Iconic Brands Relate to Consumer Lifestyle
How is your clothing line currently seeking attention? Old-fashioned advertising techniques, like catchy jingles and prime TV/radio spots, just aren’t as important anymore. Today, consumers bombarded by constant marketing all vying for their attention, can create a big challenge to a new or developing brand. Defining and building a brands’ identity is more important and evolved as a process than ever before. It is critical to develop and steward your brands identity if one expects long term success with targeted consumers especially millennials and younger.
Lifestyle branding is more than advertising. It’s the strategy your brand needs to become a household name. Millennials are a large part of the clothing market – they don’t buy like their parents did, and typically don’t relate to the brands the boomers do, so a dated form of advertising will not impress them and a good chance they won’t even see it.
If you are not taking advantage of social media, and developing positive-online presence and community involvement, you shouldn’t be surprised when your clothing line falls flat. Before you can even begin to make a splash in this competitive market, you need a partner who will stand beside you and understands the importance of lifestyle branding.
The What’s, Why’s and How’s of Lifestyle Branding
So, you have dedicated countless hours and most of your resources into developing your brand. You have made the right decision by choosing an involved manufacturer, great-fitting fabric and appealing clothing – so why isn’t it taking off?!
Take a page from incredibly successful apparel lines like, Adidas, and incorporate lifestyle branding to change the public perception of your brand.
What is it?
Lifestyle branding is much more than simply basic advertising and product design. By painting a vivid picture and telling authentic stories, it provides consumers with a more intimate experience and creates a bond.
Traditional branding tends to focus on short-term campaigns whose sole-focus is quick profit, placing their product front and center during advertisements. “Flavor of the week” is their main prerogative, rather than building a solid foundation between consumer and product. While this was effective in the past, times have changed, and so has the public’s perception of brands.
Why it’s Important.
Consumers gravitate towards products that express their interests, concerns and values. As an apparel-line creator, you have the unique responsibility to design more than comfortable clothing; you must be proactive in supporting the audience your clothes are meant to entice.
Today, an apparel line’s image is just as important as the clothing it offers. With the explosion of ecommerce markets, consumers are no longer limited to clothing only available locally. This means, brands must focus advertising on building a bond and relationship with consumers, as well as designing unprecedented clothing.
How It’s Achieved
Focus on your audience! Are your clothes designed to perform best for a certain niche or appeal to a particular crowd? Becoming a fashion icon certainly won’t happen overnight, but reaching out to and focusing on your audience will lay the foundation for growth.
For example, if you’re designing clothing to appeal to the athletic market, it’s imperative to become involved in that community. Search for local events and athletes to sponsor and showcase your brand. Create passionate videos regarding the struggles and goals of a local athlete and how you are working together to benefit the community’s lifestyle.
With the right blend of passion, social-media presence and awesome clothing, you can catch fire with a viral video, resulting in huge exposure to your apparel and brand.
Is Your Manufacturer Holding You Back?
One of the biggest mistakes apparel lines make is choosing a manufacturer who can’t keep up with technological advances or uses unethical methods to produce. Do you remember the 90’s when the hugely successful Kathie Lee Gifford’s clothing line completely unraveled?
Consumers build their loyalty to brands that place priority in the safety and well-being of everyone involved in creating the products they support. Apparel lines who suffer through a scandal involving sweatshops or unethical work conditions never recover. It simply isn’t possible to incorporate a positive lifestyle brand if there is mistreatment involved at any level.
In addition to ethical production, your brand relies on excellent fit, design, and trim choices to make an impression. Manufacturers who use state-of-the art software, like VStitcher, give designers amazing abilities in customization, digital prototypes and perfecting their product before it goes public.
Partnering with a manufacturer who understands how to make your clothing unique is crucial. Standing apart from competitors is difficult, but tech-savvy consumers will relate and be excited about the innovative technology used to create their clothing.
If your current manufacturer is unable to offer the innovative practices to support your brand, it’s time to find a partner who understands the importance of lifestyle branding.
Catch the Attention of Millennials
It’s no secret, millennials (people born from 1982-2000) are changing the fashion industry in terms of marketing, products, and sales. The majority of this well-educated generation will not settle for subpar clothing or brands. The game has changed and forced apparel lines to keep up.
According to a 2018 report from Big Commerce, 67% of Millennials prefer to shop online rather than in-store, and they take up a huge market share in ecommerce sales. It can be difficult for an unestablished apparel line to earn the trust of consumers who likely already have their preferences – but not impossible!
If you’re paired with the right clothing manufacturer, you already have half of the problem solved. They will ensure that your clothes will “fit as expected” to a market that relies on positive reviews and five-star ratings when making a purchase. In ecommerce, these important factors are just as important as dressing rooms are to brick and mortar stores!
Offering exceptionally fitting clothing will earn repeat business, but if you can’t catch the eye of millennials, your efforts may be for naught – that’s where lifestyle branding plays its significant role.
Lifestyle Brand Campaign Revives the Stripes!
Proof of the benefits of lifestyle branding can be seen with Adidas and their incredibly successful Originals campaign. For years, they have sat in the back seat while Nike tightly gripped the steering wheel in the sports apparel market. However, in 2016, Adidas began their “Creating the New” strategy, which focused on dominating the sporting industry.
This new lifestyle branding technique used by Adidas is putting their iconic stripes in the spotlight of sports fans, athletes, professional sponsors and partners. They have picked six important cities to expand the market and trend. While the brand’s primary focus will be in these limited cities, its impact will be felt across the globe, thanks to viral marketing, support from epic athletes, and of course, incredible clothing.
Regarding the new lifestyle branding technique, Adidas is said to have exceeded their original plans. Expect the company to take a large piece of the sporting apparel industry from the “Swoosh.”
When building your mission statement, remember – to become an iconic brand, your image is just as important as perfectly fitting clothes.