One of the biggest mistakes new designers make is not setting aside enough money and time for their marketing campaigns. They figure, the product will speak for itself. I hate to break it to you, but without marketing materials, no one will know about your line. Marketing goes hand in hand with any business and while it’s very important to offer amazing product, it’s also essential to promote it in a timely manner. Another reason is that you want to be taken seriously by the buyers you approach. If you don’t have the proper branding and marketing collateral like linesheets, business cards, and a lookbook, then how ever will you present your product? Furthermore, how will consumers know about your fabulous new line without a website or a fan page? Now I’m not saying you have to spend an arm and a leg. The beauty of marketing is that you can get creative and use cost efficient tactics. To help you with the basics, here are a list of the top marketing materials every new designer should have under their sleeve.
- Logo: Brand yourself properly by having someone create a professional logo that reflects your line’s unique style. There are tons of freelance graphic designers who can do this service for you for a reasonable price.
- Linesheet: You must have a linesheet that details your collection’s offerings. From style numbers, to cost and retail prices, to pictures, to colors, to order minimum, to sizes, to description, to delivery dates. Make sure you have all that information down!
- Lookbook: To create a lookbook, you’ll need to have a photoshoot to photograph your product on a model. Please hire professional models who will make your product look even more fabulous! Do not model for your own lookbook. As an ex-buyer, I always thought that was cheesy. After the photoshoot, you’ll need to create and have the lookbook printed.
- Business Cards: You’ll always want to make sure that you leave your contact info to any buyers you meet. Have your business cards entail your name, phone number, email, website, company name, and logo.
- Website: Your website is very very very important as this is an online representation of your brand. Consumers, buyers, and press members will come to your website wanting to know more about your line and often, this will be their first impression of you. Don’t you want it to be a positive one?
- Order Forms: Invest some money in order forms where you can jot the down the styles that buyers want to buy. Without this, you can’t conduct business.
- Labels: Both your samples and production should have hangtags. Get credit for your designs by putting a label on every garment or accessory you create. The label should mirror your logo.
- Hangtags: Both your samples and production should have hangtags. For the sample hangtags, make sure that they have your company logo, description, style number, color, cost, maybe retail, and season. For production hangtags they should have everything the sample hangtags have except for the cost and season. It’s also beneficial to include a little story or blurb about what makes your line special. It creates a more personal connection with the consumer.
- Packaging: If your product is a shoe, handbag, or any kind of item that requires a bag or box, make sure to provide some cool packaging. A great example of a new up and coming shoe brand that does this fabulously is Tieks! The foldable designer flats came to me a in a turquoise blue box that was accessorized by a flower tie. Inside were the shoes and a dust bag. That kind of thoughtful packaging gets buyers and consumers excited.
So the lesson, don’t skimp out on marketing! You and your brand are worth it!
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