Hey fashion designers,
We are in between seasons right now and you’re probably transiting slowly to the autumn. Maybe you’ve even unpacked your autumn collection and you’re trying hard to get rid of the spring/summer pieces left. So you think of discounting some items.
I get it! You want to be profitable and still get something out of those unsold items…So instead of registering a total loss, why not just sell your fashion designs at a discounted price?
Well, the idea sounds good. On paper.
But I just wanted you to think about the situation you’re ending up with and the related consequences.
What Discounting Your Designs Says About Your Fashion Brand
So if you’re reading this article, you’re probably in the situation when you absolutely need to get rid of your designs for cash. And you think that the quickest way would be to ask for less in exchange.
Well I’d like you to read this carefully.
Trust me: Experience taught me that the price is not the real problem. If you feel forced to lower your prices to sell, it’s not because your products are too expensive. It’s because they’re not perceived as expensive as your price tag says.
I knooooow. Ouch, right?
Having to lower your price just means that you didn’t do your job correctly as a fashion business owner. So if you’re into that situation right now, I invite you to think where you did wrong.
If nobody buys, it means that there is a mismatch between what your customer expects and what your product or your offer looks like. Or you’re forcing your product on the wrong customer.
For example, I knew a designer who sold jewelry items. She stated it was meant for Couture. However the material she used looked like plastic. Her website looked cheap. The models she picked didn’t look sophisticated enough, they looked more like women she dressed up for the occasion and forced to look somewhat glamorous for the pictures. She participated to fashion shows but the venues were cheap as well. And the only argument she added to sell her jewels at Couture prices was the time she spent on the pieces. But unfortunately it didn’t show.
It might sound trivial to you but people who actually buy Couture care about that kind of details. Couture is just an example but it would be exactly the same if we were talking about a vegan fashion brand or an athleisure brand.
So, take a step back and ask yourself: Are your customers aware of your brand identity? How? Is there a mismatch between your product and your communication? How do you make your customer dream? Do you sell your products in the right area?
You can also ask a few customers or people from your audience and do this exercise with them. Listen to their feedback and see what you can correct accordingly.
Discounts Don’t Necessarily Give A Good Brand Image
Yes, customers buy. But truth is the more you discount, the weaker your brand image. If you become associated to a brand that keeps lowering its price, it will become difficult to be taken seriously.
Discounts should be applied carefully on a selected type of goods.
What You Should Discount And What You Shouldn’t
This is what you should know when you decide to discount your prices. Not everything should be discounted.
You should always keep a few pieces that remain untouchable. The pieces that are the most representative of your brand or the ones that are cut in the fabrics that are the most emblematic of your brand should never be discounted. For example, an emerging brand I once collaborated with worked a lot with linen, it was a strong component of their brand DNA and many customers knew them for that. So when they go on sales, they never discount the linen pieces.
Use Past Data To Balance Your Collection Accordingly
When you design your next collection, you should at least do an analysis of the past collections. Understand what sold well and what didn’t. Analyze why. Get feedback from your customers.
Once you get the feedback, you need to decide what to continue and what to stop. Which pieces are worth re-creating with a twist for the next season.
Also you need to balance the strong pieces with more quiet ones. Your fashion brand identity should be perceptible in each garment you create. It will be louder on the main signature pieces of your collection. Those strong signature pieces should be made in smaller quantities. More mainstream pieces should be made in higher volumes.
Find the combination that best works for you in order to limit future discounts.
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