So you want to start your own fashion brand? Congratulations! You've taken the first step toward making your dream a reality. But after you've figured out what you want, what do you do next?
After years of helping DTC brands launch successful businesses, I've learned that two crucial steps need to be taken before starting a fashion brand. Those two steps are getting clear on your idea and conducting market research.
So, where does the idea for a brand or product come from? Sometimes the idea strikes like a lightning bolt. Other times it comes from a gnawing feeling in your gut that something is missing in your world. One of our clients, Hayley Segar, experienced this gnawing feeling when trying on swimwear for an upcoming trip. She was frustrated that none of her suits made her feel as comfortable or confident as her seamless underwear. From there sparked the idea for her brand, onewith. (Read more on her experience here.)
Getting a business idea from a place of frustration is a great way to start because — if something bothers YOU, it's likely others will feel the same way. And since you've experienced the pain first hand, you'll be the perfect person to solve it.
So how do you know if your idea has legs? In the beginning, you might be reserved and unsure whether your idea is worthwhile. However, the truth is that you cannot know if the world is ready for your concept until you fully understand the market on a deeper level. And to fully understand the market, you MUST do competitor research.
Researching other brands will show you what's already out there. Perhaps you're looking to enter an already super saturated market. You'll have to learn to differentiate yourself. Maybe you'll discover a gap where you can deliver a product that people really want. The critical thing to remember here is that market research is a marathon, not a sprint. This phase should take you 4-6 weeks to really do it properly. Don't rush this, and do it with an analytical mindset. Keep a competitive analysis tracker of all the information. You want to do a thorough job here because it will allow you to build a much more unique and distinctive brand in the long run.
Still want to dig a little deeper? Then, sign up for our email series, 30 in 30. You'll receive daily bite-size emails with tips for starting your fashion brand.