Brand Building Action Points
1. Be original
It is becoming even harder to have a unique selling proposition, which is why differentiation is so important and potent. Brands seen as different are more likely to command a premium. Apparel brands need to review what they the stand for, and what they represent in style and value.
2. Expand design horizon
Collaborate with independent designers favored by youthful consumers and bloggers. Feature the indie artwork and publicize the link to the designer to communicate on-trend sensibilities, connection with the customer, support for the art community, and transparency.
3. Be inclusive
Do not abandon the mass-market, but look on the fringes, to markets of substantial size that have been relatively ignored. For example, Tommy Hilfiger established an online community of people with disabilities who collaborate with the brand on designing clothing for people who have difficulty with buttons, zippers or other aspects of traditional tailoring.
4. Know your customer better
The advice is not new, but the level of knowledge required and the means for obtaining it have changed. Customers expect apparel to closely match their fashion needs, which can be assessed through social media, the brand’s own data, and data obtained from partners.
5. Be tech wise
Make wise technology investments. The operative word here is wise. Technology can be expensive, but only the right technology, closely aligned with strategy, solves problems.