1.Knowledge is power. Don’t know something? Ask questions. Do as much research as humanly possible before making a commitment to anything. Familiarize yourself with a company or industry that you’re interested in working with or tapping into. Uneducated decisions are often times the leading downfall to a brand.
2. Consistency is key. Make a decision about something and stand up for it. Allow it to become the backbone that holds your brand together. For example, if you start printing with water based inks and eventually switch over to plastisol, it’s highly likely that your customers will notice and become less supportive of you. Make sure that your brand is founded on an idea that’s cohesive throughout.
3. Extra, Extra! Wear all about it! Showing your customers that you value their business should be one of the most important parts of your business. Invest in them and they’ll invest in you. How you do that is all relative to who your customer base is. Whether it’s free stickers, discounted goods, unique packaging to enhance your brand’s experience, or hem tags and other apparel eye candy, it’s important that you let your customers know you care.
4. Network, Network, Network. This is the easiest and most successful way to establish yourself in any industry. It can be done virally or in person. Have conversations about anything with anyone just so you can name drop who you are and what you do at the end. Once you introduce your brand, explain what makes it unique and why people should invest in it. Word of mouth often spreads like wildfire.
5. Do what you love and love what you do. Be transparent and let your passion show through in your products. If you want to start a clothing line and you aren’t going to be 110% dedicated to it, then you should stop yourself before you even get started. No one will be able to devote themselves to your brand if you can’t do it yourself. Customers buy into products because they can relate to them. Quality speaks volumes about your passion. Keep that in mind.
6. Create a customer base first. Put your ideas out there before you pull the trigger on anything. Post digital mock ups of your t-shirts online prior to ordering them. Gauge people’s reactions and revise or purchase accordingly. You need to release something that sells right out of the gate. As a start up, you can’t afford to sit on product that won’t move. A pre-sale is one way of generating capital with guaranteed sales. This allows you to only buy what you know will sell. Build and move forward from there.
Hopefully these six tips will help set you in the right direction towards making the best decisions possible for your brand!