In our “Dear StartUp FASHION” series, we take questions from real entrepreneurs and small business owners. Recently, we received the following question:
“Dear StartUp FASHION, once I know who my target market is, how do I create a real relationship with them?”
If you haven’t already, we suggest reviewing the article “Building a Fashion Brand: Know Your Target Audience to Maximize Growth” This provides background information on completing the first step of identifying a target audience.
Two things to note before we move on. Firstly, remember–you may have several target audiences. A product can appeal to a variety of buyers who have different motivations for purchasing. It’s not necessary to pursue these different groups at all at once, but keep them in mind as you grow. Secondly, continually research and learn about your main audience–this information is never really complete.
How to Create Relationships with Customers
Loyal customers are your most profitable customers. Developing authentic relationships with them drives repeat business and generates awareness through word-of-mouth.
Initiating relationships and keeping them going can be challenging. As a fashion startup, it requires you to pay extra attention to details, and be incredibly thoughtful and creative. This can also be a really fun process – it’s where you get to interact with others and even spread joy–which can be really fulfilling!
Customer Service – If you do nothing else, get this right.
Right off the bat, the one thing you must do as a startup fashion brand to build loyalty is to have excellent, high-quality customer service. Respond to issues and concerns quickly. Whatever those are, walk away from the exchange knowing you did everything you could to help. Even if a customer was unsatisfied in your product, get them to believe in your sense of service so they might be willing to take another shot down the road.
Activities to Drive Loyalty
There are many different activities that can help build relationships and inspire loyalty. We’ve broken it down into three main categories.
- Interesting, relevant, consistently produced content
- Personal Touches
Before we get into the details, remember that no matter what activity you choose (or mix of), do it well, do it consistently (this is really important!), and do it with a distinct personality.