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Starting Your Purpose-Driven Fashion Brand: Building the Brand Foundation (Part 2)

Welcome back, fashion pioneers! So, you're on the brink of starting your very own fashion brand—kudos! If you haven't taken a stroll through Part 1 of our series, I highly recommend checking it out along with our part two below! In Part 1, we dove deep into the "why" behind your brand, unearthed your motivations, and defined your personal definition of success. Now, buckle up as we journey into Part 2—a journey into establishing the essential brand building blocks for your dream fashion brand.

1. Why It's Essential to Have Brand Building Blocks

You wouldn't start building a house without a solid plan, right? Well, think of your brand building block as your foundation. They will serve as the DNA of your fashion brand, providing direction, consistency, and a clear identity. These building blocks aren’t just checkboxes. They are the keys to creating an emotional connection with your audience, conveying a narrative beyond products and resonating with the yearning for an experience and a story.

Wondering where to start? If you've done a deep dive with our Understanding Your Why Workbook from Part 1, you're golden. If not, consider revisiting, as your brand building blocks heavily rely on those illuminating answers.

2. Mission Statement

Your mission statement is your brand's North Star—a concise declaration of why your fashion brand exists. Craft it with purpose, precision, and a touch of your unique flair. It's not just words; it's the heartbeat of your brand. Your mission statement is a declaration of your brand's very existence and its promise to your customers. Consider what makes your brand unique and how you want it to impact the fashion world or society at large. Here's how to distill your passion into a powerful statement:

Black female fashion designer surrounded by sketches in her office daydreaming about her fashion brand.

  • Reflect on Your Values: What principles are non-negotiable in your business practice?

  • Identify Your Impact: How does your brand improve your customers' lives or contribute to the community?

  • Keep It Clear: Write a statement that's easily understood, avoiding industry jargon.

Need more tangible examples to lead the way? Take a cue from Spanx's empowering mission:

“Our Purpose: Elevating Women. SPANX® is a brand for women, by women. We obsess over comfort, deliver results, and ensure you look as good as you feel. We think forward and give back. We believe women can do anything. And together, we believe we will make the world a better place.”

3. Vision Statement

Think of your vision statement as a crystal ball, offering a glimpse into the future of your fashion empire. It defines where you see your brand in the long run. It should be the guiding light for strategic decisions. To craft a vision that guides your brand's journey:

  • Think Beyond Boundaries: Envision a future that goes beyond the immediate and tangible; it's about the lasting legacy and impact of your brand.

  • Inspire Change: Focus on how your brand can contribute to or lead a significant shift in the fashion industry or society.

  • Evoke Emotion: Write something that not only motivates you and your team but also resonates deeply with your audience, stirring their aspirations and values.

When you think of an exceptional brand vision, think of Patagonia. Their vision extends beyond selling outdoor gear; it envisions a world where businesses prioritize the planet. 

“At Patagonia, we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We aim to use the resources we have—our business, our investments, our voice, and our imaginations—to do something about it.”

4. Brand Story

What inspired you to embark on this fashion journey? Your brand story is the narrative that connects with customers on a personal level, making your brand more than just a product—it's an experience. Share the passion, the hurdles, and the triumphs that define your brand's soul. To write a compelling brand story:

  • Be Authentic: Share genuine experiences that led to the creation of your brand.

  • Show Vulnerability: Don’t shy away from discussing the obstacles you’ve faced, lean into them–they make you relatable.

  • Create a Connection: Use storytelling to forge an emotional bond with your audience.

TOMS has a very profound and touching brand story: 

While in Buenos Aires, Blake Mycoskie had a chance meeting with a woman delivering shoes to children in need. Seeing the impact firsthand, he decided to start TOMS a for-profit company with a buy-one, give-one mode.

5. Core Essence

Think of this as your elevator pitch. If you had 30 seconds and only a sentence or two to describe your brand, what would you say? The world is fast-paced so the easier it is for you to condense the core of your brand into one compelling sentence that encapsulates how you do what you do the easier it will be for people to digest. When formulating your core essence:

White female fashion designer wearing a pink button up shirt. She is sketching designs for her fashion brand.

  • Be Concise and Powerful: Aim for brevity, but pack it with meaning. This is the essence of your brand boiled down to its purest form.

  • Reflect Your Unique Position: Ensure it encapsulates what sets your brand apart, whether it's innovation, tradition, sustainability, or luxury.

  • Make it Memorable: Choose words that stick in the mind and resonate with your audience.

For example, Everlane's "Radical Transparency" instantly communicates their commitment to openness and ethical practices, setting them apart in the fashion industry.

6. Brand Voice

How do you speak to your customers? First, you must define who your customer is. If you haven’t done so yet, I suggest reading our blog, “Knowing Your Customer. Who Is It For?” Knowing who your customers are inside and out will decide how you speak to them. When developing your brand voice:

  • Understand Your Audience: Your brand's voice should speak directly to your target demographic. If your audience is young and trendy, a casual and upbeat tone might work best.

  • Consistency is Key: Ensure your brand voice is consistent across all platforms, from your website to social media to packaging.

  • Reflect Your Brand's Personality: Let the true nature of your brand shine through every communication. Whether your brand is playful, sophisticated, or revolutionary, ensure your voice matches its personality.

For example, Nike’s brand voice is motivational and inspirational which you can recognize in their iconic slogan "Just Do It".

Whatever you decide your brand voice to be, let it permeate your messaging, creating a consistent and memorable experience.

7. Unique Selling Point (USP)

What sets you apart in a sea of fashion choices? Identify your Unique Selling Point—the magic that makes your brand irresistible. It could be a unique design approach, sustainable practices, or an unmatched customer experience. Your USP sets you apart from the competition. It's the "magic" that makes your brand irresistible and distinct. To identify your USP:

  • Highlight What Makes You Different: Whether it's a novel design approach, a commitment to sustainability, or an exceptional customer experience, pinpoint what makes your brand unique.

  • Solve a Problem: Consider what problems your brand solves for your customers. A USP often lies in how your brand makes life easier or better for them.

  • Communicate Clearly: Once identified, ensure your USP is clear in your marketing materials, so customers understand why they should choose you.

A shining example is Mentionables, a brand we proudly support. Their fantastic USP? Model-free lingerie that liberates you from comparison and body shaming, offering an inclusive and empowering experience that redefines fashion norms.

8. Core Values

Nail down your brand's moral compass with a set of core values—five max. These principles should guide your decisions, actions, and relationships within the fashion ecosystem. Here's how to nail down your core values:

4 young professional women wearing pink and orange suits meeting around a boardroom table.

  • Identify Guiding Principles: What are the fundamental beliefs that drive your brand? These could range from sustainability and innovation to inclusivity and craftsmanship.

  • Limit to Key Values: Choose up to five core values for clarity and focus. More than that can dilute your brand's message.

  • Make Them Actionable: Your values should not just be words; they should be reflected in your actions, decisions, and how you engage with customers and the community.

Ben & Jerry's stands out as a brand with strong core values. Beyond crafting delicious ice cream, they prioritize environmental sustainability, fair trade, and social justice.

9. What You Are vs. What You Are NOT

Clarify your brand's boundaries. What do you stand for, and equally important, what do you steer away from? This duality shapes the distinctive character of your fashion brand. This is a great place to use contrast to sharpen your identity—it’s sometimes easier to get clear by knowing what you’re NOT. Take a peek at some examples below to get the juices flowing.


Playful vs. Serious

Maximalist vs. Minimalist 

Everyday vs. Luxury

10. Brand Aesthetic in Just a Few Words

Capture the essence of your brand's visual identity in a few carefully chosen words. Is it modern and minimalistic, or perhaps bohemian and eclectic? Your aesthetic should mirror the ethos and personality of your brand, creating a cohesive visual narrative. 

An asian female fashion designer deep in thought surrounded by color swatches on her desk.

For example, Glossier’s brand aesthetic could be described as clean, minimal, effortless, and chic. 

11. Colors You Identify With the Brand

Colors evoke emotions and memories. Use a little color theory and symbolism to choose a palette that represents your brand and resonates with your target audience. A brand that has a strong, identifiable color is Tiffany’s. You can recognize the jewelry brand just by seeing a little blue box.

12. Aspirational Brands

Identify brands that align with your values, missions, and aesthetics. These aspirational brands are benchmarks, inspiring you to reach new heights. 

PRO TIP: These brands shouldn’t necessarily be direct competitors only within your niche in the fashion industry. Think broader about brands that have the same values and vision. 

For example, Tesla’s aspirational brands are Apple, Google, Amazon, and Netflix. 

13. Top 5 Closest Competitors

Explore brands that are direct competitors within your specific niche on a similar growth trajectory. Analyze their strategies, successes, and pitfalls to fine-tune your own path to fashion glory.

Some competitors for Savage x Fenty would be Victoria’s Secret, Adore Me, Bluebella, Honey Birdette, and Kat the Label. 

Unleash Your Brand's Potential with Our Worksheet!

Ready to transform these insights into the foundation of your fashion empire? We've got you covered with our exclusive Brand Building Blocks Worksheet, featuring a blank canvas and a filled-out example to guide you through each building block. Your dream fashion brand is just a worksheet away from becoming a reality!

Looking for more resources to help build your fashion brand? Check out our templates, worksheets, and course.



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