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Archive for April, 2007

These are the very basic tools that every up and coming fashion company needs to get noticed. I have even spoken with some retail buyers from high-end boutiques, and they agree that all of these tools set you apart from the crowd. Some of these are also sales and marketing tools. If you want to start “playing with the big dogs”, you’ll need to look professional and the tools will not only help you look professional but can also help rock out against the competition, if done creatively. I’ll discuss these tools in greater detail in another post, but for now, you’ll find this list helpful:

• A brand strategy and brand statement
• A logo
• Website
• Press kit
• Hang tag (or package design, for footwear and accessories)
• Line sheet
• Look book
• Trade show signage

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I recently spoke with Neil Silverman and John Tseng, owners and buyers for Bliss and Dream (www.dreamfremont.blogspot.com, and www.blissfremont.blogspot.com), two of Seattle’s hottest boutiques aimed at dressing the sexy, cosmopolitan crowd in the latest, most exclusive fashions. I asked Neil and John what they look for when hand-picking a new line to carry in the shops.

According to Neil, it’s a given that the line has to be well-designed and have amazing little details. But, the real clincher is that a line must have all of its branding, sales and marketing ducks in a row as well. Meaning, branded labels, exquisitely cool hang tags that scream “Touch me!”, clearly designed line sheets, killer look books, and all the things make your label look like a real established business. If your business looks “fly by night” Neil said, a buyer may doubt that you have real staying power and can deliver. Plus, his customers crave goods that are extremely well-packaged and will pay top dollar for them.

Hello! Yes, I said top dollar. Bottom line: all those little creative touches can really pay off. The perception of added value is everything.

Wazhma Samizay, owner and buyer for Seattle’s very own Retail Therapy boutique, (www.ineedretailtherapy.com) adds,

“I think packaging, branding and marketing is everything in any new product. Ultimately, what catches the consumer’s eye directly relates to how they perceive the product. All the little attention to details is what also creates a perceived value in the product.”

Some emerging apparel companies feel that having a small budget is a major constraint to producing well-branded marketing and sales materials, but with a little creative spirit, anything is possible.

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