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study done in partnership with DHL, the CFDA’s official logistics partner, found that the traditional supply chain and production cycle is siloed, making it inefficient. The way forward for both emerging designers and established brands who hope to stay in step with a changing customer is to overhaul the supply chain by emphasizing relationships with manufacturers, understanding data, aligning production cycles to consumer behavior and practicing transparency.
“We’re pushing a new production cycle,” said Kolb. “A lot of designers spin their wheels around a lot of issues that can be sourced right back to an inefficient supply chain, because how do you adjust your supply chain from start to finish? It’s not something that will change overnight. But we’re laying out a plan.”
Facing a customer who both wants new product more frequently, as well as more eco-friendly fashion, designers are being encouraged to view their production cycles as part of their customer-facing brand.
The strategic supply chain
Startups like Everlane and American Giant have helped to make transparency in fashion trendy: They lay bare their pricing models and supply chain partners, in an attempt to rope in conscious customers and keep them along for the ride as they figure out the future of sustainability in retail. Mass companies like H&M, Zara and Gap Inc. have adopted similar habits in order to do the same; for fast fashion brands, speaking out about transparency and sustainability helps keep protesters at bay.
It’s taken longer for luxury designers to catch on.
March 9, 2018
New York, NY
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“Luxury is kind of opposed to this amount of openness. Designers like to keep to themselves,” said Kolb. “They’re afraid to do even a little bit to change their ways because they’ll be criticized for not doing it all. Our ethos is encouraging small steps to be taken and laying out what those would look like.”
The CFDA has proposed a production cycle that’s more closely aligned with customer behavior, because so much of what customers are asking for today can be pulled off with a better managed supply chain. Some brands are already responding to that customer shift: Designer Mara Hoffman has reorganized her production cycle to use more local manufacturers, meaning shorter lead times. Luxury conglomerates like Kering and LVMH are shortening production cycles across brands.
“We’re building context with our designers: Here’s how customer expectations are changing, what customers are aware of and how to deliver to them in the way they’re expecting,” said Mark Beckham, vp of marketing at the CFDA. “It’s the sharing economy, transparency, immediacy that are the macro-trends running through all of this. And when one designer does it well, it creates a halo effect.”
Sustainability at scale
Studio One Eighty Nine co-founder Abrima Erwiah had been working on her fashion line and designer platform for handmade apparel for four years when a friend tipped her off that the CFDA and Lexus were looking for participants for their Fashion Initiative, a nine-month sustainability program that brings together educational and mentorship sessions, network building and technology resources for pulling off an efficient production cycle at scale.
“We want to connect the dots and build a value chain that brings different communities together through creative fashion that people can resonate with,” said Erwiah. “Without access to a global network, though, we’re not reaching the customer. We can’t just be a cool idea with no access or no scale. Sustainable fashion is just more waste if nobody’s buying it. So sustainable production that scales is our top priority.”
Lexus has been working with the CFDA on its sustainability efforts for the past eight years, and this is the second Fashion Initiative program it’s hosted. Rachel Esperson, head of creative programming and partnerships at Lexus, said that each designer leaves the program with a tailored business plan based on their priorities, whether that’s a closed-loop production cycle, improved labor practices or a shift to organic materials.
As the program hopes to establish a new set of designers who are able to adapt to a modern production cycle while they’re still in the early stages, the CFDA said it plans to take what’s learned during the program and figure out ways it can be applied to established brands.
“The supply chain is critical to the transformation of the fashion and retail industry,” said Claudia Gorelick, business design lead at Fjord, a global design and innovation consultancy. “As digitization continues to affect the industry, designers must view the supply chain as an essential piece of strategy and brand-building — and adopt a collaborative, relationship-based mindset with suppliers and partners along the way.”
By Spencer X. Smith
In the professional services world, dozens of businesses make the same lazy marketing mistake:
They use commoditized statements to advertise their brand.
The marketing teams at these companies are so entrenched in the business that they forget to step back and evaluate these statements as an outsider. Perhaps you truly have the best customer service, but saying you do does not prove anything.
If anybody can say it about their business, it’s a commoditized statement, and it does nothing to differentiate your brand.
Most professional service businesses — banks, law firms, accounting firms, etc. — offer essentially the same services. So how can these companies differentiate themselves? By shining a spotlight on the people who work there.
To differentiate yourself, you have to identify what is unique about your business. And the only thing that is truly unique about your business is the people who work there.
Personal branding enables service businesses to differentiate themselves from all of their competitors.
How do you do personal branding at a corporate level?
The first step is to empower your employees to tell their own stories on social media, especially on LinkedIn. Any time they invest in building their personal brand while working for your company is time spent building the company’s brand. If you’re still shaky on this point, read my previous blog post about the fears that keep people from developing their personal brand.
The next step is to use your corporate platform to tell your employees’ stories. Why do they do what they do? What makes them proud? Why do they feel that their work at your company is critically important?
In my work providing social media marketing strategy for law firms, banks, and financial services organizations, I’ve seen many examples of companies that embraced personal branding and leveraged it to grow their business, as well as companies that have missed great opportunities because they weren’t ready to try something new.
Here are two examples of how to apply personal branding strategies to a business:
The big anniversary:
Most companies build some kind of publicity campaign around their big anniversaries — 25 years, 50 years, 100 years, etc. Surviving in business for multiple decades lends credibility to a brand, and is absolutely worth celebrating. However, this anniversary also gives you permission to do something very few are.
Drawing on the principles of personal branding — shining a spotlight on the people who make your organization unique — here are two ways you could approach celebrating that anniversary:
Read more here::
Marketing news, voices and jobs for industry professionals. Optimized for your mobile phone.
In a sea of digital information, you need to stand out as an expert in your industry. When you build a strong personal brand online, you can then leverage that platform to attract customers to your company simply by being yourself and highlighting your expertise and knowledge. Personal brand building requires a lot of work, but when done right, it can have an extremely positive affect on your company. To get your feet wet, start a personal blog or begin blogging on your company’s website. Create value-packed content for your target audience to engage with.While a blog is a great way to get your voice and name out there, not all consumers want to sit there and read paragraphs of information. […] create content in other formats, allowing you to convey your expertise by giving something of value. Video content is popular because it can be consumed on any device, and it allows the consumer to put a face with your brand. Publish a valuable guide or case study and allow it to be downloaded by simply handing over an email address. Habits of the World’s Wealthiest People (Infographic)
Create a strong personal brand across all your social platforms with this no-nonsense guide. When people visit your social profile, are they impressed? Doe
Branding is an essential element in every website. It gives identity to the website and allows users to identify the brand it represents. Each person visiting your website should be able to correctly identify the brand. Coming up with a unique branding is not a simple process. However, there are several branding guidelines to follow in order to make your brand stand out on your website.
The company logo should be used consistently throughout the website. It should be placed at the exact same position on every page and should contain the same colours. It’s easy to forget about the logo but it carries a lot of weight. Most companies can be identified by their logo only.
You should keep in mind that your brand’s logo is a crucial piece of marketing collateral. That’s why you should protect how it is used and impose restrictions on its usage. This means detailing the colours it should have, the background, size and where it should be placed.
For example, the brand guidelines on slack pay a huge emphasis on the use of their logo. They’ve clearly stated that their Slack hash logo be used on a white background only. If you use it on a different coloured background, you should use the black or white monochrome logo. They’ve taken these measures to ensure that their brand remains recognisable everywhere it is mentioned or featured.
With this in mind, always make sure that the logo is a high quality graphic that isn’t fuzzy. Also pay attention to the colour combinations and stipulate what is acceptable and what isn’t. If your logo doesn’t seem right, you should consider re-branding it.
Colours play a crucial role in branding. In most cases, people already associate certain colours to a specific brand. In this scenario, the company’s brand colours should be used to determine the colour palette for the website. A good example is Coca-Cola. We’ve all learnt to associate their brand with two colours, black and red. Naturally, their website would have to incorporate these colours for the users to identify the brand and feel comfortable with it.
Different colours also represent different emotions so it is important to put this in mind while branding. For instance, pink is associated with feminine qualities, white is associated with light while black is associated with mystery. The colours you choose will communicate a certain message and depict your brand in a specific way. You should stipulate the exact hue of the colours that are used for that brand everywhere. This means detailing the CMYK, hex, Pantone and RGB colour codes to be used every time.
Apart from colours, white space can also be used to complement the colours on a website. Coca-cola users their two brand colours and a lot of white space on their website and it works perfectly. Once you choose colours that represent the brand correctly, make sure that they are consistent and work harmoniously on all pages.
The domain name of a website is also part of its branding. In most cases, the best way to go is with the company name or a derivative of the company name. This makes it easy of clients to find the website when they search the internet. You should be careful not to use long or confusing names that customers might forget. It’s also a good idea to use a popular extension such as .com since it’s what users will guess or remember easily. Another option is to have multiple domain names that users might confuse for the main website and have them redirect to the main website. Of course, you’ll need to know how to correctly point multiple domain names to one website and avoid search engine problems while at it. Just make sure that you keep the domain name as simple as possible and ensure that it fits the brand.
Consistency in brand is crucial and it also comes down to the fonts and typography used. You should identify and the fonts and typography to be used on all website pages and social media platforms. This is an important part of branding that can be easily overlooked. The use of the same text style makes users identify the brand instantly once they spot it. Of course, it has to be consistent across all web pages and methods of communication. This is a great way to build brand recognition.
Even with a consistent and outstanding logo, colour palette and simple domain name, your website means nothing if it isn’t functional. Functionality plays an important role in ensuring that users are happy with your brand. Some of the things you should check include navigation and load speed. The website should be easy to navigate. Users should be able to get from one point to another without getting lost. Part of navigation includes having a clear, visible menu. This allows users to easily move from one point of your website to another. The website should also load as fast as possible. Slow loading agitates users and they might not visit the website again. There are several things you can do to ensure that your website loads very fast.
Still on functionality, your website should be mobile responsive. Currently, a large number of people own smartphones and other portable devices. A mobile responsive website maintains the integrity of the brand. It ensures that users are able to interact with the website on different devices, from smartphones and tablets to personal computers and laptops. Remember to make the mobile version consistent with the web version.
Once you follow these branding guidelines, you should create a brand guide. This is a document that shows others what your brand is made of and how they can use it legally. A brand guide helps in maintaining the integrity of your brand even when other people use it or refer to it on their own websites or publications. Ensure that the brand guide can be found easily on the website and you can even include a downloadable version.
Branding yourself means making yourself visible, PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE and communicating via all available avenues your personal values and what you stand for. This should be done with total clarity and consistency. It’s especially important to highlight your uniqueness in some easy to remember way, so that people will think of you and what you do, in the event they need your product or service.
Putting myself out there made me feel very vulnerable at first because I was accustomed to hiding behind my business brand and logo. Finally, I grasped that customers buy from people, not from a company. Then I realised that I had to put myself out there, not my business brand. This is exactly why it’s vitally important to build a personal brand, in parallel, before you brand your business. Branding yourself will kick-start your business and improve your odds of success.
The biggest mistake people make within the MLM niche is that they promote and market their company by piggy backing off their company’s brand or logo and products. I have since learned that this is very risky and definitely not in your best interest long term.
Because it places massive limitations on what you can say and talk about. After all, whilst you may be a distributor, it is still not your brand! You will find that all MLM companies with any credibility will be very protective of their brand (rightfully so) and have a strict set guidelines on how you can promote, market and use their brand.
Secondly, what if you have a fall-out with your company or you simply want to take a different path for whatever reason? Or worse still, what if your company goes belly up, which is what happened to me. Here is what happens: all of your hard work goes down the drain. I learned a bitter lesson about branding myself. If I had branded myself from day one it would have little or no effect, as I would merely need to find another home and move on.
Probably one of the best examples of someone branding themselves in the MLM niche is Ray Higdon. Most people don’t know what MLM company Ray is aligned with and yet he is the top earner in his company.
Once again, another great example of branding oneself is Gary Vaynerchuk. Whilst I have recently read his latest book Ask Gary Vee, as I write this I cannot recall the name of his marketing company.Does that matter? No. Because if I found myself needing the services of a marketing company of that calibre, I know that I could easily find out and once again “Customers buy from people, not from a company!”
Does that matter? No. Because if I found myself needing the services of a marketing company of that calibre, I know that I could easily find out and once again “Customers buy from people, not from a company!”
Andrew Plimmer – Blog
Email: Facebook: Twitter: Team Success Academy: www.teamsuccessacademy.com
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