We know how daunting it can be to start a brand, you may have great ideas and loads of ambition, but where do you start? We’ve put together some advice to help you get going.
The good news is, the hardest part of starting is… starting. We work with many new designers and up & coming brands, fumbling through the process and figuring it out as they go. But if you want a little reassurance, we’ve broke it down to a few simple steps.
1. What makes it unique? Brainstorm your products and do some research.
One of the defining steps to starting your brand is deciding what makes you or your brand unique. This will include your designs, point-of-view, and the details you include in your products. Re-labelling is a great way to establish your brand name from the start, providing a retail-quality finish and cohesion to your whole store.
You must have a vision if you’ve decided to start an online clothing store, make it real! Sketch out ideas and get designs onto the computer. This way when you get to the printing, it will be easy for your creations to become a reality.
2. Share! Plan various marketing channels and get the word out.
Whether it be through social media, email campaigns, street posters, word-of-mouth or catwalks down the High Street, you’re going to need to share what you’re doing with the world. We recommend starting with social media and establishing a brand page.
From here, you’re going to need to set up a website. This will be where customers can check out your latest products and decide whether or not to purchase. So it goes without saying but, make it look nice!
3. Of course, there’s the whole money thing. Learn how to create a budget and figure out how much you have to start.
This is often the least-fun part of the process. To motivate yourself, remember that starting your own business requires responsibility and this is the perfect way to prove to yourself (and others) that you’re serious.
Start with looking at your current finances and establishing boundaries. Do some research about how much you will be spending on stock & materials, shipping costs, and any extras like a social media intern. It’s best to start small and grow.
4. Find your suppliers and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Your suppliers will have a great deal of advice in terms of cost-effective solutions and the best ways to manufacture your products. For example, when we have a new client at ICON, we often start with setting up a meeting to come into our sales office and check out stock. This will help you get an idea of what is feasible to start with, as well as find the printer that will be a good fit for your brand.
5. Take pictures, share, keep going!
Whether you decide to hire a photographer or take photos yourself, make sure you get some killer shots of your products, and share! The hardest part is over, you’re on your way to establishing a business so stay committed and enjoy the ride.
For more on starting a brand, check out our interview with Soumati’s founder, Myriam.
Photo Top to Bottom of the Page: Mila-Fan, MOBS London & Maia Magoga