Rhonda’s Best Practices. . . Focus on The Consumer

Focus on the consumer, not sales, believe me, it’s a win, win.

To do this you have to intimately know who your audience is.  Who are you designing for?  You design for the customer – the retailer/buyer – and you design for the consumer – the ultimate end user.  Knowing the consumer will position you for the right customer.

As a veteran in the fashion business, this feature on business practices and tips are from my personal experience.  Those of you that are recent graduates bear in mind that academia is a great foundation.  Gaining complete knowledge of running a fashion business [designer, wholesaler, or retailer] is the combination of both academia and experience.  My hope is that the EDGE-ucation sessions will give you something of value in your day to day practice of building your fashion business.

This particular session is on consumer profile.

Knowing your consumer is THE most important piece to your business practice. Believe me, without this you will not be able to connect [market] your product to the consumer and therefore sell-in [to the customer/retailer] and sell-through [to the consumer] effectively for long term business.  Having a formal process or identification of your consumer gives you credibility in selling-in to the retailer/buyer.

photo: Dante Berdeuv _MG_0769

You need to build a consumer profile, literally.  Make this part of your company’s values and incorporate it into the line development process every time you design a new collection.

A consumer profile should identify the following:

• What motivates them; what do they value
• What influences them
• What brands do they like
• Where do they spend their time
• Where do they shop; where do they hang out
• What occasions will you dress them
• What makes them buy a garment

photo: Dante Berdeuv _MG_0749

Understand their psychology, emotional needs and relationship with clothing. Visualize all the aspects of their lives and assess how your business can blend into making their lives even better.

Focus on the consumer, not sales, believe me, it’s a win, win.

All photos: Dante Berdeuv

Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor

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