It’s been few weeks into the new year and I believe many businesses are back in full swing and as is the case in most instances; back with loads of energy and plans ready to take on a new year.

This year won’t be any much different from previous years, however the difference will be in how your brand will grow and scale up. That will only happen if you have a plan and work towards it.

In a recent conversation with a young designer who contacted me regarding challenges she’s been experiencing with her fashion brand, she mentioned that she feels she has been at the same place for many years and hasn’t experienced growth and didn’t know how to go about it anymore. I had these to share with her and I hope you find it useful as well.

Innovate and adapt new trends

The fashion and beauty industries are constantly changing with new trends, styles and techniques. In order to grow, you need to be innovative and adapt to new trends. You can achieve this by constantly learning. Learning from the many resources available online or attend seminars and workshops to sharpen your skills. Learn also, the business side of fashion. For many designers, they get into fashion because of their passion however, passion alone is not enough. Learning the business side exposes you to the supply chain involved in fully running a fashion business which also properly positions your business for growth and expansion and that includes sourcing for funding.

Make Connections

Today, every connection you have could be beneficial in a way. Building the right connections could help push your business into new territories. Connect with industry players and people who can help you get your brand out there. No business operates in a vacuum. Connect with influencers, bloggers, media etc who you could partner with and work on growing and expanding your brand through their pool of following.  Going into 2019, engage them in a series of events such as collaboration on shoots, giftings, promotions and activities that will connect them more to your brand.

Know your Industry

If you are into the fashion or beauty business, you need to know what is happening in your industry. Know what events are taking place and attend and meet other designers and creatives. There is always something new to learn from others instead of being in isolation. It also helps you to get to hear about opportunities that are available for entrepreneurs and businesses within the fashion space.

Improve your Customer experience

In this era, people are no longer buying into just products or services but rather experience. Customers want know that you have them at heart which means you need to find ways to package your product or service to meet the demands of your target market. What makes your product or service unique and then craft messages that will convey exactly what you intend communicating. Your messages should be clear and straight forward such that you are able to grab the attention of your target. Then work on giving them the utmost customer experience that will keep them coming back.

Don’t take social media lightly

I’m sure you may have heard this many times. Social Media is the game changer now. It plays a significant role in how your brand is perceived. Invest in visuals that are appealing to create your brand story. Social Media is the ideal platform to promote your brand to your target market without a third party as you are able to own and control your content. Bear in mind that you don’t need to be on all the platforms as you need to carefully select which best resonates with your brand and better reaches your target.

Secure media features

Earning media features and mentions are great ways to get your brand heard and known. Guess what, if you have an amazing product and you don’t talk about it, no one will know. Learn the basics of communicating your brand values and pitch them to the media. Pitch your new products, events, initiatives to bloggers and journalists in order to gain publicity and press coverage for your activities throughout the year. Mentions and features in the media can serve as a leverage point to reach new and potential clients. But first, earn your spot by engaging in activities or initiatives that are newsworthy.

In 2019, more businesses are going to get competitive and it will be in your own interest to be innovative and adapt to the new trends in the fashion industry. Look beyond the Ghanaian market into other markets such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya and see how you can also innovate and attract global attention. Remember, in order to be global, you first need to conquer your local market. All the best in 2019 and see at the top.

This post was originally published in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper on 25/01/2019

Photocredit: Google Images