How To Validate Your Brand Idea
Your brand idea
Starting a clothing brand requires a lot of hard work and commitment, but it will be the best ride you’ve ever had. It’s vital to have a burning interest in what you do, to be able to push thought until the business flies. You will need to keep that strong gut feeling you have in the beginning about your idea alive, so don’t give up when challenges arise.
That exciting idea usually starts with a reflection such as:
- I have this problem and can’t find a product that solves it. Why doesn’t this exist?
- I wish I had this type of garment.
- I need to have …
So what is a good idea for your brand concept?
Try to solve common problems and figure out the customer need. Without a need, no one will buy your product. It can be that you do a particular sport or activity, and you can’t find the product you want with specific features or look. It can also be that you want something that is YOU, that speaks your values, your design aesthetic, and your quality standards.
The clothing business is extremely crowded, and you could argue that everything you would need is already existing on the market. Fortunately, clothing is a human necessity, and there will always be a need for it. Plus, the vast majority of people are fashion interested to some degree. If you feel your brand and product is needed, then GO FOR IT!
Expand your idea
Pick a pen and a piece of paper and start writing down words that you relate to your idea. Print out inspiration pictures, tear out pictures from magazines, and put them on the wall so you can see a clear connection between your choices.
Get out and travel so you can really sense the feeling you want to have in your brand. Collect as much information about your future brand and product that you can: the more precise, the better. Also, try and narrow down all the information and keep the idea simple. If you can find ONE picture that says it all about your brand (the feeling, the customer, and the type of product), perfect! Keep it simple, but to the point!
So, to sum this up – TRUST YOUR INSTINCT! Get it out of your head and put it IN FRONT of you so you can see it clearly and simplify.
When you have your idea
You are excited about your idea, and you have somewhat figured out what you would like to do. The products you’re thinking about are styles you would wish to wear, but will someone else want your stuff too? Is there a need for your clothing? Is there a gap in the market? To figure this out, you need to scan the market. Thoroughly.
Go downtown and have a look in the shops or do research online. See what’s there and also try and see what isn’t. Scan the internet for competitor brands that are in the same market as your intended product, because there will be similar brands. Few competing brands are a good sign. If there aren’t any, then you should ask yourself WHY? Have others already tried and failed, or have you noticed an untouched piece of the market?
The most important thing now is to differentiate yourself from what already exists. You don’t want to be a “lookalike” brand, because it will never survive the market. Find your niche, so you can articulate clearly why YOUR brand is different and what the customers will get from you that they can’t find anywhere else. Read also Finding Your Fashion Brand Niche – In 7 Easy Steps. Be the purple cow (read Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, if you don’t get it), the wow maker.
If someone is already doing what you intend to do, bummer, you will always be nr 2. That means that your journey is a steep uphill and risking only to be the copy cat.
Also, look at price ranges and what you get for the money. What price range do you want your products to be in? This information will be important when you determine your collection, materials, and the making of your styles.
Have your ideal customer in mind and look up shops you want your brand to be in. What are other does the shop carry? You want your brand and products to be sold in shops where your target customer is shopping regularly.
Your next steps
When you feel you have a solid and strong brand idea, you have scanned the market, and you sense that you are onto a great concept that stands out, then it’s time to take the next step. Start putting your idea and concept down in a business plan. When writing the business plan, you will have to get into even more detail about how you will create a strong brand and make it all happen. We recommend you download our free business plan template customized for apparel brands.
To turn your business idea into a profitable clothing business quickly, you should sign up for the Apparel Entrepreneurship Membership waitlist here. The membership helps clothing brands start, run, and grow profitable and meaningful businesses. When you are on the VIP waitlist, you will be the first to know when the enrollment opens up again.
Imagine how amazing it would feel to have already successfully launched your own brand, this time, next year.