For years Marcus Lemonis from the show “The Profit” has shared 3 keys to success with struggling business owners: People, Products, Process. This article is the “Apparel Branding” version of these same 3 principles.
When you’re building a brand people are critically important, because they bring design ideas, creative thought, and a new perspective for how to reach the core audience. In addition, people are typically the driving force behind telling any story that matters. When a story is told through apparel branding, it is generated by people’s thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs. This is what causes an apparel brand to have a stickiness that audience members can connect to.
Products are second to people because they’re less important than the message. It’s also the physical and tangible product. Now the tangible product can look a lot of different ways, but it still has to be thought through and has to be worth the exchange of money-for-product that you’re looking to sell. Of course, quality is a key factor. But because most of the apparel industry is price-focused, they sometimes forget that quality matters more than the cost when someone is spending twenty dollars or more on an apparel item.
The process for of developing your brand determines whether or not you’re serious about it being successful, and whether or not it actually will BE. People who create a process that is part-time, temporary, or short-lived, will get partial results or minimal results and maybe only for a little bit of time. People who build a process to treat their apparel brand as if it were a stand-alone company get a much different result. These brands get full attention day in and day out, it’s marketed it in a way that is serious and well thought-out, it delivers a unique experience to the customer, and they will always succeed because of this. Having a process to grow and scale the brand is just as important. Ultimately there’s a limit to growth and sometimes the process should even include what is “too big” for your brand. Is major retail, too big? Do you want to stay online? Do you want boutique stores only? Do you want to sell to just a certain part of the country, or a certain age demographic? All those process steps matter, and how you walk those out on a daily/monthly/yearly basis, determine the trajectory of the success path for your brand.