Over the past few years, since starting my own business, I have helped launch a number of kidswear brands. Clients often feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start so I have created this 'bitesized guide' to help get things kick started for anyone in this position.
People have either dreamt up a brand name and that becomes their starting point OR they have a design concept but no idea what to call their brand. Either way there are a few simple things to consider.
First and foremost is to check the brand name isn't already registered or trade marked. You can check this free of charge on the Intellectual Property Office. Even if the name is registered, it may not be registered for clothing or textiles, so check out the nice classes (all explained on the website) click here to look.
Once you are happy with your chosen name you should also register it so it doesn't get taken by anyone else! You are then safe to start buying domain names for websites and getting your Logo and branding designed.
We here at [K.I.D.S] Ltd can help you with all your branding needs - click here to email us for more details.
Decide who you are aiming your brand at? What customer do you envisage/want to be buying from you?
It sounds simple but be really specific - you need to get into the mind-frame of this customer (consumer profile) and REALLY understand what they want from a brand. Where do they do their shopping? This will determine whether you sell purely online or whether you need to have an actual store. What are their budget constraints - your brands RRP's need to be accessible to them. What are their values? Will you need to source organic materials and offer policies on fair trade?
It's a really useful exercise to draw up a visual consumer profile of your target customer and place it where you work so you are always reminded of who they are and who you're aiming your brand at.
Where will your brand sit in the market place - who will be your key competitors?
The retail market is a volatile one at the best of times. Brands that suceed are the ones that are most adaptable and able to evolve with the market place. Decide who your key competitors are? What's made them successful? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Most importantly - how can you compete with them, be inventive and keep up with and foresee the needs of the market and consumer?
Brands that become complacent and rely too heavily upon the success of the past, rather than being experimental and innovative with the future, are the ones that tend to stumble upon difficulties. The brands that challenge their suppliers, take risks and are able to predict and envisage the needs for the future are the ones that remain boyant and successful. Accept you will make mistakes but more importantly learn from them!
The consumer wants newness, something that's going to excite them AND they want to buy from a brand they value and trust. The customer is also fickle and if they can buy a similar quality item at a more affordable competitor then they will! Make sure you stay ahead of the game to prevent this from happening!!
This is a difficult point but it's also the key to the success of your brand!
Decide who you are as a brand and what you want to be known for and write a short 'brand ethos' summarising this.
This will be the core of your brand - its values, ambitions and dreams. Set this out in a few sentences (your brand ethos) so these values stay with you and remain at the core of all your decisions and designs.
Finally, don't stray far from these values - again, brands that see declines in sales are the ones that have often strayed too far from what their original values were and more importantly what their customers values them for!
WHERE WILL YOU SELL YOUR BRAND?
Will you have a few small boutiques, will you appear as a concession within a department store or maybe you will sell online only?
Deciding where you will sell your brand is really important. More importantly though, as touched on earlier, is where will your target consumer want to buy your brand from or where do they shop? It's best to decide this from the outset as a lot of your branding work will take these decisions into consideration e.g. will you need an e commerce website will you need POS designing?
There are pros and cons to selling online versus having stores and concessions. If you go online only, then you will have more spare cash to invest in the product as you have reduced overheads - however people don't get to 'touch' the items and see the quality like they would in store - could this be detrimental to your brand?
CREATE A BRAND MOOD BOARD
Once you have decided on all the above you can start creating a 'vision' for your brand.
What influenced you or inspire you to start your brand. What initial visions do you have for the first collections? It's great to create a visual mood board illustrating anything that encaptures the mood and spirit of the brand. This will also be really helpful to share with your designer once you are ready to start designing!
FIND A DESIGNER...
Maybe you are a pro with Adobe Illustrator and confident drawing CADs OR perhaps designing is NOT your forte! Either way you will want some input from a designer.
Choosing a designer can be a daunting process - where do you start? How do you start a relationship? Do they need to be local to you or are you happy to work remotely? All these questions you need to ask yourself...
There are lots of places to start looking for designers but finding one thats right for you (and your budget restraints) is really important. Stay posted for a future blog post on finding the right designer!
Once you have covered all the above you may well be ready to start making your dreams a reality! We here at [K.I.D.S] ltd are here to help you through the journey of developing your brand from a dream to reality. Get in touch with emily at firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com to start the discussion!