Feb 23, 2024

How to Build a Fashion Brand on Shopify in just 6 Steps

How to Build a Fashion Brand on Shopify in just 6 Steps

One of the first things you must understand about building a fashion brand is that it’s relatively hard and doesn’t happen overnight. You need hard work, strategic planning, and creativity to navigate the exciting chaos of building a fashion brand that thrives.

Also, using Shopify to build your fashion brand makes it 10x easier

So, let’s explore how to build your fashion brand on Shopify in just 6 steps!

Step 1- Avoid these When Building Your Clothing Brand

Starting a brand requires commitment, not quick fixes. Avoid the pitfalls that trip up beginners:

I. Fast Fashion Frenzy

Resist the urge to mimic fast fashion giants like Shein, Fashion Nova, Boohoo, etc. Fast fashion is like running an endless sprint; it’s incredibly hard. You mass produce in fast fashion, putting you at risk for losses and waste when your products are no longer trending.

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” — Karl Lagerfeld

Another point to consider is how fast fashion exposes you to unethical practices by manufacturers who use cheap labor for their production. Finally, people opt for fast fashion because of their low prices, not uniqueness, making it difficult to build brand loyalty.

Sure, building a quality, sustainable fashion brand takes time and effort, but it fosters long-term profitability, stable revenue, loyal customers, and ethical practices.

II. Copycat Couture

Copying established brands stifles your creativity and originality. You won’t draw in customers if you are recycling the same designs they have seen on hundreds of other fashion brands.

You need to find your unique voice and express it through your designs. Think of the lifestyle your ideal customer wants and design your products to fit and express that.

III. Frankenstein Fashion

You are not just selling clothes and accessories, you are building a brand. Don’t just combine random items calling it a “collection.” Curate a cohesive aesthetic that reflects your brand identity.

IV. Ridiculous Price Tag

Don’t just slap a price tag on and hope for the best. Justify your pricing by creating compelling offers for your customers.

Start by crafting your website copies, clothing categories, and product descriptions to resonate with your target audience's desires and pose your brand as a solution to their problems.

You also need to highlight your product value by stating your material quality, ethical sourcing, and unique designs. Also, leverage social proof such as reviews and testimonials to build trust, the final ingredient to convert visitors to loyal customers.

Step 2- Pick Your Fashion Niche

Creating a successful fashion brand isn’t just about trendy pieces. You have to create your unique space regardless of how crowded and competitive the fashion market is.

You can’t carve your space without a niche. So, pick a fashion niche that balances your passion and your target audience’s needs and market opportunities.

For example, Plant-faced Clothing is a sustainable fashion brand targeted at the vegan community. The owner is a vegan who’s passionate about reducing our impact on the environment and was able to channel this into the clothing brand, balancing passion and demand.

Playing to your strengths ensures you can deliver quality and cater to a specific audience. It also helps you identify and solve unique fashion problems in that niche.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment and evolve! You can grow and adapt your niche as your brand grows and your target audience expands.

Step 3- Build Your Brand Identity

You can’t just add a logo and say you’ve got a brand identity. When you build a fashion brand, it’s like you’re building a living, breathing thing.

It’s your fashion brand’s face and voice. You must carefully design your brand design elements to provide a cohesive experience that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart in the crowded fashion world.

Let’s dive into the elements that truly define your brand:

1. Name & Logo: The Face & Signature of Your Brand

Choose a name that reflects your brand’s personality, and values, and resonates with your target audience. Pick a name that’s unique, memorable, easy to pronounce, and unregistered.

While your name is your verbal signature, your logo is your visual signature. Design a logo that embodies your brand essence — for example, if you are into high-end fashion- go for something minimalistic, but if you are to open a streetwear fashion brand- go for bold and playful.

A good example of this is the brand Reformation, a brand dedicated to revolutionizing the fashion industry to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. The brand name resonates well with a mission “to reform the fashion industry to become sustainable”. The brand colors also reflect the colors of nature, like cream, black, and green, complementing the brand’s eco-friendly approach.

2. Photography: Show, Don’t Just Tell

Choose a photography style that aligns with your brand aesthetic and keep it consistent across all your platforms- website, social media, and product shots.

Having this consistency across all your platforms helps you build strong brand recognition and elevates your brand image.

3. Website: Your Digital Storefront & Storytelling Platform

Your website design should reflect your brand identity in every way, shape, and form. This includes colors, fonts, descriptions, and templates.

Eileen Fisher pulls off this engaging product description and imagery that reflect its brand’s tone and tone of voice. Using this brand strategy enables you to effortlessly communicate your brand message and intrigue your web visitors.

Also, prioritize user experience by making your website design easy to navigate, Shopify has a lot of user-friendly pre-built templates you can select and easily customize to fit your brand.

4. Typography

Select fonts that complement your logo and website design, and reflect your brand personality. For example, you can use modern sans-serif or classic serif fonts if you are going for a minimalist brand identity.

Also, be consistent with your typography. Use the same font family throughout your website, marketing materials, and social media.

5. Lifestyle & Emotion: Beyond Just Products

Build a lifestyle out of your brand identity with images, videos, and content that reflect your brand values.

For example, Patagonia is an outdoor clothing and gear fashion brand. It tells this story on its website by portraying a lifestyle of adventure, you want to evoke a feeling of adventure visually and through storytelling.

Step 4- Fulfillment Method

Choosing the right fulfillment method is one of the most important decisions you need to make as a fashion brand. Here’s a breakdown of the three main options and their pros and cons:

1. Pre-order

You collect customer orders and payments upfront before placing a larger production order with your supplier. This minimizes upfront costs but requires strong customer trust and accurate demand forecasting.

This method is especially great if you are a brand like Vasquiat with unique pieces and an active customer base.

Pros:

  • Low Capital: You only invest in production after receiving orders, minimizing financial risk, and product wastage.

  • Gauge Demand: Pre-orders allow you to test your product concepts and measure consumer demand before committing to large-scale production.

  • Build Hype: You can also create excitement and anticipation for new product launches using limited-edition pre-orders.

Cons:

  • Longer Lead Times: You are producing based on customers' requests, so they might need to wait longer for their orders.

  • Cash Flow Management: You’ll need to manage production costs upfront, potentially impacting your cash flow.

  • Risk of Overstock or Understock: If you inaccurately approximate product demand based on pre-orders it can lead to excess stock or insufficient, resulting in waste or disappointed customers.

While this method has significant potential downsides you can bypass them by building enough hype around your new product launches.

The Trikko brand executes the pre-order demand strategy so flawlessly: they only allow people with the new product launch password to access its latest collections, and there’s a waitlist for the password. This approach builds up high anticipation, creates a sense of exclusivity around the product, and almost guarantees a sold-out collection with each launch

2. Made-to-Ship

You purchase finished products upfront and store them in a warehouse, fulfilling orders as they come in. This gives you more control over your inventory and faster delivery.

This is a very common fulfillment method, especially for brands with a large customer base. Most popular fashion brands like Shein, Primark, Fashion Nova, Zara, and others use this method.

Pros:

  • Higher quality control: You have direct control over the manufacturing process, allowing you to monitor and implement your desired quality standards.

  • Faster Turnaround Times: This method allows you to process and deliver customer orders sooner, leading to higher satisfaction.

  • Greater Inventory Control: You can manage stock levels more effectively based on sales trends.

Cons:

  • Higher Upfront Costs: You would need to have significant capital to invest in inventory even before customers make their order

  • Risk of Overstock: If sales fall short, you might be left with unsold inventory, leading to financial losses.

  • Less Flexibility: You are not waiting for customer orders for production, so it might be difficult to adjust to changing demands.

3. Print-on-Demand (POD)

This is a great method if you are a brand like Gooten that sells customized products like t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc.

With this method, you already have your plain products then get a POD service that prints your designs on products only when a customer orders.

Pros:

  • No Upfront Costs: You only pay for printing when an order is placed, reducing financial losses.

  • Wide Product Range: You don’t have to offer different products, just customization options to make each product unique.

  • Easy Scalability: You can also effortlessly scale production up or down based on demand.

Cons:

  • Lower Profit Margins: POD services charge per print, often leading to lower profit per item.

  • Limited Customization Options: Design options might be restricted compared to traditional production.

  • Less Control Over Quality: You rely on the POD service’s quality standards.

How to Choose the Right Fulfillment Method:

There’s no “best fulfillment method”, it all depends on your budget, desired turnaround time, and quality standards. Also, you can experiment with different methods, and analyze your results to find the best fit for your brand.

Step 5- Tech Packs

Tech packs are detailed instructions that bridge the gap between your creative vision and the physical product. They help minimize production errors and create a roadmap to speed up production.

Key elements of a fashion brand tech pack:

  • Digital sketch: A detailed drawing showcasing the clothing’s design, features, and overall look.

  • Construction details and trims: Specify seams, closures, pockets, and any additional embellishments.

  • Measurements: Provide accurate measurements for each size, including clothing dimensions and fit specifications.

  • Fabrics: Clearly state the type, weight, and composition of the fabric for each component.

  • Size chart: Include a size chart with corresponding measurements for each size offered.

  • Look Inspiration: Include reference images or mood boards to convey the overall aesthetic and desired finishing touches.

  • Colors: Specify the exact color codes or references for all fabric and trim components.

  • Artwork scales: If your design includes printed elements, provide artwork files with specific scaling instructions.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to craft your tech pack from scratch. You can use platforms with customizable tech pack templates like tech-packer, white2label, etc. You could also outsource the entire process by hiring a freelance designer or tech pack specialist for a more tailored approach.

Step 6- Marketing Your Brand and Reaching Your Customers

Building a brand is just the first step. Now, it’s time to ensure the people you built the brand for, see your products and buy them.

Here’s how to market your fashion brand on Shopify:

Facebook Ads

Create engaging ads showcasing your designs and target based on based on demographics, interests, and behaviors to reach the right audience.

Don’t go for heavy text ads, use simple and clear images or short videos for your ads. For example, you can use bold product shots, lifestyle imagery, and captivating video snippets.

Google Ads

Rather than showing off a few products here and there, you can curate a product catalog with Google Ads Collections that tells your brand story and attracts customers to the lifestyle.

Google Ads collections show up in relevant search results, making it easier for potential customers searching for specific styles or keywords related to your brand to discover your products.

Trendhijacking

The Trendhijacking marketing strategy leverages the awareness and excitement surrounding viral products by identifying trending keywords related to the product and ranking your product to appear at the top of search results when people look for keywords related to those products.

So, instead of going in blind and spending your money running ads to a cold audience, you advertise to an already interested audience by piggybacking on viral trends.

Influencer/Creator Marketing

Partner with micro-influencers who align with your brand values and target audience to promote your products to their followers.

You can also opt for creator marketing using engaging content formats like try-on hauls, unboxing videos, behind-the-scene videos, and story times that showcase your products in action and build a real connection with viewers.

Also, instead of searching for influencers and creators manually, you can create a webpage, like Boody’s where influencers and creators in your niche can get in touch with you. This makes the process of scanning their profile to approve or reject their collaboration way smoother and more efficient.

Additional Tips- Packaging

While a label maker, poly sender bags, and storage are essential, your packaging can do more than protect your clothes and ship them safely. It’s an extension of your brand identity and a chance to create a positive first impression.

You can add personalized touches like handwritten notes, gifts, or eco-friendly packaging to differentiate your brand. You can also leverage the packaging for marketing by including QR codes that link to your websites or special offers.

Remember, it’s not just about protection; it’s an opportunity to tell your story, connect with customers, and get them to be ambassadors of your brand.

The Bottom Line

I hope you found this guide helpful and have learned how to build your fashion brand on Shopify from scratch. But building without effective marketing is effort down the drain.

The Trend hijacking strategy has been used by many e-commerce business owners, including myself to target the right audience and build a loyal customer base. If you want to learn more about trendhijacking and how to use it to build and grow your e-commerce fashion brand, book a free call.

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Ecom grind LTD 

© 2024 Ecom grind ltd. All rights reserved.

42 York St, Twickenham TW1 3BW, United Kingdom

Company No:

13503806