Running a successful fashion company takes more than creative talent, as many failed attempts at launching new houses of fashion can substantiate. In an attempt to discover exactly why some extremely talented designers couldn’t turn spectacular fashions into a profitable endeavor, many experts in the UK have sought to discover what went wrong. What the British Fashion Council (BFC) found was that although those designers had great talent, they lacked in business sense. Here is some of what today’s fashion designers need to know when launching a new company.
A Look at the Commercializing Creativity Report
Authored by London School of Business MBA students, Alessandra Basso and Alejandra Caro, the Commercializing Creativity Report listed seven key findings. In all the pair interviewed 16 advisors, five representatives of PR and media, 14 retailers and five investors in an effort to better understand what key challenges design companies met with and how to offer the best strategies for success.
The Importance of Being Business Oriented
This is one of the most difficult challenges for talented designers. Most have no trouble creating lovely fashions, but their creativity remains at the forefront while the business aspect is left behind. Education provided by fashion merchandising degrees, for example, teach the business side of fashion, like how to read trends to decide which designs to stock in what season. By doing this, the designers are better able to focus on what they do best – creating fashions for today’s market.
Safeguarding Designs with Technology
While not exactly being detailed in the report as such, safeguarding designs is a key issue with many successful brands. When an up-and-coming new designer hits the market, it is vital to use IT security to protect those designs falling under the realm of ‘intellectual material.’ Companies like Secure Data are able to work with fashion companies to help them protect their designs by preventing breaches and keeping the latest security installed. It is also important to understand that digital security isn’t a one-shot wonder. Threats evolve and as a result, security software must be updated regularly and often.
Begin with a Strong Promotion to Develop Brand Identity
Finally, developing brand identity is also a necessary component of running a successful fashion company. Consumers need to know who you are, what you do and almost more importantly, what you stand for. The key elements of your mission statement must be promoted because that is what today’s consumers want to hear. They will gladly pay top dollar for trendy fashions from designers who are seeking to make a difference. Whether it is through sustainable products or being dedicated to causes they support, fashion companies must identify how they matter within their brand.
It takes so much more than great designs to run a successful fashion company and this is why it is highly recommended that fashion startups seek out industry advisors who are able to help them identify shortcomings in their business model and marketing endeavors. With good business advice and a strong and meaningful product line, fashion companies can succeed. Expect it to be slow going in the first two years, but if you can maintain throughout that period, chances for survival are good.
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