Social media is a large part of many new fashion labels marketing strategy. A lot of people will refer to social media as a free tool, as yes, you can open an instagram account for free. But I think this is the wrong way to look at it, as it isn’t really free, it takes TIME which is either yours (which has value!) or you are paying someone to spend the time on it for you. Either way to have any success it takes commitment and investment. There is a lot to cover when it comes to instagram, I know its just pretty pictures and captions. But those additive, engaging posts don’t happen by accident. So we have broken it down into three blogs. The next is all about the admin side of things – setting up your profile for success. But first let’s get the foundations right. Define your brand Before you jump into the platform it is important to really find your brands voice. Is it your voice? Or is it your brands voice? A lot of people struggle with this point. Is your label, YOU, are you the brand, is it YOU specifically that you are selling? Or is it a brand that stands on its own two legs and has its own personality and growth. The answer to this will determine whether you write captions with “I believe that” or for instance “Here at Sample Room we believe” etc. Ok – now we have answered this. What is your brand voice? Give your brand a very clear personality. Really know who your brand is, like it’s a living person of its own! This needs to be developed at the same time as you develop your target market’s personality. Who would your target market respond well too? We will leave defining your target market to another blog. Does your brand use casual or formal language? Are they obsessed with the environment or the latest trends? Cement this now, and keep it handy to refer back to. As having a clear voice throughout your instagram page is important, this is how people connect with you (your brand). Define your visuals/interests Now that we know our tone and language base, what are we talking about? What colours do we love? What is the general style/aesthetic of the brand? What consistency can we have that allows our followers to glance at our feed and know its our account without looking at the name? Are there pictures of the ocean and environmental efforts filtered throughout your feed. Or do your always lean towards warm/pink images. Yes – it’s time to mood board. Firstly, purely for aesthetics, and then secondly for topics. What value can you give? What do you give your follower that keeps them coming back for more? Is it quick facts about...Read More
Planning the first photoshoot for your new label? Here are our do’s and don’ts to ensure every shoot is a success!
You’ve spent months upon months pouring blood, sweat and tears into creating the perfect garment for your collection, and soon it will be time to release your product to market! Even though your garment might look a million bucks to hold in your hands, it is imperative that the rest of the world fully understands the look and feel of your brand. Investing in a professional, sleek and captivating photoshoot is just one of the ways to get you there. Read below for our list of helpful pointers when sourcing talent, photographers and locations to ensure that every shoot is a success. Firstly, before any photoshoot you need to have established a strong vision of your brand identity. If you’re at this stage, read an earlier blog of our’s for pointers here. So much subtle information can be derived from the photography that surrounds your brand. Whether through print media, or online across store website or social media, customers can gauge the quality of your product, price point and suitability just off one photo. So let’s make every image count! The subject of your photos is completely up to you. Sourcing a model for a product photoshoot can often be an effective choice. There are a plethora of agencies available to you by simply jumping on the internet, but make sure you do your research! We highly recommend reviewing social media pages and websites for any feedback before selecting an agency. This goes for the selection process for photographers as well. Make sure they specialise in fashion and portraiture too. There is a huge difference between a portrait and landscape photographer! Ensure you are selecting a model that represents the look and feel of your brand. They will be comfortable and practiced in delivering the right look you are searching for. Before booking your model, discuss the possibility of a fitting trial prior to committing to anything. If they are able to come in, meet in person and have a trial, this is another step in ensuring you have made the right choice for your brand. Details, details, details! It is so easy to be swept away in the excitement of your product, but always remember to pay attention to the finer details; outfit choices, styling, props and location. These are further points that need to be ironed out when creating your mood/ vision board. Your photographer, makeup and hair stylists also need to understand your vision prior to the shoot. Do not expect anyone else to understand your brand without clear direction. When you book your photographer, have a clear understanding of their fee structure and what your booking entails. Will you receive all photos taken? Or will you only receive the ones that have been edited? Contracts and filing of all correspondence is recommended to ensure all parties are on the same page prior to the day...Read More
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 Analysis Analysing 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/ Marketing What 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 Tools What 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 tools Ecommerce platforms Fashion/ trade magazines Print and online industry media Discussions with other like minded brands and labels in your marketplace Use of focus groups Contact 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...Read More
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 Tweet We 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...Read More