Survival in the Fashion Industry
The fashion industry has turned out to be one of the most dynamic sectors. The industry mainly deals with wears and accessories. Accordingly, women have proven to exhibit more prominence in the industry as compared to men because they have a variety of designs, which are ever changing. Consequently, a majority of retailers have been struggling to keep the pace of the frequently changing industry. As a result of the changing trends, designers do not benefit much from new designs because of the speed at which the designs change. For that reason, there is need for designers to be conversant on the existing trends in the market, the rate at which trends change, and the approaches that will increase their competitive advantage in the market. Numerous mechanisms can be put in place to enable fashion designers and retailers persist the rapidly changing fashion environment. This is so since it is not possible to slow down the fashion industry, which is already growing immeasurably.
There are several strategies that retailers can institute to cope with the current trends in the market. Despite the fact that that many designers and retailers do not see the need for adapting to the changing trend in the fashion industry, designers need to study certain trends that repeat themselves in order to be able to predict both the present and future fashions in the industry, developing strong ties with the buyers, studying repetitive trends, use of social media, avoid unhealthy competition and strive to be unique.
Developing Strong Relationships with the Buyers
One of the strategies that seem to be working for designers is developing strong relationships with the buyers. One of the main element that retailers need to ascertain in the fashion industry is understanding the customers changing needs. Initially, the customary relationship marketing concept is defined as all the undertakings of an entity or organization aimed at attracting, preserving and developing customer relationships through satisfying their needs. Customers’ needs are determined through as strong customer relationship. The fashion industry has two main categories of customers: first time customers and repeat customers. Therefore, a strong relationship enables designers to understand the needs of the consumers and design products that satisfy the existing demands. The current strong customer relationship depends upon the technology, which is a significant factor for the fashion designers to get connected to the market and build relationships with customers. Apart from generating values, when designers are closely allied to their customers, they will know when their tastes and preferences change (Skov & Marie 15).
Studying Repetitive Trends
Globally, fashion has influenced every scope of contemporary consumers. Since fashion is understood as a statement of class, it also forms a predictable form of expression, which defines n individual. Currently, marketers in the fashion industry need to apprehend the vast potential to utilize recent trends in fashion to examine, develop, and implement sales approaches. Designers need to study certain trends that keep repeating themselves in order to predict both the present and future fashion. In most cases, customers may want to get back what enthused them initially. For example, a customer may want to get what she really liked or the design that made a huge trend initially, for instance, a garment that has been redesigned. However, this may require a lot of experience. As a result, the strategy may not be suitable for new designers in the industry because they need to have in the market for some while to understand the trends that have been in the industry. Alternatively, new designers can do a research to establish the trends that have been there in the past.
Use of social media to test products
The social media has become quite useful for the designers because it provides a platform where the products can be tested before being released into the market (Mohr 19). The world has been reduced to a Global Village and with the introduction of information technology, the communication industry has been highly revolutionized. The emergence of social media, mainly in the fashion industry has enhanced the communication avenues between customers and retailers as a result of its changing nature, hence bringing the designers and customers closer to each other. Since social media entails all activities, practices, and performances among individuals who meet online to share information, experiences and perspectives using conversational media, the fashion industry now have the capability to determine what their customers want and what they are willing to pay in the ever changing fashion industry. Furthermore, social media enhances swift market research within minutes hence enabling the fashion designers get the exact needs of consumers in the fashion industry. Through the social media, designers can communicate directly to the consumers and ask for their opinion before launching a particular design. The feedback obtained can then be used to design the fashion based on the consumer preferences and tastes. For instance, the use of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter by celebrities to promote certain brands shows that social media is important in leveraging marketing in the fashion sector.
Avoid unhealthy competition
Many companies are struggling in the fashion market due to unhealthy competition. With the recent increase in the number of players in the fashion market, there is need to ensure that designers do not engage in detrimental activities in the name of competing with their fellow designers. The main goal for the designer in the fashion market should focus on the goals through developing high quality competitive designs rather emphasizing on the competition itself. The fashion industry is one sector that is majorly driven by the consumer taste and preferences. Therefore, in ensuring highly competitive products, designers need to be keen on listening and responding to the consumer needs. To attain this, the designers need also to focus on creating effective communication avenues with customers hence making them feel part of the decision making process, which is significant in the industry competitive advantage. Quality products are better focused on rather than prices. Therefore, to deal with competition effectively, fashion companies should analyze their market and work with the end goal of satisfying their customers (Aspers 190).
Designers should strive to be unique
Uniqueness is imperative in the fashion industry. Alternatively, one can always strive to be the first one in the market to introduce a unique design (Skov & Melchior 4). The crucial factor in the fashion industry is the unique selling proposition, which is defined as what makes a business stand out and offer customers a reason to buy. Being unique is vital in the fashion industry. This is because customers are always seeking for what is new or the next big thing in the market. Other customers look for something that they have never seen. Therefore, to be effective in meeting the customer’s needs, fashion designs are well received by customers because of their uniqueness. Some brands show their creativity by Mainly, uniqueness in the fashion design is determined by the elements of quality of the fabrics. This is what has driven affluent individuals into hiring personal designers at very high fees. This value is reflected too in the billions that are used every passing year in the fashion sector. The needs of the consumers are changing every passing year, and these companies have to keep on realigning their strategies in order to keep satisfying their client (Bhardwaj & Fairhurst 168). Proper use of technology can be very helpful in the handling of competition in fashion market (Brook-Carter & Parsons 7).
Fashion industry is characteristically a consumer product market. The industry is characterized by a very short product life, inconsistent consumer partialities, massive competitors among other features. At the same time, the fashion industry also remains one of the fast changing and sensational industry globally. The industry boasts of a large number of designers and retailers who enjoy the appeal and eminence. Consequently, the competition in the industry has become stiff hence making some organizations to underperform. Furthermore, the needs of consumers in the industry, particularly women are fast changing every single day, which necessitate the need for consumers to also change. Examining the approaches that will enable retailers and designers to survive in the industry, it is significant that retailers and designers adopt the approaches to enable them increase their competitive advantage in the market.
Aspers, P. “Using Design for Upgrading in The Fashion Industry”. Journal of Economic Geography 10.2 (2009): 189-207.
Bhardwaj, Vertica and Ann Fairhurst. “Fast Fashion: Response to Changes in The Fashion Industry”. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research 20.1 (2010): 165-173. Web.
Brook-Carter, Chris and Scott Parsons. Fashion Retail 2014. 1st ed. 2014. Print.
Mohr, Iris. “The Impact of Social Media on the Fashion Industry”. The Journal of Applied Business and Economics 15.2 (2013): 17-22.
Skov and Marie Riegels Melchior. “Research Approaches to the Study of Dress and Fashion”. Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion 10 (2010): 1-18.