As nights turn into days, and days into another NIGHT, the fashion world keeps experiencing unimaginable # transformation. It has become one of the most prosperous sector in recent time. This however did not come magically or effortlessly. What has being the propelling factor, which keeps moving the sector right from the gathering of raw materials to finished products. And delivery to the ever demanding consumers is fashion marketing.
Researching into what ladies, and gentleman out there want is just an aspect, to design, display forward it to retail market from where it gets to the final consumers hands are indispensable arm of the fashion marketing mix. With the training received by fashion professional, well-organized field trips numerous projects embarked upon as well as periodical trainings which such fashion professionals have to undergo. They are certain to acquire a wide and catholic
range of understanding of the fashion train. It wills no doubt to ensure an in-depth understanding of the nitty-gritty of the clothing industry.
These range from fashion merchandising and co-ordination, business management marketing techniques, advertising strategies to include retail management. It is therefore no mean advice to call on whoever has a gift and considerable sense in fashion to bring out the act of fashion marketing. Knowing what is in vogue, having the flair and zeal as well as necessary qualities in fashion field is never enough. A formal education in fashion marketing will make it complete.
This may qualify a student of fashion marketing to become fashion co-ordinator, fashion buyer, retail merchandiser, visual merchandiser, a retail storemanager or ever a boutique master.
Fashion Boutique Marketing:
Fashion boutiques are all about image and style, not only in the products you sell but also for the customers who wear your clothing line. Branding is an integral part of positioning your company as a popular purveyor of world-class garments that will help your customers look better and gain confidence in their own images.
Importance of a branded image
Branding is important because people purchase on emotion. When it comes to fashion boutique marketing, they’re seeking an image, which is why your own image is crucial to success. It’s important to identify and promote your branded identity so you can connect with your target audience at a glance. If your fashion boutique is not branded, then you’re just another clothing store. There’s nothing that separates you from the competition.
This reduces your potential customer pool to make choices based on factors such as price, convenience and preconceived notions. Without a branded identity, you have no control over preconceptions and therefore you’re forced to compete on pricing and location alone. This is not a way to grow your fashion boutique. Cheap does not outsell quality – and, above all, there will be a brand-minded competitor who is more than willing to take your business if you miss this step.
How to identify your branded image
Consider what you offer that your competitors do not: How are you different from the competition? You might be the “grunge fashion boutique,” the “chic fashion boutique” or the “discount fashion boutique.”
To help you define what type of fashion boutique you are, consider the features and benefits you offer your clients. Understand the distinction between the two. For example, having world-class fashion designers is a feature – guaranteeing that clients will like the way they look in your clothing is a benefit. List all of your features and benefits, and base your brand on the most important and beneficial distinctions that differentiate you from the competition.
Branding through design
Much like talented fashion designers can transform cotton into a beautiful wardrobe, skilled graphic designers can transform your fashion boutique’s branded identity from a concept to a visual motivator. This image is what the world will see, and your customers will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses – that they, in turn, will express when they wear your styles.
Your fashion boutique colors, logo, corporate identity package, website and other marketing materials are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it’s from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you’ve developed a powerful fashion boutique brand identity.
2. What do You Need?
If you own or operate a fashion boutique, do not print your own marketing materials unless you have a talented graphic designer on staff – and you’ll still want to opt for a professional printing company to put your message on paper. Desktop-printed brochures, flyers and postcards are dull and lifeless; but the same pieces printed on state-of-the-art presses are sleek and attractive. Your fashion boutique customers value appearances, so choose an affordable online printing company such as PsPrint to deliver your message with professionalism.
Must-have fashion boutique marketing materials
Business cards – Business cards are cheap and expendable. Print as many as you can hand out, and make sure everyone you meet has one. Your business card should reflect your fashion styles.
Postcards – Postcards are likewise extremely cost effective and can be targeted to several market segments within your niche. Showcase your styles and designs, and include a discount coupon or special event promotion when you send postcards out.
Posters – Design posters with models wearing your latest fashions. Make sure your company name is obvious for branded effect.
Flyers – Like posters, flyers can be placed on bulletin boards and anywhere else your target audience frequents.
Booklets/guides – A rather unique yet extremely effective approach to fashion boutique marketing is toprint booklets about how to choose the right styles for one’s body. You’ve seen similar guides in magazines your target audience undoubtedly reads, telling them how to pick jeans that have a slimming effect or that accentuate hips. You can do the same with input from fashion designers.
Catalogs – Catalogs are a staple of the fashion boutique business. In fact, many companies sell via direct-mail catalogs alone.
Brochures – Your brochure should include images, features, benefits of your fashion boutique’s styles as well as before and after shots of wardrobe makeovers so it’s easy to see why you’re the No. 1 choice.
Calendars – Everyone loves (and uses) free calendars. Try a new fashion theme each month.
Other materials you should consider producing include a website, door hangers and a corporate identity package (complete with letterhead, envelopes, brochure, flyer, business card and pocket folder).
Many marketers subscribe to the 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing, which states that 40 percent of your success depends on your offer, another 40 percent depends on the quality of your mailing list, and the remaining 20 is contingent on everything else. In general terms, this might be true; but for fashion boutique marketing image is what sells. Your customers want to know that when they buy from you, they’ll be stylish, sexy and confident. This is why powerful copy is so critical to fashion boutique success.
Four steps for writing winning fashion boutique copy
Craft a powerful headline – Your headline is the introduction to your marketing piece. It grabs attention and elicits interest. It tells your customers that you have what they want right up-front. It can play on desires, fears and a general sense of making life better, but it should be very specific in nature. If your headline can solve a problem and present an offer in one or two lines, all the better.
Highlight your benefits – Many amateur writers list features but forget to include benefits in theirmarketing copy. Features are statements, but benefits sell. If your fashion boutique features designs from world-class fashion designers (feature), then you can say your customers will be dressed in the hottest trends when they shop your boutique (benefit).
Develop an incredible offer – Free or discounted apparel, tickets to fashion shows, and other paid (by you) incentives are all excellent ways to drive business to your fashion boutique. You can also offer an image, a look, and cool confidence to your customers by virtue of simply donning your garments.
Motivate with a call to action – A call to action tells your customers exactly what they need to do next to take you up on your offer. Be very specific and provide several ways to respond (call a phone number, visit a website, visit your fashion boutique, etc.).
Example fashion boutique postcard copy:
Be celebrity-sexy with the new Bust-Up Top – 20% off!
BeSexy Fashion Boutique has released its most uplifting top yet, the Bust-Up Top, which gives you the look of a Hollywood starlet no matter your size. Scintillating lines and voluptuous curves pampered in comfortable Egyptian cotton and finished in world-famous designer Maurice Mercutio’s latest patterns make for a stunningly sexy silhouette no woman (or man) can resist!
Getting the word out about your fashion boutique takes more than simply printing catalogs and launching a website. You have to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.
Here are some tips for fashion boutique marketing distribution:
Direct mail is the best way to reach your fashion boutique customers. A calculated direct-mail campaign represents an investment in profit and should be approached with dedication. Consult a list broker or use the mailing list building tools available at PsPrint, develop a database of your own customers, and define a mailing list comprised of likely prospects.
Repetition is key: Instead of a one-postcard campaign, develop a strategy that incorporates multiple direct mailers during a six-month period. This contributes to your fashion boutique branding efforts and allows you to develop long-term relationships. By the time you launch your incredible offer, you’ll have established trust and credibility and will earn a higher response rate.
Here’s a sample direct-mail marketing campaign for your fashion boutique:
Week one: Send a catalog and sales letter introducing your fashion boutique, the lines you carry and the benefits to your customers.
Week six: Send a flyer or newsletter that highlights recent news about your fashion boutique. Include before and after wardrobe makeover photos.
Week 12: Send a booklet that details how to measure one’s body to get the perfect fit, what styles complement what body types, how to look slimmer or accentuate one’s hips or bust, and other valuable trade secrets your fashion boutique customers will appreciate.
Week 18: Send a calendar that showcases a different fashion theme each month. Include coupons, special sales, tips and fashion reminders for your customers. The more valuable your calendar, the higher your return on investment.
Week 24: Send a direct-mail postcard inviting potential clients to an open house or free wardrobe makeover event. Include a special time-limited discount to anyone who attends.
Week 30: Send a follow-up greeting card and include a voucher or gift coupon to express your appreciation, and offer to personally answer any questions potential customers might have.
You can deploy advertisements online or in the yellow pages, newspapers and magazines; as well as on the radio, television, billboards and any number of published mediums. You can also take your ads street side by placing flyers and posters on community bulletin boards, and university, office and industrial social hot spots. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertiser, so make sure friends, family and colleagues know what you do and are prepared to spread the word for you. You should consider handing out stickers and business cards to everyone you know for distribution.
Test, track and tweak – these three Ts will help you develop winning fashion boutique print marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your print marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in your return on investment.
Track your response rates and record who responds so you can further define your target demographics. Tweak your subsequent marketing materials to cater to this audience. Keep a database of customers and respondents, and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your offers. This is just another form of knowing your customers, but from an analytical perspective it allows you to make intelligent business decisions based on honest, proven statistics.
5. Resources & Ideas
Creative marketing generates buzz, delivers value to your customers and increases profits for you. Try these creative fashion boutique marketing ideas and resources to boost your business this year:
Host an event – A free wardrobe makeover contest or other event can be just what you need to draw crowds and stir interest in your fashions, styles and designs.
Invite a celebrity – Hire a celebrity to shop at your establishment during peak hours. Word will spread like wildfire.
Partner with others – Partner with hotels, restaurants, spas and other complementary but non-competing businesses to spread the message about your fashion boutique. You could go in together on a romance and beauty package or other incentive.
Here are a few links to fashion boutique marketing resources you can use to bolster business.
PsPrint – Full-service printing, direct mailing and mailing list generation.
Small Business Administration – Helpful guides, forms and sample marketing plans for small business. The SBA also supports Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States.
SCORE – The Service Corps of Retired Executives provides free advice in the form of online information and business counseling. Simply contact one of SCORE’s volunteer members for business mentorship.
Global Fashion Association – A major player in the fashion industry, organizing runway shows and much more.
Modern Glossy – A great magazine-like resource for the fashion industry.
American Apparel and Footwear Association – An organization representing the interests of American companies in the global marketplace.
State fashion and retail associations – A quick online search will yield hundreds of state, regional, and local fashion, clothing and retail associations.
TIPS ON FASHION MARKETING JOBS
On a typical day you might bump into a super model primping for a runway strut or you might need to phone in a fast food order for a dozen people. Fashion marketing jobs require versatile employees.
As the job market keeps pace with social networking and the latest technology, the nature of many jobs also changes. Fashion marketing is just one example. Several jobs blend into one title requiring an educated creative applicant who is an expert at multi-tasking. Even though fashion marketing jobs demand a unique combination of talents it is a highly competitive career.
Working in the world of fashion might sound luxurious but many jobs in the industry require old-fashioned hard work. Essentially, candidates qualified to fill fashion marketing jobs are cross trained in several career strands. Applicants need to have solid computer skills, a formal education, an outgoing personality and a sense of fashion.
The top prospects for fashion marketing jobs often have some retail experience in sales, merchandise or management. Many have a background in digital technology as a web designer, graphic artist or writer. Experience in contrasting areas such as photography or taking inventory could enhance your portfolio to land a job in fashion marketing.
A career in fashion marketing blends a few key elements from other jobs to form its own job title. There is a wide range of job descriptions matching fashion marketing jobs depending on the type and size of the company, the location and many other variables. Typically, some characteristics found in fashion marketing jobs link to the following jobs:
*Public Relations. Working with several types of companies and venues requires effective verbal and written communication skills. Branding is a key in success in the industry.
*Event Marketing and Management. Connecting with others in a professional efficient manner is a vital skill for this job. You need to manage others without assuming authority, work as part of the team but also be able to work independently.
*Promotional Sales and Customer Service. It takes an outgoing personality as well as the ability to network successfully on a professional and informal level.
*Graphic Design. Fashion marketing jobs might require mastery of web design to maintain and update a business site or announce a new show or product. Brochures, posters, newsletters and other computer-based products may be part of the job description.
*Informational Technology. The latest electronic gadgets are used in this career to communicate around the world with clients. Desk-top publishing software and other important programs are also required.
*Writer or journalist. You may need to write press releases, write a pitch to sell an idea or write other publications.
*Photography or photo shoot stylist. Many people are involved in assisting with photo shoots. Whether fashion marketers are used—and to what extent, depends on the employer and the situation.
Fashion marketing jobs are more about performing certain skills than earning a particular degree. Successful candidates in fashion marketing could major in liberal arts, marketing, business or nearly any degree involving communicating with others. The common element found in fashion marketing jobs is a flare for fashion. In contrast, the marketing aspects of the job come from a wide-range of possible qualifications. For those interested in a career in fashion marketing, browse on line and talk to individuals in the field.
FASHION MARKETING TIPS
Fashion marketing is part of the business side of the fashion industry, and it is just as important as the creative side of a fashion house. Even if you have a great product, it won’t go far unless you do a significant marketing to create awareness. Like all marketing, you must define your target market and create a marketing plan. The following are some fashion marketing tips to get you started.
- Once you have your target market defined, you must identify some influential people within your target market. Say you have come up with a new line of t-shirts, and you have defined your target audience as teenage and young-adult women. You will probably want to approach a young singer or actress to support your line. If you have no access to anyone famous, perhaps you can start small with the cheerleading team at the local high school. Once you have your followers identified, give them your product to use, wear and tell their friends about.
- If you are starting in a small location without a large reach, then you should sponsor events at the local level. Get creative with how you sponsor an event. Maybe you can’t fork over cash to be an event sponsor; rather you can provide a free sample of your product for the swag bag at the end of the event. Say you are trying to market a certain type of handbag, you could donate gift certificates for your handbags to the swag bag of a local wine tasting, or you could donate an actual handbag to a silent or live auction.If you are looking to market your new fashion product in a big way and have the means to do it, sponsor a fashion show or donate your product for the swag bags. If there isn’t a fashion show that fits your audience, plan your own and make sure you get your influential followers there.
Blog About Your Products
- A fashion blog is a great new marketing tool for the fashion industry. Create a blog and describe your products, give fashion and beauty tips, and, most important, show lots of pictures of your products. A blog can help you establish yourself as a trusted source in the fashion industry, and people will start seeking out your products.
Imprint Your Bags
- Even if you are on a tight budget, splurge to get your bags imprinted. You want customers to leave your store carrying a bag with your brand on it. Nothing will help you better spread the word than customers carrying your brand name around with them.