The basics of PR-ing your fashion Label

When you need that lush new pair of slides do you think Balmain, Fendi or/and Givenchy? When you conjour your dream wedding gown designer, who springs to mind? Elie Saab, Vera Wang or Jenny Packham? When you're asked to recall the top picks for lingerie, do you think Myla, Bordelle or La Perla? This consumer recall we refer to as brand awareness. The goal of many fashion marketing campaigns is to establish the brand firmly among the evoked set of options considered by most target consumers when making a purchase decision. While reaching the icon status of some of the world's biggest labels isn't always achievable for every new brand, there is certainly a lot that can be done to boost brand awareness if looking at the challenge as a long term gain.

Brand building involves consistent and tactical efforts executed over a period of time. The best marketing activity for your fashion label is the one you do frequently, constantly, and in line with your target market. As the market continues to grow, it becomes harder to set a fresh fashion label apart by making it memorable among buyers, retailers, and the who’s who of the fashion world. An effective brand awareness strategy needs to be about crafting an emotional experience for the target audience. It must offer acceptance, ensure a sense of comfort, and yet challenge a customer.

Here are a few strategies that can facilitate any PR team or fashion entrepreneur in creating enhanced awareness about their fashion label and provide a better foundation for achieving marketing success.

Know your target consumer

It is not difficult to create a successful PR programme. One simply needs to satisfy the target consumers’ needs and wants. However, the tricky part is identifying these needs and wants. A designer must keep a specific target customer in mind before developing a new collection under his/her label. Once the target consumer segment is well defined, it is imperative to ascertain their lifestyle, budget, and things that are most important to them. The success of any fashion label depends on its precise understanding of its target market’s aspirations, desires, and ability to spend.

What is your brand story?

Stories excite and engage people. They help in building trust and involving people in the experience. Therefore for a fashion designer, it becomes crucial to put forward a brand story that makes people talk when they think of the label. It can summarise the existence of their fashion label or what makes the collection distinct from everything else in the market. The brand story could revolve around how all the apparel in the collection is embedded in Middle Eastern culture or sustainability. It could also revolve around making women feel beautiful for who they are, or tell a story of what the consumer aspires to be. Each fashion label must have a nuanced stance that customers can relate to.

What’s your fashion PR strategy

Building brand awareness and public relations go hand in hand. Iconic global brand Coca-Cola stands as a perfect example of this statement. The popular fizzy drink brand owes a part of its success to an aggressive public relations campaign that has made drinking Coke similar to using “Xerox” machines to make photocopies. Brand building mixed with good PR can result in both higher sales and higher customer loyalty for a fashion label or any brand. Professionals engaged in both PR and branding can use various methods to attract media interest in a fashion label in order to imbibe positive expectations in the mind of the public.  So whenever designers are introducing a new collection or plan to make any announcements, working with a PR firm that clearly understands their vision is going to be a key part of building the label.

Have you tapped social media yet?

We belong to the digital age, which makes social media a powerful and affordable tool to build awareness about your label. The fashion community prefers Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat the most to address their target audience because consumers today devote a mammoth share of their time to these networks. They spot new brands on social media and by seeing the label worn by their favourite fashion bloggers and celebrities, they are often persuaded to contact the designer brand and purchase items from the range. Thus, designers must find marketing influencers who suit their ethos and communicate well with their target market. Social media is a highly potent and accessible tool and any brand that is serious about driving greater sales must leverage the power of this platform.

Although it is impossible to have complete knowledge of the twists and turns and the ways in which a fashion label will evolve over time, setting the foundations for a brand identity at the beginning can allow your label to create a distinct and vibrant attitude for itself in the fashion fraternity.


Matthew Watt