17 (+5) marketing techniques to launch your clothing label
The essential guide
This expert guide is our most popular blog from 2017 with more than 1,000 readers every week. When time passes by and our expertise regarding fashion brands grows, we decided to update the blogpost and added 5 extra marketing techniques. Last but not least, the existing tips are corrected with recent information.
Psst, do you want to discover the new marketing techniques immediately? You can find them at the end, starting at #18.
How can you stimulate the sales of your clothing brand in no time? Discover it in the Essentials Guide.
Your clothing line is on point, you chose a partner who produces top-quality clothing and your designs are incredible. Shortly, your clothing line is ready to conquer the fashion world.
Nevertheless, there is one big question:
“Why are similar clothing brands more popular than mine?”
It looks like other clothing brands are born to be lucky. They have lots of fans, everyone knows their image and their sales are huge. You would think that it’s a matter of luck. But I can assure you, none of this has to do with luck. There’s a great chance that you are missing one piece of the puzzle: practicable marketing tips in order to boost the success of your clothing brand. This marketing guide sums up 17 practicable tips that are easy to implement.
1) Storytelling: from customers to loyal fans
People will wear your clothes if they believe in your brand story. For instance, your brand tells the story of an adventurous youth. Every day a new adventure, seize the day, you only live once, do something you’d normally never do, expand your boundaries, make your dreams come true… This story has to fit with your clothing line.
Your adventurous story can be expressed by your clothing line. For instance, T-shirts with an exotic print, a comfort baggy pants and a backpack. Perfect clothes for world travelers. Integrate that story in every message of your communication, tell it on social media and on your website. That way, your clients will truly believe in your story and they will fall in love with your brand.
2) Partnerships: the ideal partner and multiplying your customers
If you want to conquer the fashion world with your clothing line, we advise you to work together with partners. If you’re launching a clothing brand, it’s smart to cooperate with smaller and similar clothing brands. Don’t think ‘Nike is my perfect partner’. Let’s be realistic 😉
Good cooperations are the ones with clothing brands enforcing each other. Besides, there are also other options, for example working together with an accessory label. This could be the perfect combo for your clothing brand.
That way, you can achieve success by creating a unique product with your partner. The fans of your partner will get interested in your brand because you’re his coolest sidekick. The result: you create more customers and both images will be enforced. So you know what you have to do: start looking for your perfect partner and explore the possibilities.
Do you need examples? Check out this inspiring article that illustrates the cooperation between clothing brands.
3) E-mailsignature: a small effort with a big result
The end of your sent e-mails is very important. Don’t you want to do more than expressing your kind regards? It’s a must to integrate your website and social media channels in your signature. Thus, more people will visit your communication channels. And that’s exactly what you want if you’re extending your clothing brand.
For example, you can add a PS at the end and briefly mention your Facebook campaign. That way, you can invite the recipient to participate in your giveaway action. You can conclude with a powerful banner after referring to your website and social media channels.
Need an example? Here’s how we communicated our nomination for the Roeselare Awards:
4) Giveaways on Facebook/Instagram: The likes and fans pile up
Giving away your clothes for free is not something you do at random. A giveaway action creates more likes on your Facebook page and attracts new potential customers. For example, you can organize a contest for your newest limited edition sweater as a sneak peak. When organizing a giveaway, it’s important to take into account what is and what is not allowed according to the Facebook guidelines.
Additionally, since 2018 Facebook punishes pages who use engagement-bait to stimulate interaction. So, watch out! When you organize a like & share action or you ask your followers to tag their friends or leave a reaction, you use engagement-bait. That way, you risk to be punished by Facebook. That means that not only the reach of your engagement-bait content will be lower, but also the reach of all your other content. Of course that’s something we want to avoid!
Anyway, giveaway actions are a fun way to engage loyal and new followers. Our advice is to only start with giveaways when you’re good informed about what’s allowed.
5) Photoshoot: picture your clothing line
Your clothing line has to be in the spotlight. It’s a must to organise a photoshoot with models who fit the style of your brand. Even if your clothing line is on point, your clothes won’t sell without pictures that fit your clothing style. The story and the style of your brand has to be translated into the pictures. To put it in an idiom: a clothing line without good pictures is like a pub with no beer. It’s important that you are prepared.
Wisely choose the models, the setting, the poses and the attributes. Everything has to be all about your brand story. Moreover, you need two kinds of pictures: photos for the webshop and photos for your other communication channels like the website, social media and marketing actions.
For example, as a sports brand, you can shoot action pictures in an adventurous setting. On the other hand, if you’re promoting a girly glitter brand, you can choose for pictures à la Coco Chanel. A photo shoot is an absolute must to put a spotlight on your brand . Create the wow effect, your pictures have to result in people running to your store (or surfing to your webshop).
6) Social media: more visitors on your online channels
You can obtain fantastic results if you use your social media channels effectively. Yep, it’s 100% free. Social media is the standard to express the image of your brand positively. Most important of all, social media creates more fans and eventually results in more customers. In fact, there will be more visitors on your website and your webshop if you effectively boost your social media channels. More visitors on your website is good for your sell numbers. For example, a realistic situation is that 1% of your visitors buys something. So the more visitors on your website, the more growth in your sell numbers.
Interesting facts about Instagram:
Visual content is shared 40 times more than other content. Instagram is perfect, as it is 100% visual. Especially the age group 18-29 year is active on Instagram. This group represents 55% of all active users. Instagram is perfect for clothing brands.
Do you want to know more about Instagram marketing? Read the article ‘Drive massive traffic with Instagram marketing: A sumo-sized guide‘.
7) Bloggers: promote your brand recognition
A strong brand recognition is essential for starting clothing brands. Shortly, your brand story has to be known. That brand story will be valuable if others talk about it. Especially influential people like known bloggers or celebrities can influence the image of your brand. Find out which blogger might be interested in your brand. Keep in mind that bloggers will write about your brand if they are truly interested. So it’s important that you contact bloggers that have a style similar to your brand style.
Good tip: spoil influential bloggers by sending them a gift, for example a unique clothing piece off your collection. Convince bloggers that your brand is worth writing about.
8) Retail shop: find the perfect store for your brand
Let’s go, run to the shopping street and convince every store to sell your clothes immediately. Oh no, stop, take a breath. This strategy won’t work unfortunately. You can’t sell your clothing line in every retail shop that you want. First, think about the possible retail shops that can be interested in your clothing brand. Which clothing brand fits the style of your brand? You can convince shop sellers by convincing them that your clothing brand will sell. I advise you to suggest the retail shop that you can sell on commission, that way the shop owners will consider that your clothing brand totally fits the shop.
What do you have to do, step by step? The guide ‘How to sell your clothing brand in stores a guide for starters‘.
9) The strength of E-commerce: your shop 24/7
The past few years, online shopping has known an increasing trend. Statistics proved that 74% of all Belgians bought at least one thing online. From toothbrushes to drilling machines, from post-its to chalk boards etc. Especially clothing is bought online. Starting clothing brands can become popular if you communicate effectively on your online platforms. Thereby, selling through your online store is a must to boost your sales. The big advantage of selling online is that there are no closing hours. We would suggest our partner Storelaunchers, in no time you can start up your webshop.
10) E-mail marketing: the destiny of your news is in your own hands
A lot of brands focus on different ways of social media. And they should, as these channels are indispensable. But, did you know that newsletters are about 40 times more efficient than social media? Research proved that e-mail marketing attracts more customers compared to marketing through social media. If you want to tell something great to as many potential customers as possible, then the newsletter is the channel you need.
The biggest advantage is that your content in a newsletter will be read more as there are a lot of competitors on social media which causes distraction to your potential customers. Briefly, e-mail marketing is the best way of informing people about your novelties.
Do you need more research about e-mail marketing vs social media? Read all about it in this article: Why marketers should keep sending you e-mails.
11) Blog till you drop: your brand as an inspiration
Did you know that you can increase your sales even more by telling a creative and credible story to your customer? The key to success is to make sure that your customers actually believe what you are telling them. The story of your brand could fit perfectly in your blog. Writing some interesting blog posts causes more results than just improving your turnover. As a result, your readers will be more interested in your brand. You could even inspire them by the appearance of your clothing. The possibilities of writing a blog post are limitless. You will leave a better impression and make your brand more positive and creating more awareness just by writing some blog posts.
12) Collaborate with webshops: multiply your customers
You already have a webshop? That’s great! Obviously, you aren’t the only one. There are lots of brands that sell online. Don’t worry, it’s more like an opportunity rather than a disadvantage for you. You could work together with other webshops, referring each other to customers.
You could provide the customer with a voucher of another webshop when he/she bought something for yours. Win-win. The happy customer will like you even more, while your partner will most likely have another (potential) customer. This makes it a sort of ‘customer-exchanging‘.
13) Facebook advertising: small budget, great results
Advertising through Facebook is the perfect way of ‘luring’ more visitors to your website. Why? Very simple: there are over 1,790,000,000 active Facebook users each month. Worth a shot, right? A giant network is waiting for you. The biggest strength of Facebook advertising: pointing your ads to your target group. But be careful, your advertisement has to be convincing, creative and visual. Avoid launching boring commercials.
14) Word-of-mouth advertising: happy customers spread the news
The best way of advertising happens through your customers. Real fans, who fully support your brand, will happily promote your corporate image. Fans don’t pop up by themselves: the condition of having a powerful and reliable brand story has to be met. Provide your customer with a unique shopping experience both in your store and in your Facebook post.
You should occasionally provide your loyal customers with a bonus. For example, invite your customers to like your Facebook page, or to follow your brand on Instagram. In exchange, the customer receives the opportunity to win a unique set of cosy socks, a warm beanie and a pair of great gloves. The ‘thank you’ post on social media will be there without any doubt.
Be creative with the rewards.
15) Create the wow effect: limited editions
You can score even more when adding limited items to your collection. Creating the ‘limited-feeling’ has a positive influence on your sales. The customer will be tempted to buy your item as it will be limited for a short period of time. An example might be a trendy sweater with sequins. Offer no more than 25 pieces. The tiny group of customers who managed to buy one, will probably post a picture of your limited item on social media which will create a subject for discussion. Need inspiration to create an original design?
16) Impress the press: the perfect pitch will create brand awareness
Launching your brand in the press is the perfect way to acquire attention. For example, the opening of your pop-up store might be hot news in your region. The press will decide whether they will mention your brand or not. Be prepared when addressing the press and ask yourself the following question: “what journalists could be interested in my brand?”.
Contact them and mention briefly your pitch. Convince the interviewer by telling interesting news in a powerful way. As a conclusion, make sure their interest in your brand keeps growing; the positive articles about your brand will be the result.
Do you want a perfect pitch? Find out more: How to pitch the press: the 8 no-fail strategies.
17) Pop-up shop: skyrocket your turnover
A lot of clothing brands are being sold in both a store and a webshop, but believe me, these aren’t the two only channels of selling clothes. The most effective way of boosting your sales figures and reinforcing your brand awareness is by opening a pop-up store. It requires some time and money, but it is worth it. The biggest advantage is that you provide the visitors of your pop-up store with a unique shopping experience when compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
The key of your pop-up is the location; always keep in mind your target group: where can you find them? Useful tip: if you are looking for a temporary space, you could rent one through Spacified.
18) [NEW] Release your #hashtag
Your hashtag is like a digital footprint covering all social media channels. It’s what makes it easy to recognize & find your brand.
Hashtags make it easy to classify your clothing products and information. Your own hashtag can empower the launch of your clothing collection, as hashtags pool content together. That’s how your fans and customers can learn more about your clothing brand with a few clicks. Also, other people will share pictures by using the hashtag.
Jack is following your hashtag on Instagram, and discovers your posts. He’s intrigued by your pictures, and clicks to your Facebook link. That’s how he gets in touch with your fashion label. He immediately falls in love with your clothing line, and clicks on the link to your webshop. The perfect scenario.
Think carefully about your hashtag. It has to be unique but simple. Also, people have to remember it, and it has to be linked with your clothing line. Don’t use long or complex words! It’s better to use a word that is easy to spell.
19) [NEW] Prepare your collection launch: the art of the pre-launch
It’s important to generate buzz before the official launch of your clothing collection. Use social media to find your fans, and make them curious. For example, you can trigger potential fans with your hashtag. You don’t need to be a world class designer to create an appealing visual trigger. You can use a Canva social media template with your own color to create your teaser campaign.
Before your launch, you have to implement your strategy for your communication. Decide which communication channels you will use to enforce your clothing brand:
- Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, WeHeartIt…
- Bloggers: find potential influencers
- Press: make sure that your brand release is picked up by the press
NO GO: start communicating when you start selling.
GO: communicate your launch with a trigger before you start selling.
20) [NEW] The ultimate customer experience: custom packaging, hangtag & postcard
Customer experience is everything. Before you start selling your clothes, it’s important to think about how you can empower the customer experience. How can you make it?
For example, a customer receives a sweater he bought from your webshop. The postman delivers it in a blanco package. Your customer opens it, and sees his sweater in plastics. This customer will be happy. But don’t you want this customer to be super super excited? So excited that he will tell all his friends on Facebook how awesome your brand is?
Well, you need these 3 simple things: custom packaging, a creative hangtag and a personal (maybe even handwritten) postcard with the washing instructions.
Custom packaging. Your customer will be surprised to receive a personalised package. That way, he will be even more excited to open it. Bol.com and Zalando are some examples.
So, the customer is now even more excited to open the package. Then, when he opens it, he sees a postcard with a personal message. On the postcard, he also notices the washing instructions. Create a nice design, and determine what you want to say. Most of the times, the main message is ‘Thank you for your order’, and a motivation to share their happiness on social media. Of course, don’t forget to mention the fact that they have to tag your brand on social media, with your hashtag! Another idea: motivate your customer to buy again, and give him a personal discount code. Or mention the Referral a friend campaign.
Custom hangtag. And, for the ultimate finishing touch, create a custom hangtag. A hangtag is a small cardboard that hangs from an item of clothing, it is the very best method to give additional information with your item. It may look like an unimportant card, but hang tags play an important role in attracting the attention of a customer. It gives information such as your name/logo, size, color, fabric, price, contact information, a memorable quote, your hashtag…
But be aware: don’t add too much information.
21) [NEW] Rock it with e-mail marketing: effective brand newsletters
E-mail is the most powerful tool in your toolbelt. A newsletter is perfect to communicate about your fashion brand. Before the release, you can e-mail to potential customers to trigger them. Generate buzz around your release, and prepare them for the big news: the launch of your collection.
Integrate the e-mail subscription into your website and/or webshop. Add a comment that says why someone should subscribe for your newsletter. For example: ‘Don’t miss out the latest fashion news’. Also, post frequently on your social media channels the subscription for your newsletter. Convince people that they really should do it.
Don’t underestimate the power of e-mail marketing. When someone subscribes for the newsletter, they actually receive it. On the contrary, not all your followers will see your Facebook or Instagram posts. E-mail marketing has always known a good conversion rate. E-mail doesn’t have an algorithm that determines who sees your e-mail. Everybody receives it in their mailbox and reads the headline. If you play it right, the engagement and conversion is a lot higher.
Tip: you can motivate people to subscribe to your newsletter if you give them something. For example: ‘Subscribe, and get a 10% discount’. Or launch a giveaway and ask the participant to fill in an e-mail address.
Last but not least, you can motivate people to refer a friend with your newsletter. Discover more about the Refer A Friend campaign in the next step.
22) [NEW] REFER A FRIEND CAMPAIGN, ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS IN NO TIME
Referrals work, people trust the recommendations from someone they know. And your happy customers are the very best ambassadors for your clothing brand
You can use a referral program to spread the word about your clothing line. That way, you increase your customer base and sales. Motivate people to refer your brand by rewarding them with an exclusive gift or a discount. You can also reward your customer if his or her friend subscribes for your newsletter or participates for your give away.
Launch your Refer a Friend campaign on social media, communicate it on the postcard, … spread the word and make your customer base grow!
A great example is the Refer a Friend campaign from Indochino!
Congrats! You made it, and discovered all our marketing techniques.
Now, it’s time for action!
Might sound like a tall order, these 17 (+5) marketing tips. Start small and use the most efficient tips & tricks for your company. You will be able to set up your marketing plan on both short-term and long-term. I advise you to download the checklist, just to get everything straight. It will offer you a structured overview of all the performable points of action which belong to all the marketing tips given.
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