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6 Reasons Why Fashion Apparel, Footwear & Accessory Brands Fail to Thrive


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Creating, growing and evolving an apparel, shoe or accessory brand is very challenging. We discuss the 6 main reasons fashion brands fail. These reasons can be applied to developing any successful brand experience in the consumer sector. These are valuable branding and marketing tips for startups, entrepreneurs and large companies alike.

Published in: Business

6 Reasons Why Fashion Apparel, Footwear & Accessory Brands Fail to Thrive

  1. WHY 6 REASONS FASHION BRANDS FAIL TO THRIVE Dix&Pond Stephanie Bernier 1-26
  2. Creating a successful new apparel, shoe or accessory brand is very difficult. Keeping it consistent and evolving with the audience over the long haul is challenging. Repairing a flagging brand experience is nearly impossible. Dix&Pond 2-26
  3. What is a brand? Brands are not individual products. The products, marketing, multi-channel experience, customer service and corporate identity are all an expression of a greater deliverable to the consumer. A successful brand is a total experience that the consumer can identify with. Dix&Pond 3-26
  4. Consumers express who they are or want to be, by the brands they choose. NikeDix&Pond 4-26
  5. They have an emotional connection with their favorite brands. Fashion is discretionary. The promise of a brand must tug at a consumer’s emotions to make a sale. Dix&Pond 5-26
  6. The Six Reasons Fashion Brands Fail Dix&Pond 6-26
  7. #1 Niche too narrow Every brand concept has an audience of a least one. The success of a brand will depend on the size of the audience for whom it resonates and can't grow beyond owning 100% of it. Dix&Pond 7-26
  8. The most successful fashion brands are a “lifestyle” and reach a wide spectrum of ages. Classic American brands like Nike, Coach or J. Crew have the potential to reach a wider audience, than smaller niche brands like Betsey Johnson, Helmut Lang or Dooney Burke. HunterDix&Pond 8-26
  9. Understanding the size of the market niche is critical to set brand growth expectations. Dix&Pond 9-26
  10. #2 Lack of identity All great brands need to have a distinct personality. Half- baked concepts and inconsistent messages are dead-on-arrival. Dix&Pond 10-26
  11. What brands imply is their identity or brand promise. Lululemon has a clear identity. It implies that their customer is upscale, active, hip, sexy and fashion forward. LululemonDix&Pond 11-26
  12. Brands must have a soul and authenticity. Ralph Lauren has provided an unwavering soul to his iconic brand, for over 30 years. Ralph LaurenDix&Pond 12-26
  13. #3 Too many cooks Great brands are focused and have consistent storytelling. Compelling stories are not crafted by committees, but woven by creative and opinionated visionaries. Eileen FisherDix&Pond 13-26
  14. Behind every great brand you will find a strong brand champion. J. Crew’s Mickey Drexler, is a great example of a brand champion. He has a reputation for a razor-sharp clarity of vision and has his head in the details for the entire brand experience. J CrewDix&Pond 14-26
  15. Brand champions take fashion risks within the context of their brand story. Lululemon continually delights and surprises their customer with fashion risks. LululemonDix&Pond 15-26
  16. A consistent brand offering and experience is essential to build a brand personality. Michael Kors delivers consistent products within the brand promise of glamorous, urban fashion. Michael KorsDix&Pond 16-26
  17. #4 No unique value Brands must have clear points of differentiation from their competitors. LongchampDix&Pond 17-26
  18. Tom’s shoes has a unique value proposition. They have added tremendous brand value to a very simple shoe style. For every pair sold, they promise to give away a pair a poor child. They are selling goodwill, as well as shoes. Tom’sDix&Pond 18-26
  19. #5 Clinging to history Fashion brands with the longest history often find it difficult to find a current relevance. Customers evolve. Companies can get hamstrung by the past and they rest their laurels on old successes. Dix&Pond 19-26
  20. Companies often don't have the vision to tell the brand story through relevant products in a current context. They only see the brand in terms of the individual products that were successful in their best times. Sperry still sells the promise of the coastal “good life.” They have successfully updated their iconic boat shoes for today. SperryDix&Pond 20-26
  21. Coach has had to continuously evolve over the years within the context of their brand. It isn’t easy to stay fresh and relevant for the next generation. CoachDix&Pond 21-26
  22. #6 Don’t reach customers on their terms We live in a diverse, fast- paced culture with the added complexity of a splintered media. Traditional print marketing and TV don't have the reach they once did. Dix&Pond 22-26
  23. Marketing has become interactive, no longer a one-way conversation. Creating brand awareness has become increasingly complex because consumers have so many shopping and entertainment options. They are bombarded with messaging and filter to the most interesting and engaging experiences. Dix&Pond 23-26
  24. Brands have to be keenly aware as to who their audience is and engage customers on their terms. Kate Spade has effectively used a dynamic website and social media to engage and delight customers. Kate SpadeDix&Pond 24-26
  25. Social media gives the customer a big platform to promote or destroy brands. Converse is one of the most successful fashion brands using social media to engage customers. They have over 37 million likes on Facebook. ConverseDix&Pond 25-26
  26. Dix&Pond 26-26 CONTACT US Dix & Pond Consulting is a Boston-based consulting company. We do creative and strategic product development, branding and business consulting. Clients are apparel, footwear, retail & consumer products companies. V visit our site contact us