With the popularity of social media applications such as Instagram and Facebook at an all-time high, and access to manufacturers all over the world at your fingertips, starting a clothing brand has never been easier. However, this makes it more difficult to differentiate from other brands, especially if your target market is saturated. Here are a few tips on how to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Don’t compare too much
By following and watching the competition too much, you begin to lose sight of what is actually important – your own brand. In order to differentiate yourself from the competition you should mainly focus on yourself, as the more you check them out, the more likely you are to end up copying them. This will only lead to negative results as you end up copying something that isn’t made for you.
Working on your own style and strategies is one of the key ways to separate you from the competition. If, for example, your brand is looking to create rain jackets for men, it is ok to gain inspiration from other brands, but at the end of the day you should have your own style, rather than be a knock off of a competitor.
Have a story and tell it
All brands with have their own story and it is your job to get that out there and use it as your unique selling point. Hiring people from disadvantaged communities? Tell it. Been inspired by a bad quality mens waterproof jacket? Tell it. Started with leftover fabric scraps? Tell it. Your story is key to building a brand identity and therefore differentiating yourself from the competition.
Get creative and try new things
In such a creative industry, it’s important to know that not every idea is going to work, and the only way of finding out what does is to try. It may take you days, months or years to figure out what works for you, but if you have the persistence and perseverance then you are sure to be rewarded. Try out new materials that people or the internet say would never work or go well with what you are trying to make. Creativity is the lifeblood of the clothing industry and if you aren’t willing to try, there are many others who will. Being the originator will almost always give you a competitive advantage.
Follow your gut feeling
While it is important to use your head and carefully consider what will and won’t work for you, much of the time it is better in the long run if you do what YOU feel is best. There is little point in following through with ideas if you are not fully committed to them, and this will show in your work. Customers will be able to tell if a brand isn’t fully onboard with an idea, and this will make it more difficult for them to see a reason to invest in you.