In addition to competing with nationally and internationally recognized brands, Chicago’s independent designers face steep competition in this highly competitive market. As a result, finding innovative ways to market your brand can be challenging, but not impossible. So, how can you use marketing to make your brand stand out like the real thing in a sea of fakes?
Lookbooks, the equivalent to a portfolio, are typically photographic compilations of seasonal looks. With the video lookbook, you can take regular still photos from drab to fab by showing the looks in action-using stills or live models. A great editor can couple your photos with music and crafty transitions. On the other hand, if you want your video lookbook to have the look and feel of a high-energy music video or witty commercial, find a great creative director to help take your idea from concept to reality.
Parties are one of the best places to get your designs in front of local tastemakers. Scout the local party circuit and identify the settings where your customers are likely to hang out. Barter with the person-in-charge by offering to have your models serve drinks, host, or collect email addresses-in your designs, of course. Ensure that the DJ will ‘shout out’ your brand and acknowledge the presence of your live models throughout the night.
Before print catalogs, stores utilized live models to showcase designs. Take a page from the old school and partner up with local boutiques to exhibit your fashions in a live display. If given enough space, incorporate short skits into your display to engage your audience.
If you are a designer, don’t limit yourself in terms of marketing creativity. The key is to engage potential customers through innovative marketing. Test the limits with your marketing as you do with your designs.