3 Things Fashion Designers Need to Launch Like a Boss

fashion designers launch

The launch. An important time for fashion designers. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Marketing, planning, financing…what do you do and when?

There is so much that goes into launching something that it can feel very overwhelming.

First though, I want to make it clear that what I’m about to write is applicable for all kinds of launches. The planning and preparation, time, and care should be done whether you’re planning the launch of your business, the launch of a new collection, the launch of an event, or the launch of a collaboration.

Whatever it is, if you half-ass it, it will probably flop.

There are three things at the foundation of planning a launch that really stood out during our talk.

Your Why

Why are you launching what you’re about to launch?  If you can’t answer this question, you’re not ready to launch.

The reason you’re answering this question is because what you write down will help to inform all of your communication around the launch. It helps you to tap into what value this line/collection/collaboration/event is bringing to your audience’s life.

If your message isn’t clear, then it won’t catch on. So before you do anything else, work hard to create a strong message around why your audience should care about this launch.

Your Email List

Your email list is equivalent to gold- focus your efforts on growing this well before your launch. If you don’t have an email list, then who are you announcing your launch to? Remember that the people on your email list have already expressed an interest in your brand, your products, and your announcements in a way that your social media followers have not.

So it’s important to create an email outreach plan.

First, how are you going to get people to give you their email?

  • Calls to action on your social media posts
  • Add sign up box to every page of your website
  • Use Facebook Ads- create a campaign that links to the freebie/signup
  • Add your offer to your email signature
  • Add postcards in all of your orders
  • Add a sign up banner to bottom of every blog post
  • Add Hello Bar to your website/blog
  • Run a contest/giveaway and require email address for a chance to win
  • Add a popup on your website- but be careful! These can be really annoying so set it to not popup until a person has been on the site for a few seconds rather than immediately (too soon and the visitor can be turned off)

Next you have plan what and when you’re going to email your list! The sooner you can get a consistent emailing schedule in place, the better. The worst thing you can do is email your list randomly or never and then start sending them emails when you’re ready to build buzz around the launch.

How often will you email your list during the months leading up to your launch in order to get them used to hearing from you?

  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Bi-Monthly

What will you email them in the months leading up to your launch?

  • Behind the Scenes videos
  • Behind the Scenes images
  • Opinion on a relevant topic(s) (i.e. Why Fashion Tech is the Future)
  • Blog posts you’ve written
  • Tips on a relevant topic (i.e. How to Take Care of Leather Handbags)
  • The History Of… (i.e. Where and Why Bras Came into Existence)
  • Lifestyle (i.e. Vegan recipes)
  • Educational (i.e. the Basics of Hand-knitting)
  • Tap into a pain point

Excessive Planning

Pre-launch planning is the key to setting yourself up for success. If you rush your launch, you’re at a major disadvantage.

Start by brainstorming possible brand alignments that could impact your launch date—both positively and negatively. Is there a “national” day that is perfectly aligned with your brand values? Is there a movement that your potential customers will be a part of? Or is there a holiday that could take away from your potential sales that you want to be sure to avoid?

Now work backwards with your planning. Depending on what you’re launching your pre-launch planning and prep will differ. The launch of a brand should be started 6 months in advance. The launch of a small event may only need two weeks.

Then create your preparation calendars.

Calendar #1 will include the large milestones like: samples complete, photo shoot, graphic design delivered, pre-launch begins, launch day, etc.

Calendar #2 will include the details for making the milestones happen like: order fabrics, time test with production, write email scripts, engage on Instagram, etc. The more detailed the better. I would also suggest color coding these details into categories like Production, Marketing, Operations, etc

So there are three very important aspects of planning a successful launch.

 

Nicole Giordano
Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

1 Comment
  1. Avatar
    Latrell setlhabi

    I’m looking forward to start my brand clothing The problem is I’m struggling financial And I’m still student if Anyone can help me with funding please let me know

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