Most people assume that being an overnight success is a good thing. The press and media follow your every move. There are interviews, pictures and your brand gets promoted by bloggers and famous fashion magazines. Sounds great doesn’t it. But what about the day after? What happens when the next ‘big thing’ is getting all of the attention and people have forgotten about your brand?
Look at the brands in the picture above, do you recognize any of them? The question is moot, it doesn’t matter because they don’t depend on the press for their success. What’s important is that all of these brands have a few things in common. They all started small and grew into something much larger. Now, these labels have huge offices that can be found in different countries around the world. They have reliable brands and even in this tough climate, their turnover per year is in the millions.
The Problem with the Press
Marks and Spencer, or M&S, started as a small market stall in Leeds, a city in the UK with a population of less than a million people. From its humble origins it has grown into a multinational company with 766 stores in the UK and another 418 international venues. This year M&S’s after tax profit was £458 million. Personally, I’d rather be a stable and successful brand than an overnight success.
I don’t want to put you off. You do need bloggers and some great press to increase your brand’s presence. The problem is that if you get it too early, the coverage will be wasted and you might not be able to get it back a second time. If it comes before you’re ready, you’ll never be able to keep up a constant stream of press coverage. The chances are also good that you won’t be in a position to serve the increase in sales or have any support to cope with the demand. The quality will, and it always does, fail. What comes next is bad press. By then the damage is done and you won’t recover. That’s why it’s better to have a well developed business that grows steadily and in the right way, rather than one that grows quickly with mistakes and missed opportunities.
How to Build Your Brand Right
Most people head for the marketing and press straight away. My advice is always to spend some time getting things right first. Make sure that your systems are in place and you have a business process that works for you. Also, you should look at outside suppliers and systems. They should be able to easily supply you even if the orders increase in a short amount of time.
A support group is also helpful. They will take some of the pressure off of you, and allow you to cope with the increased demand for your attention. This can come from image requests, social media and updates for buyers, online retail or any other supply chain issue that might arise.
Marketing firms and the press love a good story. If your brand is stable and you have a lot of experience in the fashion industry, then you’ll be better prepared to cope with success when it comes. Don’t chase down the bloggers and press until you have a solid foundation and are ready to deal with the attention. If you prepare ahead, when the photographers and bloggers come you’ll be able to cope and ride the wave to improve your brand.
[wc_fa icon=”cogs” margin_left=”” margin_right=””] Action Steps:
- Hopefully you are building a relationship with bloggers and press already….fantastic. Keep building! If not, start to develop a relationship.
- Take a piece of paper or open a text doc.
- On it, list all of the parts of your business that would be effected if you suddenly got 10 X more orders tomorrow than you get now. [Basically 10 times more orders very suddenly]
- So for example, stock levels. Packaging materials, factory production and contact, factory ordering systems, replying to questions and communication… etc
- Now go through each task and make sure you develop a system or strategy that will cope with larger orders.
- If you have helpers or staff, make sure they understand these strategies and when they might be needed.
- When you are ready, start working with the larger strategies where possible. Be careful not to over order if you don’t currently need stock / resources at this stage. Having the system or strategy ready, is enough.
- NOW start asking the press and bloggers for coverage.