How Fashion Brands can prepare for business post lockdown
This month we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Yossi Fisher who explained what fashion brands can expect to encounter in post-lockdown living. Yossi Fisher is Brand Consultant and Creative Strategist with over 20 years of international business and fashion industry experience, and the Founder of YOSSI FISHER STUDIO; a holistic brand development and communication studio obsessed with helping people create impactful brands, meaningful content, and dynamic media strategies.
The pandemic has created a shift whereby consumers have forced brands and designers to be more honest and authentic. People’s values have changed with the general, organic content being normalised once again. What we mean by organic content is really just content that is raw and upfront. Brands and designers were forced to slow down and consider their approach. Yossi explained how this period has been a time for realisation and discovery. It’s almost as if we were all looking in the mirror for the first time. Brands and designers have had to ask themselves what they truly stand for and what they wish to convey to their consumers.
Small, independent brands in particular need to use this time to define themselves and establish who they are. Now more than ever consumer loyalty is coming into play. Many people won’t be able to spend as much money on new products. Moreover, many consumers will be hesitant to branch out and try new brands. Yossi’s main tip to independent brands was to consider what your collection will look like over the next 6 to 18 months. It is important to really put everything into perspective and consider questions like whether you want to go seasonal? What can you really afford? How are you going to grow? Small brands must be incredibly pragmatic with their finances… Of course it is important to take risks but you can take risks without completely dissolving future prospects of growth.
Another interesting point raised by Yossi was his issues with this term “the new normal.” For Yossi, this unfairly groups the whole fashion industry into one set of specific actions. In reality, there is no normal and that isn’t a bad thing. Rather, we are stepping into a new horizon where brands and industries of all kinds will be affected in a number of different ways. Big brands have started to try and pave the way for other, smaller brands, to follow them. This doesn’t need to be the case. Afterall, if everyone just copied others then there would be no diversity or innovation. Instead, everyone needs to set their own agenda and be their own boss. The people at the top have no idea what it’s like for small businesses. For them, they can easily pivot and take risks. Small businesses, on the other hand, need to be more cautious. Figure out what is right for you as an individual. Not every trend is the right trend so don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd!
Finally, Yossi offered some incredible one-on-one live consultations where he gave his top tips for new designers trying to make it in the fashion world. First, he explained the importance of establishing brand values at a very early stage. As a designer/brand your products are the last part of the conversation. As you move forward, if you haven’t focused on things that come organically to you then your products can get lost. Of course, products are important because you want to retain customers but you need to figure out your core values. Try to find a niche, something that makes you and your brand stand out from the crowd. Yossi suggested creating a vision board to assess whether your products really matched your values. Just because your designs are cool or interesting doesn’t mean that your brand is being understood. So, before you can develop a strategy you must get your values in check. You need to be inspired by your customer but you need to design for yourself. People want to resonate with humans and brands that embody the things they value.
In regards to marketing, general natural engagement and establishing a community is extremely important. Being passive will make it impossible to grow so your organic strategy needs to be strong. Brands/designers need to be incredibly conscious of the responsibility they put onto their platforms. If you have the money for it then it’s worth looking into effective targeting but be aware of what you’re spending. Afterall, you don’t need everybody, you just need the right people.
All in all, it is clear that things are different now. Lockdown caused people to take a step back and reevaluate their lives. This period is an opportunity, in many ways, for new, innovative designers and brands to show the fashion world who they are. But remember, it is incredibly important for people to see the story behind the brand so that they can understand your core values and goals.
If you missed out on our webinar and would like to catch up on what was discussed click here or head to the LDC YouTube channel!