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Thoughts on building a brand


I’ve been receiving quite a bit of emails regarding the ways or tips to establish a successful brand.
I’m flattered, but as much as I’d like to help out and hand you guys an equation of a successful clothing brand (if there is one,) I afraid I am also a guy trying to experiment with the field of, but not limited to, streetwear.

Speaking of success. It’s just vague and it can be measured in too many ways. But I know one thing, success can’t be achieved overnight. It’ll take a good amount of time to push your brand out for recognition. That being said, I believe in a couple principles that will guide a brand to last, perhaps a little longer, than others.

1 – Be interested passionate in what you do.

↑ I can come up with projects and designs all day (although, they may not be any good) and have time fly right pass me. I’d even do it for free (but I shouldn’t, because I got bills to pay.)

Seems like a lot of you already got this one down. Though, I think there are plenty of brand owners out there that are confused. There’s a thin line between passion and interest. You may find fulfillment in both. But when you morph your interests into a job, eventually the fun you find in the things that you do would soon be demolished by internal or external obstacles. What sparked your interest would then become a drag. Finally, you’d quit. On the other hand, being passionate would be the key factor that brings you over those bumps. However, passion’s only the first step and brands these days are passionate by default. Able to execute your ideas and create a community would be what differentiate you from the rest.

2 – Create your community.

↑People that back me up.

Trends and hypes are constantly evolving and it’s happening as we speak. A cool design on a shirt can be easily replaced. The design is the “product” of a brand. But to create a community, a brand should expose their supporters to the “philosophy” of the brand. Hence, the blogs. Connecting the supporters to your lifestyle and the reason you create each design may affect them more than you think. A community would be formed because the people in it can relate to an idea that belongs to you and the brand. And that’s irreplaceable.

3 – Quality is the best advertisement.

↑The different tags I had. Here’s the story for the one on the right.

With thousands of ads we’re exposed to daily, people learned to be really good at ignoring them. Massive exposures will eventually convert users to buyers, but most indie brands like us don’t have the capital for such things. Plus, it’s not really cost effective (100 exposures to a person yields 1 behavioral change. And by behavioral change, it can be as insignificant as attempting to google the product.) Best way to spread would be through word of mouth. How cool a product can be is certainly more convincing from the words of a friend than a TV ad. To achieve that, you should invest your money on the products and your time on customer service. Small brands like us have something that the big corporates don’t have, which is the leverage of making interactions personal. If a kick ass product and top notch interaction don’t get people talking about your brand, I don’t know what will.

4 – Focus on meaningfulness, not lucrativeness.

↑ One of my favorite tees. Thanks to Kev, Shirelle, Adrienne, and Tim for making it look so dam good.

I understand that money plays a big role in startups, but don’t get blinded by it. Weighing in your effort into lucrativeness would make the brand act like a sell out. Actually, that would be a “sell out,” by definition. People don’t talk about sell outs. And community won’t back a sell out.

Those are thoughts. Best of luck to all you entrepreneurs, freelancers, project starters out there.

Dream like you mean it,
 -Benson|| Twitter || Facebook || 365. || Shop of Imagination ||

http://www.theimaginaryzebra.com

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