When does a sneaker become more than a sneaker? What makes a consumer choose one seemingly identical gown or coat or swimsuit over another? Emotion. Fashion branding at its best, speaks to its intended audience like a BFF- it, like, really gets you. And in fashion, it stands up for you, becoming the outward-facing expression of your personality. In this episode of our guide on how to start your fashion collection, you will nail branding for your own label.

For small brands and emerging designers, widespread logo recognition is an unattainable (or at least very far-away) goal. But branding is more than a logo. It encompasses values, voice, and design choices that run like a continuous thread through product and packaging and online presence. Good branding is storytelling – a consistent and continuous message, weaving meaning into every piece.

What do you want your collection to convey and what are its brand values?

You have to find what is the context for what you are creating. In other words: what are your core objectives. What contribution will your brand make to the lives of others? Get the bigger picture here: what are you dedicating to creating and what do you want your brand to convey to people?

Create a Mission Statement for your company or brand

This gives perspective and develops a wider “why” to what you will create. Put this somewhere visible you can look at every day. When the going gets though, as it inevitably will do, this will keep you grounded and give you the realization of why you started your company in the first place! Think outside the box and find something that is in line with your aspirations.

How are you going to make a difference

What is your USP- unique selling proposition? How are you going to make your brand stand out from all the others to fit into who your target market is? Perhaps you are eco-conscious, manufacture solely in Italy, or use speciality leather fabrics. Whatever it is, is this enough to create your USP?
Continually have a look at how you can improve on your USP to really make a clear definition as why someone needs to buy from you, as opposed to your competitor brands.

What do you want your collection to say to your customer

What are you solving for your customer? Talk to two or three people you could consider as advocates of your brand and find out what inspires them. Also find out what clothes they would like to wear and buy. This can be used as part of your main research when you start to design and develop what your clothing will look like.

Bonus Tip from the No Name Design Team: Create your Core Customer

What do they look like, what they like doing and what are their wants and needs
Create a visual mood board (s) of who your customer is. Really go to town and collect relevant imagery of what sort of flat/house they live in, the kind of food they like to eat and even go right down thinking about what job they do or what sort of partner they have!
What are the “hero” brands that they aspire to and currently buy for themseleves? Have a look at what could be missing for them, that they are desperate for that the other brands they buy do not have. In the noisy world of fashion, consider finding niches or filling gaps in the industry.

Definition of age group
This is often left to a very broad age group say 18-45. This generally doesnt’t work. To create something that is going to sell and be successful, really honing down who you are targeting to, is the key element here really.
Have a detailed look at who is going to be interested in what your styling and silhouette is for your particular brand and filter your age group accordingly.
Take into consideration that we are living in a new paradigm, whereby clothing items are becoming ageless, i.e. what your grandmother wore in her day is going to be very different to what grandmothers are wearing in this day and age. Similarly, the out dated definitions of what are considered kidswear has now turned into concepts of “mini me” and a more socially conscious and self aware lifestyle.

Do you already know what your deepest brand values are? If so, share them with us! We’d love to hear from you!
In the next episode, we start the design process of your next fashion collection.