Goose’s managing director, Jenni, provides five key reasons why a brand experiences a reduction in sales.
1 The brand doesn’t know who its customers are
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to appeal to a broad spectrum of customers, and 10-20 years ago this may have been effective in an age of mass consumerism. But in today’s markets where we are constantly bombarded with choice, targeted messaging is essential to be heard in order to successfully build a loyal customer base. Therefore, it’s important that you know exactly who might buy your product and tailor it accordingly. For example, trying to attract both a teen demographic and adults in the 20 – 34 age bracket for a new line of handbags is going to send out mixed marketing messages, which will inevitably deter both groups from buying into your brand. Stringent marketing research is needed, even before the initial concept creation.
2 Allowing licensees to interpret their own vision of the brand
For international brands with many licensing partners across the globe, the brand’s input tends to reduce significantly after the ink of the licensing deal has dried. This tends to give rise to changes, large or small, in the look and feel of the brand, due to it being designed and produced in another country. This isn’t really surprising considering that the market in Europe is different to that of South America and that of Asia, but it is important that each market is catered for specifically to appeal all geographical differences. Therefore to avoid these discrepancies, provide a style guide to each licensee, preferably with a product direction, that are both trend and consumer focused from the outset of sealing a new licensing deal.
3 The Brand DNA is not defined
Over time, brands often need to reinvent themselves, however drastic changes in a brand’s culture or values can alienate loyal customer bases. By successfully establishing the 4 key components of Brand DNA, your label becomes anchored to core foundations of which to always build upon.
Being able to tell a story about where the brand comes from as well as the heritage and culture can provide robust marketing and product concepts that can be applied to the retail environment and the seasonal collections. It also gives the sales department a real angle to build enthusiasm – from pitching the initial idea to rolling out the product to consumers.
4 The Brand does not follow or create trends
With more established brands, who have done well in the past with various bestselling products, an element of complacency can follow as it makes financial sense to keep producing the same concepts through a tried and tested formula. This invariably just leads to repetition. Although this can work for a time, give it five years and suddenly consumers are no longer interested. Keeping up with changes in the fashion landscape and the new trends that emerge, re-evaluating your products, even the bestsellers, is crucial in avoiding brand fatigue. Following or even creating key trends or having an agency provide a bespoke service that adapts to your core identity with simple changes in detailing, can inject a new life into the brand without jeopardising its core.
5 Lack of innovation
It’s the 21st century and technology is playing a key role in shaping our behaviour, and therefore, our product’s needs. A brand can get stagnant if it’s not trying out new things. A signature product might always see the stability of a loyal customer base, but why not take the opportunity to bring out a capsule collection that experiments with new fabrics, scents or utility functions? Innovation shouldn’t stop at the product though. Look to engage new customers with interesting digital marketing concepts, which can lead brands to become more accessible. For example, Burberry’s 2015 London Fashion Week show, partnered with Japanese messaging app, The Line, to live stream the event to a Japanese audience. Combining an offering of online mascots and engaging content, Burberry’s geographical reach wasn’t limited to those purely in the venue.