Fashion

A Guide To Fashion Start-Ups

The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar market with a lot of potential and growth prospects. But, Barriers to entry such as strong brand image and loyalty are leading deterrents. They cause many to rethink decisions and cause confusion in planning.

So how can a new business enter? Luckily, changing customer preferences towards responsible businesses are on the rise. Meaning, rather than competing on e.g price, start-ups can focus on providing an ethically sourced product.

A prime example could be The Body Shop which has segmented itself as the ‘right’ brand in the eyes of customers. Helping them compete with the market leaders through building a niche market.

Why differentiate?

Being the big player in the market is helpful as the market leaders get bulk buying discounts, credit payment options, and much more.

Giving them economies of scale and hence an option for cheaper pricing strategies. A starting business doesn’t have such privileges and as such fail to compete in the market.

Marketing

Branding yourself as a responsible business helps the business differentiate itself from others. Making it stand out from the rest and in turn, generate sales.

Unique selling point (USP)

Offering many different options, a range of colors, or as mentioned earlier, using ethically sourced items can all be a USP for the business. E.g a makeup company that’s competing in the false eyelashes segment may want to offer variety. From offering different lengths to designs.

Suppliers

Another way to stand out from the bunch is through effective operations planning. By having punctual and reliable suppliers. Suppliers who can deliver on time and in different quantities are essential for start-ups in this market.

Sources who can not only deliver on time but also be trustworthy are needed. Suppliers who practice ethical codes of work and business need to be searched as most don’t.

Example

Taking the example of a cosmetics/eyelashes brand as earlier. On top of having a reliable supplier who can offer variety, ensuring that they produce ethically is also important.

Mink, a small animal often used for producing a type of eyelashes, has come under the eyes of people regarding cruelty issues. A business selling such lashes needs to be aware and cautious of its suppliers.

Recommendation

Luckily not all suppliers will be bad and dishonest and as such the business needs not to worry. Going into the market with some consultation and research can do wonders. Dealing with suppliers who already provide to the market leaders should be safe.

Dealing with more than one can also help the business in contingency planning. A good recommendation for mink eyelashes is Starseed. They offer a variety of choices such as 16mm mink lashes wholesale.

What to do before entering a market?

Simple yet effective market research by surveying the customer base can work wonders. It can help the start-up finalize the products it wants to launch. One of the most important questions ‘how much to produce at first can be answered by gathering the general demand data.

This can help the business get through its survival phase and march into growth.  It can help with cash flow shortfall as the business won’t produce in surplus.

Social media presence

Another essential element to success has to be its presence on digital platforms. In our technological world, a brand that doesn’t market itself on the internet is nonexistent for a major demographic.

Social media can also help in hype campaigns and engaging customers before the brand even launches.

Customer is the king

After the business has come into the market, knowing the customer is essential. Knowing the ever-changing customer needs and wants is necessary to stay at top of the game.

Responding to changes in the market quicker and faster than your competitors is important.

Loyalty schemes and discounts

Finding ways to make your customers loyal is a given. Loyalty cards and discounts for purchasing your products will help win their loyalty. This will generate repeat sales and help in marketing. Positive word-of-mouth marketing comes among the best ways a business can portray itself.

Feedback

Using the social media hubs along with feedback boxes can be used to collect customer complaints and queries. This can help the business make better products and offer better quality. It can also help the business stay ahead of its competitors.

Evolving the business duly

Launching new products and refreshing the older ones should be a given. Reacting to the market conditions and competitor rates is also important. The business needs to be vigilant and cautious of its surroundings.

Diversification is good but to an extent

Having a large product portfolio is good but only if the products are up to mark. Non-selling or low-demand products only drain the company reserves and eat up on cash. Thus, a business must focus on producing and maintaining the products that are needed.

Conclusion

Start-ups can be quite risky but they don’t have to be. With proper understanding and grasp of the matter, it can be a smooth process.

As stated earlier, understanding the worldwide concerns for ethics and fair conduct is important. It can be used as an opportunity to differentiate from the rest and succeed while in the process.

Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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