Once you have created a winning brand and launched your clothing brand, the next biggest challenge (besides making sure that your collections are getting made on time and within budget) is to market your clothing brand.
These days, unless you have a ton of money, the best way to start promoting your clothing brand is via online marketing and social media engagement. In fact, more and more people are buying clothing online and so it is so much easier than trying to reach your target audience via retail and traditional outlets.
Although the topic about marketing your clothing brand is vast and needs a series of in-depth articles to really do it justice, I decided to start the conversation in this post with just 5 killer ideas that you can start implementing in your marketing right away. In future episodes of this series, I will take a deeper look into the vast landscape of promoting and marketing your business.
Idea #1: Create A Catchy Tagline
The one thing that you can do right now and create a differentiation factor for your brand is to come up with a tagline, slogan or rallying cry that would connect emotionally with your target market. For example, if you are targeting a female audience who love to travel, you can think of ideas to rally them on a common cause. This could be freedom in travel. Or perhaps the empowerment that one gets by traveling around the world. So something like “Travel With Attitude” or “Wear The Power” could be a great tagline that is catchy and also add a different dimension to your core brand.
Here are some examples of great tag-lines of clothing brands:
Levi’s – A Style For Every Story
A great example of a clothing brand talking about stories and storytelling. With this slogan, Levi’s is tapping into the fact that every one of us has stories in our lives and they have a style to match each one.
Alexandra – Clothes that mean business
Alexandra is a brand that specializes in workwear clothing. And they tag-line points that out in no uncertain terms. You want to mean business, wear Alexandra!
Jantzen – All girls are gorgeous in Jantzen
Swimwear pioneers, Carl Jantzen, Roy, and John Zehntbauer started Jantzen in 1901 and did not have a strong slogan till the 1960s when they launched their “Just Wear a Smile and a Jantzen” campaign. They followed this with another gem – “It Must Be Magic” in the 1990s and then the latest one “All girls are gorgeous in Jantzen” which is a sublime slogan that positions them neatly into the noise market.
Diesel – Be Stupid
“Be Stupid” is a campaign launched by Diesel in 2010 that encourages consumers to take risks and move beyond the smart and sensible track for life. This is an evocative slogan and would only suit brands that use negative marketing as their go-to strategy.
Calvin Klein – Nothing comes between me and my Calvins
A humorous slogan that also connects distinctly with the audience. On the one hand, it makes one nod their head and think that is true how they feel and on the other, they make one think that perhaps they too should feel like that about their Calvins! Brilliant marketing strategy.
Lee. The jeans that built America
Here we see the concept of brand heritage come into play as Lee announces to the world that Lee jeans were what almost everyone used to wear as they built the American railroads, towns, cities and more.
In later episodes of this “market your clothing brand” series I will talk in-depth about each of the major social media platforms. Here I will just write a short intro. Everyone knows the importance of social media in marketing their brands. But the difficulty comes in not knowing how to use social media effectively. The ROI of social media is very low – at least in the short term. Unless you are in the long game, it would seem that time and money is wasted on social media.
The best way to approach social media as a marketing tool is to consider it as a storytelling medium.
So how do you do that?
Construct a robust brand story and then think of ways to tell that story on your social media channels. This means that every post, tweet, share or like has to align with your brand story and express the personality of your brand in one way of the other.
For this to happen you would have to formulate your brand story as a series of expressive ideas.
Here are a few examples of great brand stories by some popular fashion brands:
Everlane – Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
This brand tells the story of ethical factories, finest materials, and radical transparency. A lot of fashion brands claim they use the finest materials but most do not talk about the factories they use, the conditions in those factories and possible exploitation. This is where the story of radical transparency come out and Everlane uses this story to position itself squarely in the minds of the ever-growing percentage of people becoming eco-conscious and looking for sustainable and responsible commerce.
This is what they say on their about page about their differentiation:
“We spend months finding the best factories around the world—the same ones that produce your favorite designer labels. We visit them often and build strong personal relationships with the owners. Each factory is given a compliance audit to evaluate factors like fair wages, reasonable hours, and the environment. Our goal? A score of 90 or above for every factory.”
This eyewear brand tells the story of how it was created to fight the status quo of expensive eyewear and how one company held a monopoly over the market. This is what they say in their own words about their value proposition:
“By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price.”
They continue this story by supporting the non-profit organization called VisionSpring and distributing a pair of glasses-free for everyone pair sold.
Idea #3: Launch Your Brand With A Giveaway Campaign
Giveaway campaigns are very powerful and if done properly can result in a ton of exposure for your clothing brand during the first 4 weeks of launch. During this critical initial period, it is all about gaining brand exposure. Most businesses look for sales and do not think of the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong. Sales are important but during launch and even later on, brand exposure should trump short-term sales.
Come up with unique ideas for giveaways. This could be your own products or other prizes. The important thing is that you should promote the giveaway campaign heavily on your website, social media channels and other PR.
Idea #4: Find A Promotional Partner
It is natural to look at all other players in your market segment as competition. But if you pause for a second and pay attention, you will find businesses that could be competitive but also partners. For instance, if you find a brand that specialises in swimwear but also has other items that are similar to yours, it would be a great idea to partner with that brand and cross promote offerings.
The power of partnership in the fashion and apparel industry deserves a separate post of its own. But keeping an eye out and actively seeking partnership opportunities can do wonders to your promotion and bottomline.
Idea #5: Find undiscovered talent on YouTube to be your brand ambassador
If you have the money to go after well-known celebrities, that is great. If not then don’t wait till you have a lot of money to consider celebrity endorsement strategies. Scour Youtube and identify up and coming talent that aligns with your brand and talks to them about cross promotion. Nurture and encourage the talent so that when they do make it big, your brand gets the exposure that would be hard to achieve in other ways.
This may sound like a difficult strategy but it is guaranteed to give you an awesome ROI.