While retail is somewhat challenging at the moment, the need for retailers to start thinking about creating a brand for their business is imperative. While most small retailer businesses are known in their local area, not many are actually are known beyond that. With the support of technology and social media it’s becoming a relatively easy thing for fashion retailers to achieve a global presence with very low outgoings. Branding is one of the most important things which retailers can achieve some sales growth for their business, providing of course they have excellent customer service to back it up. The need to gain customer loyalty and repeat business and also extending their customer base outside the local area is imperative.
Phoebe Garland co-owns Garland & Garland Fashion, with Robert Garland who was described by Ragtrader as a “veteran rag trader” with over 30 years experience in the fashion industry, while Phoebes Garland was nicknamed “Powerseller” on her birthday by Assia Benmedjdoub, editor of Ragtrader. Between the two of them, Phoebe & Robert Garland have over 50 years sales experience in fashion, publishing and advertising. Garland & Garland Fashion is a leading fashion agency based in Sydney and they are regularly sought for comment from various media on business fashion topics and issues.
While large fashion labels are very good at branding and vertical operators, we rarely see independent retailers extend into this area except in the case of Birdsnest, which has my utmost respect of their use of technology. Mind you the owner did come from a background in IT, so no wonder it’s such a web savvy business. Shining examples of amazing brands are Chanel, Supre, Sportsgirl, Lacoste, and many more. Who hasn’t seen those young girls hang onto their Supre bright pink bag long after purchasing, effectively being a walking advertisement for the brand. Traditionally a mature brand Supre was, it has managed to reinvent this through clever marketing into a completely youth orientated business.
The ‘share a coke’ campaign was another brilliant branding initiative, which also encompassed a great sales and marketing execution. Coke was a smart enough to create a “limited edition” coke can, encompassing 150 top names and also setting up in major shopping names to tailor it to personalize other less common names. Nothing like personalizing a product, to get people buying! Suddenly everyone was popping up on Facebook & Twitter photographing “their” coke can with “their” name on it. The company was smart enough to make the campaign about the consumer not about the product, which resulted in the consumer marketing the coke product through social media as well as driving sales to coke. Genius really!
With online retailing here to stay and growing at a rapid rate and big players like Aurora and The Iconic, doing brilliant jobs in the online world, it’s time for the independents to look at branding. This can be achieved through multi-channel marketing such as text message marketing, Facebook interaction with their customers through Facebook pages and Facebook advertising, Blogs and investing into marketing materials for the consumer to think about your business long after and in between visiting it.
Look at ways you can involve the consumer to be a part of your business without really trying through clever executions like the “share a coke” campaign. Long gone are the days we can open the doors and consumers come in, it’s all about engaging with consumers and growing your business to reach a more global scale.
Garland & Garland Fashion will be presenting “Regional Exposed” Business Seminar – Learn how to maximise your regional boutique business – at Fashion Exposed on Monday 13th February 2012 at 9:30am. Be sure to register, www.fashionexposed.com
As always interested in your thoughts