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Fashion Brands

Updated on November 20, 2013

What is a brand?

Before we discuss the meaning of a “fashion brand” let’s discuss the meaning of any sort of brand. A brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers."

Taking a step back in history, we know that branding was initially adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron (yes, this sound like it is mean to the animals). The stamp or mark was subsequently used in business, marketing, and advertising to identify the owner of the cattle. Branding our product is now an important aspect of modern day business.

Jennifer Humiston Dress Collection
Jennifer Humiston Dress Collection | Source

Branding Clothing

In regard to clothing, we typically do not use a hot iron to brand the clothes that we produce and market (some companies will brand leather components). However, we do place a brand on the garment in various ways. The most common way would be to use a clothing brand label to sew into the clothes or fashion accessory. In addition to placing labels on the inside of garments (example, inside neck on a shirt or waistband for a pant), many clothing companies now place garment labels on the outside of the garment to increase the brands visibility.

Although the garment label is the primary method to mark a garment with a brand, many fashion companies add their mark in other ways as well. This can be achieved with embroidery and printing for a permanent marking. For example, the Nike brand logo may be embroidered into a hat, jacket, or sweatshirt. If the designer prefers textile printing, the logo or company name can be printed onto t-shirts or any other garment.

In-Store Branding

Printing on textiles or putting embroidery onto clothes is a permanent marking for the brand. Many brand owners will also increase their brand visibility by adding temporary marketing materials to the apparel. In-store temporary branding may include the use of hangtags, printed hangers, collarets, bellybands, etc.

Fashion retailers will also utilize store signage, to help promote a particular brand.

Fashion Brand Marketing

In addition to selling product to retailers, a wholesaler or manufacturer must pay attention to developing a strong following for the brand that they may own. Developing brand recognition is important for any brand to be successful. Retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers can market their brands thru magazines, newspapers, blogs, celebrity endorsement, etc. There are many online marketing methods for fashion designers and brand owners to increase awareness.

One marketing method not to be overlooked would be the social media channels. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ offer excellent opportunities for companies to advertise or market to consumers.

Here are a few examples of fashion relevant pages on the above mentioned social media websites.

Additional resources would include Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Youtube, Ning, and obviously HubPages.

Value of a Fashion Brand

In accounting, a brand can be defined as an intangible asset and is often the most valuable asset on a corporation's balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value. Brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed accordingly. Although only acquired brands appear on a company's balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value. When thinking in terms of well-known international brands such as Nike, adidas, Puma, Polo, and others, the brand name has a significant value for sure.

Clothing Store Private Label Programs

Private label products or services are typically those manufactured or provided by one company for offer under another company's brand. Private label goods and services are available in a wide range of industries including, apparel, footwear, fragrances, and cosmetics. Private label clothing brands are often positioned at lower price points than regional, national or international brands. However, this is not always the case. Luxury fashion brands would be an exception. Many high end fashion boutiques and department stores position themselves in the market as premium brands. The premium private label brands become well know and can be sold at high margin.

Retailers have extended the concept of private label to identify a brand with a store, a concept known as the store brand. This can be a far more profitable business than selling nationally advertised brands.

Use of Private Label goes well beyond the Store Brands, though certainly this is the most frequent situation in which a customer will have contact with one.

Brand Loyalty

Brand building and brand management offer companies in the fashion sector a method to differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish themselves in consumers’ minds. Fashion companies that can strike an emotional bond with consumers benefit in many ways. Other than brand loyalty, what other reason would explain why a consumer is willing to pay $10. for a t-shirt but pay $50. for the exact same quality that has a different main label sewn in the neckline.

The challenge of fashion branding is taking a designer’s vision, their inspiration, and transforming it into a lifestyle for consumers. To build a successful brand, a designer must focus and take steps to firstly define their brand, and then to ensure that the brand stays true, in every way, to that definition.

  • Define your brand
  • Articulate the brand to consumers
  • Meet consumer expectations regarding lifestyle, pricing, and distribution
  • Preserve and promote the brand over a lengthy period of time.

Purpose of Private Label

A clothing store may wish to use its own private label brand for several reasons. One of the primary benefits is to maintain full control over the brand and the brands distribution. As the owner of the fashion brand, the retailer will be assured that the same brand will not be sold by competitors. The strategy helps reduce 'cannibalization' in the market place so that the retailer can better manage the brands pricing, regional presence, marketing, etc.

Private Label may be behind the decision of some companies to enter the market with products that are quite different, but somehow associable, to those that have made them famous (apparel companies launching perfumes; car companies launching watches and so on). Private Label may be an extremely profitable business for companies or corporations commanding an important share of the market with certain products that enjoy high customer recognition.

Favorite Brand

Do you have a single favorite brand?

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Ultimate Goal

The ultimate goal of a fashion company would be to develop a lifestyle fashion brand. These are the types of brands that appear to have longevity in the market. Examples include Polo by Ralph Lauren, Quicksilver, Nike, and Under Armour.

Brands that achieve lifestyle recognition would certainly make the popular brands guide on Apparel Search.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding the subject of this hub page, please share your thoughts in the discussion area below. If you have additional educational information that would help other viewers learn more about this topic please share your research below.

© 2013 fashion industry


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