Hey Fashion Designers,
Wimbledon has started for a week, and I thought it would be a nice occasion to share 5 success factors that you can learn from the greatest brands that dress the players on the tennis courts during the last decades. Fred Perry and Lacoste were both created around the tennis world and amazed millions of raving fans worldwide.
If you’re just launching your own brand or growing in existing one, there are still very helpful insights you can take away from successful tennis brands. Here they are!
#1 – Brand your passion
This is something I personally feel very strong about. Because all of the brands I’ve seen succeed had it as a non-negotiable criteria.
When you decide to start a fashion brand, choose a style that you are absolutely passionate about. Don’t go for a style just because you think there’s a gap on the market and you think it will work. (Honestly never do this, it’s sooooo dull! It’s fashion, you need to make people feel strong emotions to sell.)
So I’d suggest you to pick something around a passion you already have and design a lifestyle around it.
Both tennis brands Fred Perry and René Lacoste Were tennis champions. They built an entire lifestyle brand based on their life passion.
#2 – Make it mean something
Your fashion brand needs to be associated with a certain ideal that you need to define.
For example both Fred Perry and René Lacoste were tennis champions themselves. So the brands are associated to a winning mindset to start with. Then each brand added a little extra derived from both tennis champions’ personality. René Lacoste’s easy chic and Fred Perry’s rebellious mind.
#3 – Use strong symbols of your lifestyle
When you pick a logo or even a name for your brand, it shouldn’t be done randomly. Pick a symbol that your fans will immediately associate with the lifestyle you want to represent.
For example Fred Perry, as the Wimbledon champion chose the laurel wreath inspired by the Wimbledon symbol as a logo for his fashion label. It’s a straight forward association to the tennis world and to victory. It’s simple and it’s powerful.
#4 – Win your tribe over by embracing fashion and functionality
In order to win over your tribe, your fashion label needs to be 100% in line with your lifestyle. Your brand should be totally adapted to live the lifestyle that you want to represent.
For example, before René Lacoste invented his Signature polo shirts, people used to play tennis and longsleeved shirts.
René Lacoste completely changed the game. Inspired by a friend of his, he invented a new revolutionary shirt cut in an innovative piqué cotton that looked elegant and felt comfortable when playing at the same time.
#5 – Market your brand with memorable anecdotes
People love hearing stories. It makes them dream and travel in their mind.
As a fashion brand you need to collect anecdotes to tell. Stories can come from anywhere: your own life or even the stories your customers share about your product.
For example, the Lacoste logo comes from the founder’s nickname. An American journalist called René Lacoste “The Alligator” in reference to a bet between the tennis player and his coach over a crocodile suitcase. The alligator became his logo.
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