Startup Guide: How can fashion startups build strong brands?

Startup Guide: How can fashion startups build strong brands?
Build Strong Fashion Brands
This article is contributed by Karam Suri, Founder of Dusk Attire.

The digital age is a widely used term across the globe for quite a long time now. Be it, toddlers or elders, everyone is hooked to social media and digital platforms for their personal reasons. Be it business or entertainment, digital platforms have something for everyone. From starting a home-based baking business to launching an online fashion brand to just watching your favorite shows, these platforms cater to everyone’s needs.

Every time someone steps into the business world, they have a bigger picture in mind and strive day in and day out to make their dreams a reality. Something as trivial as essentials to luxury items, everything is attached to a brand name. Such is the influence of these brand names on our minds that it becomes unsettling if we don’t get the items from our desired brands.

There are thousands of fashion brands in India, some selling similar products whereas others have created a niche for themselves. The competition is so high that some brands disappear into thin air, and some stand the test of time and go on for generations. Everyone starts from small. A small establishment in a busy market, a small counter in a flea market, a small home-run business, or a small brand launch operating only online. Each individual(s) starts from somewhere and how well are they able to market their brand is what the success of the brand depends on.

Fashion startups start small, catering to their known circle in the initial stage. Gradually, word of mouth helps and they either launch their brand online or locally and nationally at various fleas and exhibitions. Moving on, if the finances allow, they might be opening a stand-alone store or putting up their outfits at multi-designer stores. In order to do all these things, marketing plays a huge role.

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Building a brand requires marketing as much as passion and dedication to rise above just being a startup. Social media is the place to be if you want things to go viral. It will help you create the right kind of buzz to tap into the target audience. There are numerous ways to leverage the power of social media to your benefit. Marketing gimmicks depend on how creatively enabled a person is. There is truly no end to this. The basic idea like making a brand page and posting about the brand and outfits on the feed and stories worked for everyone initially. It still works as your customers have to be updated with what the new launches are, what the brand is doing if there is anything out of the box happening with the brand, or just a regular update of what’s taking place on a day to day basis. Another thing that helps fashion startups turn themselves into a brand is investing in influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is the way forward if you want to rise from the ground level, reach a wider mass and turn yourself into a brand. In Layman’s terms, you get a known or popular face on board to market your brand's product(s), they reach out to their followers by putting it up on their stories, or social media feed or endorse the brand as a whole and influence their followers. This helps in tapping onto a larger mass and increasing the clientele. It automatically drives up the sales and eventually, the brand starts getting famous. A short-term influencer marketing plan has the possibility of running into a long-term commitment if the brand sees desired results. The shift change of an influencer marketer to being a brand ambassador can be beneficial to both the brand and influencer. The possibilities are endless, it is all about the action plan and how well you can execute it.

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Speaking about fashion startups rising to being brands, Karam Suri, Co-Founder of Dusk Attire, says, “Today’s generation is extremely conscious about what they are buying. Trendy and versatile outfits are usually the popular choice as they can be worn at various occasions. Elegance is the word everyone is focused on. Be it party wear or loungewear, people want to pick the best of everything. When the demand is clear, brands should step up and cater to them in the best possible way. It is true that influencer marketing is essential and it is definitely the way forward, as the customers connect to the known faces faster than a random marketing advertisement.”

Karam Suri further says, “At Dusk Attire we aim to fulfill everyone’s wishes of owning trendy loungewear. This pandemic gave us a huge lesson in comfortable clothing too. We aim to cater to the same demand and stay true to the name, all our collections are apt for the street to sheets whilst keeping excellent craftsmanship and comfort as a priority.

No business is run on a 100% success module. The risk is always high, but the determination to keep pushing yourself towards the goal of establishing your startup as a brand is what makes the difference. Numerous marketing tools are at your disposal, use them wisely, and see how things start falling in place. As much as age-old techniques of word of mouth marketing and advertisements help, in today’s time investing in proper marketing options like celebrity gifting, influencer marketing, and social media marketing, to name a few will help equally. And once your audience connects with the brand, it becomes a responsibility to maintain that bond and make sure you are the first choice for your customers.

Draw inspiration from the brands whose names are synonyms to the products. Yes, you read that write. Such is the impact of a strong brand like Cadbury that today nine out of ten people who go to local shops to buy chocolates, directly say Cadbury when in reality they might want some other chocolate. This is when you know you have established yourself as a brand and etched an image in people’s minds when the name of the brand becomes the product’s name.

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