Branding in Fashion - Why It Works

Let's face it - the reality of the matter is that when it comes to buying clothes, branding in fashion is one of the first things most consumers look for before they decide to purchase. More often than not, no matter how beautiful a garment is or how unique it looks, if it's made by an unknown label, the average person will think twice before making a choice between that and a simpler design by a world-famous brand name like Ralph Lauren or Mark Jacobs. But what exactly is it about branding in fashion that has made it such a vital part of the industry and how is this supposed to help small fashion designers who are aspiring to have their names up on a runway someday?

The Importance of Branding

Long ago, a brand name was simply meant to indicate the maker of a specific piece of clothing, nothing more. It has evolved to become the entire household name of a collection, representing not just clothes but ideas and pop culture in itself. For example, when you think of trench coats, one of the first brand names to come to mind is Burberry, whose khaki-and-plaid has become its signature and is instantly recognizable anywhere, anytime. In addition to this, when you think Burberry, you get the idea of a preppy but stylishly clad individual who exudes exclusiveness.

With the advent of the internet and the growing popularity of shopping online instead of manually going from shop to shop, branding in fashion has been taken to websites and the splashier and more glamorous, the better. Louis Vuitton's 2010 campaign called NOWNESS is a stellar example of branded content. Its success stemmed from its story-telling method and its innovation in having writers, photographers and filmmakers from all over contribute to its website. This has made the already popular fashion label an even bigger hit, drawing millions more to its retail doors.

The Creation of a Brand

According to fashion experts, the best way to establish branding in fashion is by telling a story. If you're an aspiring fashion designer, establish a look and stick to it. Are you going for Western, a fusion of ethnic-rock, classic and streamlined or are specializing in a particular category like evening wear? When you have a look, then you can begin to build on it and create an idea or a representation for it that will appeal to people. If for example you want to specialize in slinky tops and spangled dresses, you can come up with the idea of your clothing being the "eye-catchers" at any event, then begin a storyline from there that will grab attention. If you want to go for a navy and sailor-inspired line, you might want to consider using pictures of the open sea or water themes on your website, logo and graphic designs.

As in everything, beginners start small then work their way up the ladder. Once you've set your style, have established excellent designs and are working with an advertising method that seems to be quickly drawing a crowd, then congratulate yourself and start exploring more possibilities. Remember, branding in fashion works because your consumers make it work, so if you give them what they want, you'll always come out on top!