Step 3: Product Development
Blog 3 – Brooke Vandiver
The next step in creating own clothing brand is to develop your own products. From the start of your brand, you have some idea of the products you want to offer to your customers. You have been brainstorming ideas and getting inspiration from social media, Pinterest, and the world around you. Product development may be one of the most important aspects of your brand because you want your products to be quality products. For consumers to want to purchase your items, they must see the value in them. There are three different aspects of product development we will speak about.
The first aspect of product development is quality. You will be faced with a lot of wholesalers and manufacturers who offer around the same products for the same or different pricing. You will need to weed through the wholesales/manufacturers to find pieces that are made with quality and attention to detail. Consumers will notice if your clothing pieces feel cheap or if there are defections in your items. Quality items will in turn bring quality consumers, who will pay the extra amount of money for quality items. I have had wholesalers/manufacturers sell me items with defects before, such as holes in the clothing items or misprints. Some of these instances I did not catch myself and sadly my consumers caught these defections. The problems were in turn resolved with a replacement item, but I lost the money I paid for the defected piece of clothing. Therefore, finding a trustworthy manufacturer/wholesaler that can ensure you quality products is very important.
The next aspect is the design of the clothing item. You must be careful in the aspect that the graphics and ideas are of your own and not copyrighted. You may see other brands using copyrighted material and not get in trouble, but your consumers will see this, and some will not like it. Coming up with your own designs and making them yours is what will differentiate you from other brands. Creating your own designs will also make your brand recognizable to other individuals, because there are no other designs like yours. This will be difficult due to the large amount of new clothing retailers online since Covid-19, but it is possible.
If you are like me and want to sell ‘band’ graphic tees featuring band names and pictures, you will be required to get licensing rights. Now this can be a very complicated process but does not have to be impossible. There are some manufacturers who have licensing rights and can make exclusive designs for you allowing you to use the license. This will be the easiest if you do not want to sign contracts and pay monthly royalties to the licensor. Overall, there are a lot of options for designing your brand and the products you carry, and you get to decide which process fits your items the best.
The last aspect of product development is presentation of your final products. Once you finally receive your products, you will need to advertise and present them well. The way you photograph your products is very important and can drive customers to your items or away. You will want the items to look good on the model and be in good lighting. Taking your pictures with a white backdrop is always a good idea and can really bring the details and colors in your products out. Once you have your items photographed in solid lighting, you are ready to post them to your e-commerce website.
Now you have products and product development done! Yay! You are finally ready to be up and running. This is the time to focus on advertising your products to your followers and consumers and building relationships with the people who buy your products! The next steps we will talk about are customer relationship management and growing your brand!