Posts in: business-advice

Fashion Business Advice

5 Questions to Ask Your Audience While Building a Fashion Brand

Building a fashion brand requires constant iteration, strategy, and customer service in order to build a brand that really resonates with your customers. With my background in design thinking— building products and services that meet human needs and desires, not trying to create a desire for your already-existing product— I always advise entrepreneurs to build their businesses using customer empathy.

Fashion Business Advice

Building a Fashion Business: What’s in a Brand Name?

fashion-brand-name First impressions matter, and for your brand that first introduction is your name. So make it meaningful, memorable, and smart. Make sure it conveys the right message about your business and that it relates to your style and audience. Unearthing a good brand name is challenging and takes time, but the process not only results in a name, but a deeper understanding of the brand’s DNA. It will force you to answer questions about the business, such as key differentiators, or core values, that set the foundation of the company.   So where do you start? 


The goal of naming your business is to discover a name that all at once is thoughtful, reflective of your brand and your audiences, and is available (website, social, and trademark). It also needs to differentiate you from competitors and be memorable. A brand name can go in three basic directions:
    1. Helps: Indicates a clear association with the product. Example: Spanx
    2. Neutral. Example: Vince
    3. Hurts: The name is confusing and distracts from the product itself. Example: Twenty8Twelve. Apparently, this was named to denote actress Sienna Miller’s birthday. Not only does it fail to make an interesting association with an attitude or aesthetic, the choice didn’t reflect long term plans  - Sienna Miller has left the company, which makes it less meaningful.
There are different points of view (POV) on just how important the naming process is. Some people deeply believe you must aim for greatness and that it makes a huge difference. Others are on the “good enough” train (aim for great, but neutral is OK).  You’re going to have to decide for yourself how important it is and how much time you want to spend, but definitely don’t be OK with #3 results. One more thing - there is more wiggle room with the guideline above as applied to the fashion space. As mentioned in a Fast Company article, “a mediocre name isn't destiny.” Look at Lululemon Athletica.