Market Research 101

Market Research 101

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Industry Know How, Marketing, Mentee | 0 comments

When launching a new label into the current landscape of the fashion industry, you can never do too much research! Knowledge is power, and a thorough understanding of where your brand sits alongside your competitors is something that will help in shaping the personality of your brand.Each month our Fashion Label Launch Pad students participate in a hosted group call to discuss queries and questions they are experiencing in the journey of starting up new fashion labels. Last month we discussed what to consider when carrying out market research and how to implement your findings to better your label as a whole. Here are our top considerations!SWOT AnalysisAnalysing your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is the first step in helping to determine where your label fits against your competitors in the marketplace you are appealing to, plus the wider fashion marketplace at large.What are your strengths? Is it the team you have behind you? Or is it the technology you have at your fingertips to create your unique garments? What is going to give your business a leg up in this industry and how do you stand out from the crowd?Your weaknesses can be evaluated alongside unexpected threats. Knowing your label’s disadvantages early on will help in staying well prepared for anything that comes your way, therefore being able to problem solve quickly and effectively.Business Plan/ MarketingWhat do you want the next 3-5 years of your business to look like? In the early stages of your label never underestimate the power of goal setting. Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there!Think of your budget. What costs are going to be involved? How much and how frequently? What about unexpected costs, how are you placed to deal with them?Know your expenses vs your income and use your market research to help in formulating your tailored business plan.Important Considerations and ToolsWhat is the size of the marketplace/ or segment of the marketplace you want to operate in? What are the current trends? Does this segment need another label and how can you position yours to succeed?What is the price point for your product? How does this fit into your desired marketplace?What other labels are selling similar garments at similar price points? You can observe their social activity, marketing and publicity campaigns to help give some direction on how to conduct your own marketing of your label.Useful toolsEcommerce platformsFashion/ trade magazinesPrint and online industry mediaDiscussions with other like minded brands and labels in your marketplaceUse of focus groupsContact Sample Room today to see how we can guide you in formulating your tailored business plan and assist in the success of your new fashion...

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Off-Shore versus On-Shore Manufacturing

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Manufacturer, Marketing, Sample Room Solutions | 2 comments

At Sample Room, there are many questions that we are often asked. One of those is ‘Where is the best place to have my designs manufactured?’Whether you choose off-shore or on-shore, remember that you are creating a partnership. They are considering you, just as you are considering them.Click To TweetWe don’t mind answering this question however many times it is asked of us because our job is to support you. But there is not one answer that fits all designers, all products, and all fabrics. Even if there are a number of designers who are creating similar products, there will still be more than one answer to this question. It comes down to many things, one of which is cost. How much are you prepared to pay for manufacturing, and how much can you increase your price point to cover this important part of the process?Firstly, no matter if you decide to go on or off-shore, you need to ask the right set of questions.These include:Do you work with small companies? What is your limit on production runs? Do you specialise in certain fabrics? How do you handle production flaws? What are your payment terms?If you decide to manufacture off-shore, be prepared to travel there as often as this builds trust and forms the base of a good relationship between you and your supplier. It also gives you a chance to see the factory and know the manufacturing capabilities, as well as the conditions. Be prepared for language and cultural barriers and understand that this is an area from where most mistakes germinate. Most factories have a specific person who speaks English and therefore the conduit to a perfect design. But accept that there might still be mistakes. Do your best to work within the confines of these barriers and be patient. Also, keep in mind that some countries are better equipped for manufacturing certain garments. For example, Bali is a good option for manufacturing swimwear. India manufactures excellent silks and natural fibres, and Fiji is great for sportswear and team uniforms.Some things to keep in mind when you are weighing up offshore production. You need to factor in all of these costs. You will no doubt be looking at the very attractive low manufacturing cost but the extra costs need to be included —Development costs to get a sample right (or at least the cost of freight back and forth which is approx. 8 x $100)Freight, import duty and GST (unknown until it is too late),At least one (1) visit to the factory (flights, accommodation, a week off work).There is also hiring a QC company to check your production and of course, there is faulty stock. I was told recently that some companies factor in 30% loss straight away. That means they only expect to sell 70% of what they paid for and the rest goes on sale or...

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