committing to it.
By following these steps, a new fashion brand can select the right styles that are both viable and aligns with its goals, strengths, and target audience.
It is also extremely important to research your target audience in depth to understand
What type of clothes should you produce?
Who is your ideal customer?
Where do they shop?
What are their interests?
What is their favorite clothing brand?
How often do they shop?
3. Create a business plan
All too often, fashion designers jump in to start their own fashion brand because they love their craft so much. Nothing wrong with that but it is painful to see so many startups fail despite having awesome products, because they lacked a robust understanding of accounts, taxation, logistics or human resources. Creating a business plan is essential for you before starting a fashion venture. Your business plan comprises of various components. If you are not sure of this part, get outside help from a CA or someone who has a better knowledge of business - could be your husband or wife:)
Who are you as a company, and what do you do?
Who are your competitors?
What are your products/services?
Who is your ideal customer?
How will you reach out to your customers?
How will you source the raw material?
How will you collaborate with suppliers?
What is the cost of starting a fashion venture?
4. Develop a Brand Identity
Creating a brand identity takes time and effort, but following these steps will help you establish a strong brand that connects with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition.
Define the brand's purpose and values: Before you start creating your brand, it's essential to know why it exists and what values it represents. Consider the brand's target audience, and what they are looking for in a fashion brand.
Conduct market research: Research your competition and its brand identity. See what works and what doesn't, and what you can do differently to stand out in the market.
Choose a unique name: Your brand name should be memorable, easy to pronounce and spell, and represent your brand's values.
Create a visual identity: This includes your logo, typography, color scheme, and imagery. These elements should be consistent across all platforms and marketing materials.
Develop a brand voice: Your brand voice should be consistent and distinctive and should reflect your brand values and target audience.
Create a brand story: A brand story is a narrative that tells the history and evolution of your brand. It should be inspiring, memorable, and connect with your target audience.
Choose the right channels: Decide where you will market your brand, such as social media, email marketing, and influencer marketing.
Monitor and measure success: Keep track of your brand's success by measuring key metrics, such as website traffic, social media engagement, and customer satisfaction.
5. Find the right garment manufacturing partner
A clothing manufacturer can assist you in meeting your needs here. Make a list of producers, and then request samples from each one. Know the manufacturer's capabilities, including the fabric quality, the turnaround time for a deliverable, and their prices.
The biggest challenge that new fashion brands face is in getting a trustworthy and reliable manufacturing partner for their garment lines. It is also seen often that when brands engage with a new factory, what they get in production is very different from what they may have seen as a sample. Therefore it is important to establish trust more than anything else as a relationship with your garment manufacturing partner should last a long time. Both parties invest in the relationship and it is in mutual interest to make sure that it is mutually beneficial.
Remember that when you start out your order quantities may be small - maybe a hundred pieces per style only. But as you grow the numbers may change significantly. But if you go with a very small factory they will be unable to grow with you. On the other hand, a large factory may not entertain you when you start with small quantities. This is where the “Flexi MOQ” concept of the NoName company comes most useful for fashion startups or small/midsize fashion brands.
6. Create a strong website and digital assets
Investing in a strong website and digital assets is essential for a new fashion brand to establish its presence in the competitive fashion industry and reach its target audience effectively. A new fashion brand should invest in a strong website and digital assets for:
Increased Visibility: A strong website can help increase the brand's visibility, reach a wider audience, and create a global presence.
Cost-Effective Marketing: By investing in a strong website, a fashion brand can reach a large number of customers at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
E-Commerce: A strong website can also act as an online store, allowing customers to purchase products directly from the brand's website. This can be a cost-effective way to sell products and reach a larger audience.
Increased Engagement: By using digital assets such as social media, blogs, and email marketing, a fashion brand can increase customer engagement and build a relationship with its customers.
Measurable Results: By using digital analytics, a fashion brand can track the success of its website and digital assets and make informed decisions about future investments.
Improved Customer Experience: A strong website and digital assets can provide customers with a seamless shopping experience and make it easier for them to find the products they are looking for.
7. Pricing Strategy for your fashion brand
Here are a few suggestions for a new fashion brand's pricing strategy:
Skimming Price: A skimming price strategy can be used for new fashion brands, especially for premium or luxury brands. This pricing strategy involves setting a high price for the first few months or until demand decreases, and then gradually lowering the price.
Value-Based Pricing: In this pricing strategy, the brand sets prices based on the perceived value of the product, rather than the cost of production. This strategy takes into account the target market, the competition, and the brand's position in the market.
Penetration Pricing: Penetration pricing involves setting a lower price than the competition to quickly capture market share. This pricing strategy can be effective for new fashion brands that want to quickly establish themselves in the market.
Bundle Pricing: Bundle pricing involves offering multiple products at a discount. This strategy can be used to increase the average purchase value and encourage customers to purchase more items.
Price Discrimination: Price discrimination involves charging different prices for the same product based on customer characteristics, such as location, age, or buying behavior. This strategy can be used to optimize pricing for different segments of the market.
It is important to note that the pricing strategy for a new fashion brand should be carefully considered, as it can have a significant impact on the brand's success. The brand should consider the target market, competition, production costs, and other factors when determining the pricing strategy.
NoName is a white-label garment manufacturing company that collaborates with hundreds of startups and small/midsize fashion brands globally and promotes organic, sustainable fashion products. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to embark on this trip with us and start a new fashion brand or garments line. We will be happy to meet you and share our insights from over 25 years of manufacturing garments for the world’s biggest brands.