Design Collective NY, Inc.- Fashion Marketing Basics: The Five Ws

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The five Ws of marketing, – What, Who, Where, When, and the one H –  How, are essential questions to think about when determining the marketing strategy for your fashion brand. Answering each one of these questions will form the basis of your overall marketing plan and give you the guidelines needed to better promote your brand or product.

What: What specifically are you selling and what is your brand story?

Are you selling yoga wear or high-fashion? Clearly defining what your brand is or isn’t is a good start. Once that has been determined, a strong and compelling brand story enables customers to better connect with your brand and helps you to stand out.

Who: Who are your customers? what need are you fulfilling with your brand or product? What demographic?

Once you have determined what you are selling, then you can decide who your audience will be. This is your market research phase. In many cases, you could research the market first to see if there is a need that you can fulfill before creating your brand. If you already have an established brand or product, then finding those customers that would most likely resonate with your brand is important.

Where: What markets are you going to target? Will you distribute your brand online? offline? both?

Deciding which markets you will target is also important because it will determine what tools and strategies you will use to reach those markets. Whether you decide you want to market your brand abroad, locally, or online only, you have to determine what the best distribution strategy will be. Is it better to focus on boutiques or distribute directly to the customer online? Again determining this, will depend on who your target audience is.

When: Will you have an annual plan? A seasonal plan?

Whether you decide that you want to promote your brand only during the various fashion and market weeks, or 24/7 online, deciding when is the best time to get the most exposure for your brand is also significant. Again determining what your brand is about and what you are selling will decide this. If you are selling winter coats in the USA for example, you will probably make the bulk of your sales during a certain period of the year. If you want to continue to make sales year-round, you may have to look to other international markets or online where people from all over the world can connect with you.

Why: Why should you pursue a particular course of action to market your brand?

In order to clearly define the marketing objectives for your brand, you must ask yourself why you are pursuing a certain course of action to market your brand. Is online marketing the better and more cost-effective option or is participating in trade shows better for your brand? Why? Is it more cost-effective one way or another? Will you reach more people from your target audience using a certain marketing strategy? These are questions that you must ask yourself.

How: How will you promote your brand and reach your target audience?

There are many tools a brand can use to increase exposure. Will you use advertising, public relations, sales promotion, or all three? Will you send Emails to your database or create a compelling website? Determining what is best for your brand will again be decided by the other Ws.

Taking the time to answer these questions can save you a lot of time and money and enable you to get the most out of your marketing strategy. Developing a marketing strategy strengthens your brand and efforts and ensures that there is clarity when pursuing specific courses of action. It allows you to plan ahead and be competitive.

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By Belinda Antwi for