How to Market a Clothing Brand in 10 Easy Steps

Published by
Kristen Dahlin

The fashion industry is an evolving and high-value market. According to Research and Markets, the fashion industry will rise to a value of $39.84 billion by 2025.

Style markets are growing more and more competitive as the value of the business grows. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to maintain control of their image and marketing in innovative ways. Let’s dig into how to market a clothing brand and how these steps can benefit your business!

What is a Clothing Brand Strategy?

Businesses across all industries need a brand, and they need a strategy to market themselves and that brand. Your brand is how your audience sees your business.

The face of your business is more than just a logo – it’s all the little details on the customer-facing side of just about everything! In the store, online, and advertising are just a few examples. Your customers and potential customers make judgments and choices based on how they see your business’s brand.

A clothing brand strategy examines how your audience perceives your brand. It’s all about asking questions about how your business projects its appearance and what can be changed to make that appearance more effective at influencing sales.

One of the most important things to consider when creating your clothing brand strategy is to understand your own business goals from the very beginning. This is about more than just making money. This is about having a clear picture of who your audience is and setting achievable and time-based goals. Having those goals in mind is critical from the very beginning of your marketing plan.

Step #1: Narrow Down Your Clothing Brand Niche

One of the most critical mistakes that fashion and clothing businesses make when trying to market themselves is that they don’t focus on a single niche. There are so many businesses out there trying to target every potential customer out there. As a result, the market has been oversaturated with more and more of the same kinds of products.

This results in these businesses not being as successful since their brands and products are no longer unique.

An alternative solution to solve this problem is to focus on a particular niche. In the previous example, businesses attempt to maximize their profit by reaching as many people as possible.

However, this isn’t always the best way to go. Although they’ve reached many people, not very many people will buy the product. Instead, focusing on a particular niche may result in higher engagement and conversions despite not reaching as large of an audience.

Clothing Brand Niche Examples

There are a number of different clothing brand niches out there that are quite popular. Focusing on one or two of these niches can greatly assist your marketing strategy for your clothing business. By focusing on one of these niches, your brand might achieve better success:

  • Plus Size
  • Small Size
  • Personalized clothing
  • Limited edition clothing
  • Regional and cultural
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Italian
    • African
  • Local designer fashion
  • DIY clothing
  • Goth
  • Historical
  • Cosplay
  • Maternity
  • Lingerie
  • Sustainable style
  • Gender neutral fashion

As an example, it can be challenging for consumers to find plus-size clothing at retail outlets. It’s somewhat uncommon for guests to find clothes in these sizes in-store, and often stores will only have limited plus size selections available online. 

For other niches, an online option isn’t available at all for major retail outlets. Specific regional fashions like Japanese or Korean styles can be difficult to find in person depending on where you live. Other styles like pastel goth may only be available from specific retailers or online sellers. That’s an opportunity for you to shine! 

Niches where you may find the most success are the categories that aren’t found in most larger stores. Although these styles may not be as widespread or as popular, this is exactly the point.

There are people out there who are interested in those styles and willing to spend a bit at your storefront to get those styles. Because you’re offering something unique that no one else is offering, you’ll be able to corner that part of the market! This is a fundamental piece of marketing for fashion brands. 

Other Angles

Another angle for businesses to approach finding a clothing niche is to focus on methods of sale. The market is becoming increasingly dominated by a desire for uniqueness. Selling a line of completely unique outfits may be the way to go.

Perhaps physical outfits have a corresponding digital NFT token that can be used in virtual spaces as well. The more innovative you get, the more you can differentiate yourself from the competition. 

Step #2: Establish Branding for Your Clothing Business

Knowing your niche is only the beginning. The next step is to start working on putting some elbow grease into your company’s branding!

Branding is extremely important for the success of your business. Your brand needs to be cohesive and appropriately describe and represent your products.

If it’s been a while since you last updated your appearance, it might be time for a brand refresh. We have a guide on how to refresh your brand to help you understand how it works, how to do it, and how to do it right!

Cohesiveness: Consistency and Representation

As you’re getting clothing brand marketing ideas, it’s important to build a brand that’s not only professional in appearance but is also cohesive.

This means that all the elements of your marketing and brand appearance make sense. Consistency and representation are some of the primary factors. If your branding isn’t consistent, your audience is going to be confused about what your brand is supposed to look like.

In the same way, if your brand’s appearance doesn’t accurately represent your clothing business’s product, that’s going to cause some unwanted confusion as well.

You can fix this by paying close attention to how your branding is used and setting defined rules to promote consistency. Design your brand style with the product and audience in mind. 

What will your audience respond to the most? What is your branding supposed to represent? Can you easily apply that branding across every corner of your business to maintain its consistency? Answering these questions is critical to the success of marketing for fashion brands.

The Pieces and Parts

Branding has all sorts of elements that are important for your clothing business. There’s your logo, slogans, colors, audience interests, and more. You’re going to need a solid vision for each while also ensuring that each can work well together. Making sure that each of these elements works well together is how you can achieve better consistency in your fashion marketing plan.

For example, a beachwear clothing brand will have more success if you target audiences that are interested in shoreline and beach activities. Aside from targeting demographics with this interest, you can also build your brand to represent this product with beach and summer aesthetics.

Step #3: Define your Clothing Brand’s Audience

Just as you need to know your niche, you also need to know your audience if you want to effectively market your clothing brand. Your audience is your primary source of revenue, so you need to cater to their interests. To do that, you need to do a lot of research to find what those interests are and learn more about their behaviors.

To understand a bit more about how you can better know your audience, let’s break things down a bit.

Take a Second Look at Your Niche

Start by being general. When you selected your niche at the beginning, you likely had some idea in your mind of who is interested in it. If your audience is interested in Japanese fashion, who do you think is going to want to buy it? Are people from Japan going to be your number one buyers, or do you think they’ll be from somewhere else? How old are the people looking to buy into this niche? These are questions you’ll need to do more research on, but having a general idea is a great place to start.

Do Demographic Research

When getting ideas for your clothing brand marketing, you’ll need to do some research to better understand your audience. You can look into your competitors and their marketing to see who they’re targeting. Take a look at who is engaging with their social media posts and you’ll start to see some trends in demographics. You can also do some of your own polling if you want with surveys.

In short, you want to get a more empirical understanding of who your potential customer base is. Through that research, you’ll start to see less obvious circles that can serve as opportunities for marketing your fashion brand.

Step #4: Create a User-Friendly & On-Brand Website

It’s a given that a website is an important part of marketing for fashion brands. It’s easy to understand how valuable it is for anyone in the world with an Internet connection to be able to find your website, make purchases, and learn more about your brand.

However, when considering your fashion marketing plan, it’s important to be curious about why a website is so important for your success. Seeing opportunities for how and why a website works for marketing is critical for your marketing strategy for your clothing business.

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most valuable ways to gain the eyes of potential customers on your website is through organic search. These are users who discover your website through search results on sites like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and more. The question is, how can you make it so that your website will be seen in search results?

You’ll need to do research and target valuable keywords that your potential customers are searching for. These are the terms they enter into the search box. Google crawls the Internet regularly to find pages that fit well with each search keyword. It’s up to you to create your website and its content in a way that makes it more likely for Google’s bots to favor it. This is called search engine optimization, or SEO.

Knowing SEO tactics on a per page basis is a great place to start, but the real benefits come from having a comprehensive SEO strategy for your brand. Think carefully about what keywords you want to rank for and what demographic may search for those keywords.

Online Purchases

Another valuable purpose that a website can serve for your brand is the opportunity for online purchases. Your website can serve as an ecommerce platform to sell apparel and accessories to your customers. Your website could supplement your brick-and-mortar store or it might offer some exclusive items not sold in store. In fact, you could run your entire store online and not offer in-person stores at all.

There are some considerations to be made with online purchases. For one, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how to process customer payment information privately and securely. You’ll also need to deal with the challenges of online fashion retail.

For example, one of the biggest issues is the fact that online stores don’t have fitting rooms like in-person stores do. To get around this, many stores have opted to support ‘virtual fitting rooms’ using augmented reality (AR) technology. The customer can use their smartphone and your app or website to access an AR experience that allows them to try on items like sunglasses, hats, or other clothing with their camera and their screen. The AR application attaches the items to their face on the screen with 3D models to show them what they would look like while wearing the item. Technologies like these can make customers more likely to buy those items online.

User Experience (UX)

When creating your website to help market your fashion brand, keep the user experience (UX) in mind. This isn’t just what your website looks like. It also includes how your website feels. You need to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and think about how they experience your website. How easy is it to get to your online shop? How difficult is it to navigate to where you want to go? Does the design of the website make sense? Is it consistent with your brand? These are all questions that you’ll need to answer.

A few particular pieces that you may want to focus on with your website are a high-quality logo and easy-to-access buttons like the user’s cart. A navigation bar is also particularly important for your website’s success.

Funnel Analysis

As time goes on, you can continue to improve your UX by performing a funnel analysis. This is a way for you to examine how you acquire potential customers to your website and what steps they take to reach the desired action, called an event. The number of times customers complete that event, like a purchase, is called a conversion.

A funnel analysis can be done anywhere, including in-store, but online it is particularly easy to track thanks to tracking software. Examine each ‘step’ of your funnel. If you are acquiring a lot of users at the beginning of your funnel from Google search, but most of the users drop off after visiting your store page without making a purchase, stop and think. Why are those customers dropping out of the funnel? What about the user experience could be improved? This is a critical way to assess your success and improve your conversions.

Step #5: Expand Email Marketing for Your Clothing Brand

Another important area that can help your market a clothing brand is email marketing. Email marketing tactics that work well for clothing brands include remarketing through email, promotional materials, and discount promotions, and encouraging users to visit your site with style guides and catalogs for each season.

You’ve already put in the work toward understanding your audience and your goals for your marketing strategy for your fashion brand. However, one of the most challenging parts of email marketing is acquiring a list of subscribers. You can get email subscribers through methods like sales contacts and opt-in customers.

Opt-Out and Opt-In

When you make a sale, you can make it so that they will become subscribed by default to your email list. The user will have to opt-out by checking or unchecking a box if they don’t want to receive marketing emails. However, keep in mind that users who choose to opt into emails manually may be more likely to be influenced by those emails than someone who forgot to opt out at checkout.

Remarketing

As your customers’ shop, tracking software can understand a bit more about their habits and interests. You can use this information for email remarketing. This strategy allows you to use that information to create personalized email suggestions about products the user may be interested in.

For our context, if you can get an understanding of the style the user is interested in, you can suggest clothing products that they may be more willing to click on and buy.

Promotional and Discount Emails

As we all know, one of the best ways to entice people to do things is with incentives. Like bait on a hook, you can get users to open emails by enticing them with a promotional coupon or discount exclusive to the email. Not only does this get them to open the email, but it encourages users to make a purchase. If they like their discounted purchase, they may be more likely to buy something else in the future.

Authentic and Useful Content

Marketing is full of numbers and impersonal strategies to try and encourage customers to buy things. However, one of the forgotten elements of a successful marketing strategy for clothing businesses is authentic and interesting content. This works especially well if it’s personalized. An example of this might be an email containing a style guide, outfit suggestions, and news about the latest trends.

If you can get users genuinely interested in email newsletters, style suggestions, and other emails, you’ll be able to build better customer loyalty and repeat sales. Incorporating this into your fashion marketing plan can be extremely valuable.

Step #6: Market your Clothing Brand on Social Media

Aside from your website and email marketing, social media is another valuable outlet to market your fashion brand. Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy for your clothing business is essential for maximizing your outreach.

One of the most effective ways to leverage social media to attract new customers and retain old ones is to use visual displays of your clothing. This spurs the imaginations of your customers and gives them ideas for products they may want to buy.

Instagram: Social Media and Ecommerce in One

One of the most important social media platforms to use for any Ecommerce business is Instagram. If you are able to gain a significant following on Instagram, directing them to your website may not be the only option that you have. Instagram has opportunities to transform social media followers directly into paying customers. Users won’t even need to leave the app.

Instagram creators and businesses can sell directly from the platform using Instagram shopping feature. Once you follow the steps to become approved, you’ll be able to sell products directly from Instagram. This reduces the number of steps that potential customers will have to take to buy your product.

Lifestyle

While building your social media marketing strategy for your clothing business, consider the kind of content that may interest your followers. Many fashion brands understand that a focus on lifestyle content is very effective in retaining an audience and enticing them to buy their products. Many people use social media to gain ideas about their fashion choices, lifestyle, and more. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your products to encourage people to make their dream style a reality.

Be Creative

It’s very important for clothing brands to be creative when marketing on social media.  As discussed earlier, it’s very important to be unique in a very competitive market. If you’re interested in learning more about creative ways to build your social media campaign for your fashion business, we have a guide about how to make your social media marketing unique and effective. Tailwind also has a guide on how to make successful social media campaigns that could be a useful read if you’re looking for more information.

Tailwind is a social media scheduling and planning tool. It can help your fashion brand efficiently and strategically run your social media marketing.[LS1]  With a focus on Pinterest and Instagram, Tailwind is a powerful tool that combines features like post scheduling, and photo editing with automatically personalized designs, post optimization, and more. Best of all, each of these features is ready for you to try out for free!

Step #7: Promotions and Discounts to Increase Sales

Let’s face it. Coming up with clothing brand promotion ideas can be tough. However, it may not be as difficult as it seems. Promotions and discounts can be very effective at improving your sales for new and returning customers alike. When combined with avenues like email and web marketing, these promotions and sales can be highly beneficial.

Flash Sales

A major motivator for customers is time. When sales are time-sensitive, customers have to act quickly if they want to save big. This means they will be more likely to make a more impulsive decision and buy into your brand. Flash sales are a critical element of marketing for fashion brands and can increase your sales substantially. Try and target items that you’ve noticed are high in demand by customers according to your analytics. Flash sales won’t be effective if you target items and demographics that aren’t going to net you much success.

Promotions are Public

This should come as no surprise to you, but don’t forget that you have to market your promotions. In fact, you may need to market your promotions across multiple platforms. There are some situations where you may want to focus on only one platform, like email marketing, to encourage people to subscribe to your email list. However, in general, it’s better if you share your promotions and discounts across social media, your website, and email marketing together. Bonus points for in-store signage.

Step #8: Run Social Advertising for Your Clothing Brand

Social media advertising is one of the pillars of marketing online for businesses. It’s just as important as your website and your email marketing and may even be more important than those two depending on your target audience. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social platforms are places where your audience can discover and engage with your business.

Facebook

Facebook can be a very effective component of your marketing strategy for your clothing business. According to WordStream, apparel is the category with the highest click-through rate (CTR) of all industries on Facebook, having a CTR of 1.24%. It’s important to optimize your Facebook ads to ensure that you can bring in more of your audience and drive conversions more effectively.

Instagram

According to Statista, the average engagement rate for Instagram posts made by clothing brands was 0.68. This is based on fashion brands posting on average 0.96 posts per day. According to Tech Jury, a fourth of Gen Z and Millennials consider Instagram stories to be a major influence on what products they buy. We have another guide on how to make the most of your Instagram story ads to best benefit your clothing brand.

Step #9: Consider Selling Your Clothing to Retail Stores

Having a brick-and-mortar store of your own isn’t for everyone. It can be expensive, and Ecommerce platforms are a viable alternative. However, there is still value to be had in selling your products in-store. However, you may not have to be the one doing the selling to consumers. Instead, you can sell your clothing to 3rd party retailers with in-store locations.

Why You Shouldn’t Sell to Retailers

There are some good reasons why maybe you shouldn’t sell to retailers. Depending on how niche your product is, it may not appeal to the audience of the retailer. It can also be difficult to get retailers to buy your product if you don’t have enough sales history to back it up. This step may be better suited for your clothing brand after getting enough sales history and data under your company’s belt to bargain with.

Why You Should Sell to Retailers

While there’s good reason to be hesitant about this, there’s a different side to the story. 3rd party retailers will likely be the ones making the most money off of selling your clothing. However, expanding the geographical reach of your product without incurring the cost of distribution has a number of benefits. It allows your customers the chance to see your clothing in person and try it on. It spreads awareness about your brand as well, leading to more online sales. If you play your cards right, it can be a valuable investment for your clothing brand.

Step #10: Test Clothing Brand Marketing Strategies

The steps earlier in this guide are not the only ways to make your clothing business’s marketing successful. There are many strategies that you can try that are worth experimenting with. All it takes is some ingenuity, willingness to try new things, and most importantly patience.

Run a Giveaway Campaign on Social Media

One thing you can try to enhance your marketing strategy for your clothing business is to run a giveaway campaign on social media. You do this by encouraging your audience to follow your account, like a post, or perform some other engagement action to enroll themselves into the pool of potential winners.

At the end of the period, you can choose a winner and send the winner a prize. That prize will be one of your products sold at your store.

This is a valuable tactic because it encourages your audience to engage with your brand and rewards them for their participation. Audience engagement is important because it can help your brand go viral and rank more highly in social media algorithms.

This can lead to your audience growing in size, ultimately resulting in more conversions.

Find an Influencer to Collaborate With (YouTube or Instagram)

For this one, we’re going to focus on YouTube and Instagram. Influencers on these platforms can be great marketing partners to advance your clothing brand marketing. These users have a substantial audience that they create content for, and often these audiences have strong engagement metrics. If you partner with an influencer who can showcase your products, this can result in major gains for your business.

For example, if you partner with an influencer on Instagram who showcases your new dress, many of their followers will become aware of your brand. This will lead to many of them entering the funnel, resulting in increased engagement and conversions. As a result of additional traffic and attention to your website and social platforms, you’ll reap the benefits of virality and better visibility in search engines.

Consider Google Display Ads

You may have seen ads in search results while looking for something online. These websites appear in search results before other websites on the first page. They also appear on websites that are within the Google AdSense network. These Google Display Ads can be used to your advantage when marketing your clothing brand. One of the major advantages of Google Display Ads is the ability to customize settings to target a particular audience. You can target keywords and other important aspects of your audience to optimize your ad campaign.

Ads on the web can help you find new customers and engage with your existing audience. Attracting new people to your audience can help you expand your clothing brand’s reach. Engaging with existing customers can help you make additional sales. Ads from Google can also help you drive conversions with automatic targeting. Google’s algorithm can identify valuable segments and push ads more in those segments for better results.

Work With Charities or Host Events

Marketing isn’t all about dumping tons of emails into a crowd and seeing what sticks. It also involves networking, public events, and developing your image. Partnering with a non-profit or charity can help you improve your image and make a difference in the world around you. There is a growing demand for more ethical clothing brand practices in recent years, and working with a charity can be a great opportunity.

Additionally, the people that you meet through volunteering, networking to donate to charities, and hosting events can be valuable for pushing your business forward in the market. It can lead to opportunities and partnerships that you never expected.

Start a Blog

One of the most valuable ways to gain search engine traffic is through a blog. This is especially true if you look to SEO principles for guidance when building your brand’s blog. Target crucial keywords that your customers and target audience will be searching for so they land on your blog post. This is the beginning of the funnel for them to eventually check out your products.

Blogs can be written by you and your staff or you can hire outside freelancers or marketing agencies. These professionals can help you understand what keywords you need to hit and how to accomplish your clothing brand marketing goals.

Prepare Holiday Content (In Advance)

There’s a popular quote from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas: “We’ve got to find Jack! There are only 365 more days until next Halloween!” Although this might be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s true that many major brands plan ahead for holidays well in advance. It can benefit your marketing strategy for your clothing business too.

This doesn’t have to be extremely elaborate. It can be as simple as focusing on seasons and rolling out summer wear at the end of winter or spring. However, you may find you’ll have more engagement with products rolled out for holidays like Halloween, Independence Day, and winter holidays.

Create Gift or Style Guides

Let’s face it, many people are terrible at gifts or planning outfits. That leaves a lot of opportunities for you to take advantage of that and give people ideas on gifts and outfits!

It’s best to market gift ideas around when you expect people will be interested in them. These would be times leading up to important holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and winter holidays. Birthdays are a bit harder, but you may be able to target SEO keywords with a blog post so that your audience can find it for themselves in search.

Style guides can be seasonal too. What’s the best thing to wear in the summertime? That’s a question you can answer for your audience and drive sales while you’re at it. This can also be a great idea to incorporate into a weekly or monthly newsletter. Suggest some weekly or monthly styles to your audience via email so that they continuously have engaging and interesting information to digest about your brand. When they see something they like, they’ll come to you to make a purchase.

Consider Brand Partnerships

Aside from when we discussed the opportunity that influencers can provide your clothing brand, we haven’t talked much about partnerships with other brands. These can benefit you in a number of ways. Working together with another brand can increase your reach, save money and combine the skills of both companies.

It’s important that you choose a brand that isn’t in competition with yours but still has the same goals. You also should try and find another brand that has some overlap in target demographics. These can be tricky, but if you can find the right brand, it might be a match made in heaven.  

Conclusion

Congratulations on reaching the end of this guide! It’s been a long road, and you’re now armed with clothing brand marketing ideas and tools you need to succeed with your marketing strategy for your clothing business. Now that you know how to narrow down your clothing brand niche, you’re prepared to corner your part of the market instead of fighting with the giants in the fashion industry. You now know how to establish branding for your clothing business. Since you’ve done this, your audience will be able to recognize your brand consistently.

Since you’ve defined your target audience within your niche, you can better direct advertising and marketing toward that audience with greater effectiveness than broad, general advertising. You’re also now prepared to plan out your website with UX and brand coherence in mind. Email marketing and social media marketing are on your mind now too. You also are probably already starting to get ideas on promotions and discounts to help you increase your sales. You also know that you can use social advertising to enhance your brand’s outreach.

Although maybe not an option for you just yet, you also know now that selling to retail stores may be an option that can benefit you in the long run. You also have plenty of other clothing brand marketing strategies on your mind that you can experiment with and try.

Tailwind can help you take your social media marketing for your clothing brand to the next level on Instagram and Pinterest. Leverage Tailwind’s post scheduling, optimization, image creation tools, and more to gain an edge over the competition and turn leads into conversions. Try Tailwind’s app for free to see how it can benefit your clothing brand today!

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Kristen Dahlin

Kristen Dahlin is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. Kristen lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, boxer Lila, and a very temperamental flower garden.

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Kristen Dahlin

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