How to start a clothing brand – Step-by-Step Guide

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How to start a clothing brand

Are you passionate about fashion and dreamed of starting your own clothing line? Launching a fashion brand can be an exciting journey filled with creativity, challenges, and rewards. However, it requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and dedication.  In fact, let us start with the bad news first. 

Do you know that over 80% fashion brands fail within the first 2 years of their launch. I am not saying this, it was the finding of McKinney’s research report. There are similar reports by other well-known organisations that point to a similar statistic across the fashion & apparel segment. To put this mind boggling statistics into perspective, let me ask you – if I told you that if you eat a certain variety of pizza, there is a 80% chance of you NOT surviving beyond 2 years – would you still eat that pizza? Probably not.

Yet, people jump in to start a clothing brand without proper planning and budgeting, hoping for either some miracle to happen or count on their ability to wing it along the way or a combination of both. But in reality, both the approaches are equally bad. While it is true that you will not have all the information when you are starting today and you are going to be forming your opinion as you climb up the learning curve but jumping in blindly without proper planning and budgeting is a recipe for a disaster.

It is very easy to get carried away by the glamor that the industry notoriously portrays but when you start peeling the layers and get a look inside, you will a solid, structured and well organised operational beast.

Launching a clothing brand is not something unique. It has been done successfully several times over the years and even decades. It is not like sending humans to Mars, that as a humanity “we got to figure this out together” – NO, absolutely not!

Several successful case studies exists, multiple successful playbooks exist and tons of lessons from brands that failed is already around. You just have to spend time digging into the rabbit hole of what works and what doesn’t so that you can plan well for your fashion brand.

If your looking for “how to start a clothing brand with zero money down” – do not read further, you will be severely disappointed. This guide is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Neither it is a print-on-demand, drop shipping, Etsy or some quick pump & dump scheme.

Building a fashion brand is all about blood, sweat, and tears and being broke for as long as you get to product-market fit.

Starting a clothing brands requires hard work, determination and investment – both in terms of money as well as time and you got to be extremely careful on how you are managing your time & monetary investment.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of starting your own fashion brand, from concept development to launch and the potential pitfalls in between. Starting a clothing brand is an incredibly complex process with multiple moving parts. It would be unfair to put together a blog post to make it look super easy to start a fashion brand.

There are books, YouTube channel, podcasts, resources, knowledge base and tons of other resources on the internet as well as on our website that I recommend you should dig further.

This guide is a broad overview from the book – How to Start a clothing brand. If this overview resonates with you, I would recommend that you go ahead and download the book and read it at one go. My goal to write the book was not to make money but to bring awareness and for that reason this book is part of Kindle Unlimited program, so if you have kindle unlimited, you can download this book for free.

Before we get started, let’s talk about you.

Step#1 : Self-Evaluation

Skill Evaluation

During the early days of your clothing brand, you should organise your business into two parts – make stuff and sell stuff. And you need to be incredibly good in at least one of these.

make stuff

You should NOT start a fashion brand if you cannot do either. If you do not have the expertise in either making or selling stuff, then either you learn one of these skills or both or find something better to do than starting a clothing brand.

When you bring in early employees, advisors, or consultants, ensure you can articulate their value addition in the make stuff category, sell stuff category, or both. If you cannot put that person in either box, you shouldn’t hire that person.

There are other support functions like tax, legal etc., but those functions should be distinct from the above two core functions. Internal Hiring can be either for making stuff or selling stuff. Period.

Avoid the ABCD trap

The Anybody Can Do It trap, or as it is popularly known as the ABCD trap, is a major challenge for any serious fashion entrepreneur.

What looks super easy from the outside is very complicated, and it takes over a decade to build an enduring fashion brand. It would take you at least a couple of years just to get a hang of things.

Did you see I put a special emphasis on the word – just.

Getting the hang of everything related to your fashion brand by the end of year 2 is your BEST Case Scenario.

So why do people fall for the ABCD trap? Because it’s a clickbait!

In a world full of Hermes (1837)and Louis Vuitton (1854), it is super exciting to hear – build a fashion brand in less than 30 days or how to build a fashion brand with zero investment.

Step #2 : Market Research

There is a wealth of information available on how to do market research and we will cover the details of doing specific product research in a different post. If you are interested to dig deeper into the market research part, I would recommend you definitely read the book – How to Start a Clothing brand. There is more than one chapter dedicated to conducting market research.

For this post, I am going to leave you with some frameworks, desired goal output that you should have, when you are conducting the market research for your clothing brand.

#a. Understand your Platform:

If you are starting a fashion brand in 2024 and beyond, e-Commerce should be your go-to strategy without thinking twice. Opening an offline retail store is resource intensive from money and time perspective and until and unless you are not part of a large business group with substantial capital to deploy (read over $100mm in capital overlays), then you should refrain from starting a clothing brand via offline medium.

The book – how to start a fashion brand is dedicated to starting a clothing brand with ONLY E-commerce in mind. We have not only covered the step-by-step guide on how to conduct market research but also covered a plethora of tools by their end-use and application. 

So for now, let us just focus on two large e-commerce distribution platforms : Amazon and Shopify

First, let us compare Amazon marketplace with Shopify:

SnoFunctionAmazonShopify
1KeywordsAmazon
2Platform ToolsAmazonShopify
3Advertising MediumAmazon Marketing Services (AMS)Google Ads
TikTok
Meta (FB, Instagram)
Pinterest
Affiliates
4Storage & FulfilmentAmazon FBAExternal, independent 3PL providers
5Customer ServiceAmazonYour Brand

Amazon is the one-stop solution for ecommerce, but it is a closed platform, which basically means that you have to provide your inventory, and Amazon takes care of the rest. 

Shopify, on the other hand, gives you a building block and lets you integrate with other service providers and tools to deliver a similar experience to Amazon. Essentially Shopify gives you more control over your brand experience compared to Shopify.

There are pros and cons for both Shopify and Amazon, and it would be completely out of scope for this post to compare both the platforms. Go and read – 7 points to remember when doing product research for your clothing brands for Shopify platform.

#b. Understand Your Pricing

Once you have decided which platform to focus on, it’s time to consider pricing.

Long ago, pricing was determined by the cost+ approach. This approach meant that the retail price was determined by how much the product costs to make, and then there was a markup to cover the overheads and margin.

In retail, this changed further, and today, pricing is not determined by the cost+ approach but by what your competitor is selling. Modern-day retail pricing, at least in the fashion category, has nothing to do with cost, although cost multiples still play an important role in benchmarking.

Usually, retail prices are 4X to 5X depending upon the product, the brand position, and various other factors. Some brands can even command a 10X markup, but I recommend having at least a 4X markup; otherwise, you will be at a loss.

You must be thinking, how could a brand charge 4X markup on cost price and yet incur a loss? Here is an explanation with a breakdown.

Let’s say you sell a dress at a retail price of $40 on Shopify. Assuming a 4X retail price means your product price is $10.

Now if you have a rock-star performance marketing lead or you are one yourself, you know how hard and challenging to achieve even an ACos of 25%:so; your best case marketing cost / CAC is 25% (of $40) which is again =$10

You have another $7-$10 in fulfilment cost whether you are doing FBA or any other delivery network. Let us assume the fulfilment cost at $8. Adding up all these costs leaves you with a $12 net profit in a best-case scenario.

Retail Price per Unit= $40

  • Cost of Product (COGS) =$10
  • Cost of Acquiring Customer (CAC) = $10
  • Logistics & Fulfilment Cost =$8
  • Total Variable Cost = $28

Total Unit Net Profit = $12 

If you have a potential competitor with deep pockets and under-pricing a product, then it is better to avoid getting into the same product category head-on.

#c. Understand your customers and – your competitors

Your customers and competitors go hand-in-hand. In fact, your customers are a function of your choice of the e-commerce platform you choose for distribution, and often this important aspect needs to be noticed by most fashion entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs from design or creative backgrounds often fall into the trap of build first, and they will come – which never happens, and as an entrepreneur, you should always avoid this fallacy.

It is not a straight-line process but a constant iterative process that you should learn over a period of time to perfect your product offering.

It starts with a product hunch – this product you feel has enormous potential, yet nobody or only a few competitors are going after such a niche. So you follow these steps to verify your hunch –

  1. Learn everything about your product.
  2. Finalize your target country.
  3. Finalize your target platform (Amazon or Shopify etc.)
  4. Once you have finalized your target platform, you should evaluate your top 5 or 10 competitors; we have covered in depth on how to analyse your competitors in this book – How to start a clothing brand, so it is worth the read.
  5. Once you finish evaluating your customers, you should establish your price band. For example, some competitors may sell a product for $50 while others might sell in the $15-$20 bracket. 

Your job at this stage is to identify which price band you should go after, and you should have very solid reasoning to choose a specific price band and not vague reasoning. Your choice of cost (ASP – average selling price) will determine the type of customers and competitors you are going to face.

Step#3 : Design

If you are from a fashion design background, you may find some of the information in this step very basic. If that’s the case, you can skip directly to the next (step#4 – Merchandising Plan).

For others who need to become more familiar with fashion design, you need to know a few basic things to get around.

You can always hire an experienced fashion designer who specializes in your niche, but you must know the key elements in the design that you should look for when giving a design brief to your designer. There is no need to hire a high-end fashion designer, just hire a designer who is relevant for your niche. The fashion design process looks somewhat like this:

mood board
Fashion design process for starting a clothing brand

The basic design process should start with some inspirations translating to Mood boards if you are starting something from scratch. These mood boards should be well thought out and ideally structured around one master SKU and then you translate that mood board into a design brief, and that design brief gets translated into a tech pack which you can learn in this book – How to start a clothing brand.

What is a Fashion tech pack ?

Understanding of fashion Tech Pack becomes extremely crucial when you are focussed on starting an apparel brand. Tech Pack is short for Technical packet, basically the blueprint of your entire product (apparel, handbag, footwear, etc.) Your designer’s deliverables should be tech packs if you intend to manufacture them.

A tech pack is a set of documents with technical designs, sketches and images, measurements, a Bill of Material (BOM), care instructions, construction details, and even packaging instructions.

You would be working with an external supplier, and the tech pack becomes very important to bring all the stakeholders on the same page. Here is a screengrab from the tool Techpacker to give you a sense of how a tech pack looks like.

Fashion techpack 1

You can use software tools like techpacker or Adobe Illustrator for sketches and create the rest on a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Measurements: Depending upon the product type, the parameters for measurements can vary.

Clothing measurements 1

In the above example, you can see that there are over 60 parameters of measurement to be considered for a very basic night suit set for young boys.

The more detailed measurement means a more specific body, and it would be better for your factory to follow the instructions.

In the above example – each line item (serial no.) is a point of measure (POM). 

POMs are specific location from which measurements of the finished garment is taken. POMs not only allow you to measure the dimension and hence the fit but also allows you to measure the amount of variance that happens after the garment is cut and sew.

During the sampling and product development stage, you work with your supplier to define the acceptable variance. This variance is called tolerance, and the allowed tolerance becomes the foundation for quality inspection when your production is ready.

Tolerance is how you want your brand to be perceived in terms of fit. If you are a fast fashion brand targeting a low-cost strategy, then your tolerance can be high, which means that the variance – the difference between actual measurements vs. what you claim is a lot, so your brand can “tolerate.”

Since many fast fashion companies focus on cost and not focus on getting the perfect fit, most companies have a wide range of acceptable tolerance levels.

If you are also planning a low-cost brand, then it is ok to be focusing on cost and not getting the perfect fit is better. You always have to balance the fine line of getting the perfect fit vs. cost to getting the perfect fit.

However, if you plan on building a brand that people can connect and remember using – ah, that brand X, I love that brand, their XYZ product fits me so perfectly – then getting fit is super important.

If the intended goal of your brand is quality and fit – then tolerance has to be low, get the perfect fit, and quality has to be a priority, cost secondary.

If your apparel product (or accessory/footwear) requires detailing in certain aspects, you must have a separate sheet that clearly explains the detailing. Here is an example of a detail page of the tech pack of Polo T-shirts –

measurement 3

As you can see from this tech pack, that every little detail in this tech pack has a call out to emphasize the specific aspect of that particular element which is being called out.

Similarly, products with specific prints, designs, embroideries, etc. need a call-out. You even have a call-out for packaging instructions.

Design is a critical process of building an enduring fashion brand and even if you delegate the design process to designers, it is important that you understand different elements of design and remain involved in the process.

Step#4 : Build a merchandising plan

Until now – we learned the key elements of product research, design and product development in the previous steps.

In this step, we will dig deeper into the merchandising plan and how this merchandise planning ties up with your production planning and sales forecasting. 

There is an entire chapter that covers the merchandising planning in this book – How to Start a Fashion brand

I am providing you with a broad overview of sub-chapters within the merchandise planning:

  1. What is a merchandising plan?
  2. The 5 Ps of a strong Merchandise plan.
  3. What information do you need before creating merchandising plan?
  4. Inventory Allocation types:
    • Brand Activation & Giveaways
    • Organic sales / Word of mouth
    • Digital Marketing Push
    • Promotions
    • Re-orders
    • Discounts
    • Markdowns & Liquidations
  5. Budgeting and Financial planning

What is a merchandise plan?

A merchandising plan is a detailed strategy that almost all clothing brands operating within the apparel & fashion segment use to ensure their products are placed across the right sales channel (like digital marketplaces like Amazon or offline retail and wholesale) at the right time and in the right quantities

Some fashion products are extremely seasonal, so if you miss the timing, you miss the season. Similarly, getting the right quantities is super important. However, you won’t be able to optimize your inventory during the first year of operation because you will be doing trial and error on what quantities you can sell and what platform works best for you.

An effective merchandise plan maps back to the essential 5 Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People.

While I have covered each of these factors in detail in the book, it is difficult and rather complicated to put out the entire contents of the chapter here. But I am going ahead and giving you a broad overview so that at least you can get started.

Most important aspect of your merchandising plan should be pricing -ASP (Average Selling Price). And this ASP pricing should be a factor of your inventory.

The unit landing price for your inventory should be AT LEAST 4X your unit selling price of the product. In fact, we recommend that you keep your mark up as at least 5X or more. And don’t get baffled, I will show you below how even with 4X mark up, you will barely break-even if you are lucky!

First, let us understand the definition of this inventory landing price. Inventory landing price is the total cost of product + transportation (freight by air, road, sea) + taxes and duties etc. + any other costs involved for getting the product from the supplier to your warehouse.

Let us understand this landing price in reference to average selling price of your product with the help of an example below

Let’s say you are targeting a dress that sells for $40; your product cost should be $10 or below.

Assuming your ROAS is 2.5X, your advertising spent must have been $16 or higher – let’s keep this advertising cost to $16 upper limit.

Your unit Profit & Loss looks something like this-

Unit Sale$404X
(less) Product Cost$10X
(less) Advertising Cost$161.6 X
(less) Fulfilment Cost$60.6 X
   
Unit Profit$80.8 X

Note on ROAS

ROAS stands for Return on Ads Spent: this figure hovers around 2.5X to 4X for an established D2C brand. If you are just starting up, your ROAS will most likely hover around 2.5X

It must be noted that this unit profit calculation does not consider returns, damaged goods in transit or during fulfillment, marketplace fees (if you are selling on Amazon), a host of other subscription tools, and the salaries of your team working on this project.

So, did you see – establishing pricing at 4X product cost is the bare minimum for fashion & lifestyle brands, particularly if your distribution strategy is e-Commerce.

There are more nuances to the merchandising plan. I would recommend that you download our merchandise planning checklist to ensure that you cover all your bases when it comes to merchandising planning.

Step#5 : Product Development

In the steps, you learned the key elements of design and how to do sales forecasts and merchandise planning from—a top-down approach. Now we are going to learn product development. 

Once your tech packs are locked and your top-level merchandise plan is set, we proceed to the next stage: Product Development.

A typical successful product development cycle consists of creating multiple samples, each with a significant milestone. The process looks something like this:

product development

Proto Sample

Once your tech pack is done, you would like to start the product development quickly, but there is a catch. Often, there is a lead time to get your raw materials (fabrics, leather etc.)

Ideally, you would prefer to test all your assumptions from the tech pack, but sometimes all the exact raw materials may be available later. So you start with the first sample in a different fabric called the Proto sample.

The Proto sample is usually made in one size, and the objective here is to verify the measurements provided in the tech pack. The proto sample can be further divided into two samples –

Rough Body: Most factories will create a rough body on an alternate the fabric which could be different from your required fabric. 

Final Proto: This is the Proto sample which would be done in a fabric very similar to your fabric. For example, if you are looking for a denim skirt with a specific wash effect, your required denim fabric content is 98/2 (98% cotton, 2% elastane). The rough body could be in any denim fabric, but the proto would be in the same 98/2 fabric blend.

Key Milestones at Proto / Fit Stage:

  • Verify Measurements vis-à-vis tech pack
  • See the over product in terms of look & feel
  • Review packaging & other details that you think should be modified on the tech pack before moving on to the next stage.

Size Sets

These samples are developed to check the fitting of the garments across multiple sizes. Sometimes it becomes expensive and cumbersome for factories when you have a wide range of size measurements, so most factories propose jump sizes.

Jump sizes are alternate sizes based on which size set samples must be made.

For example, if you are making a women’s dress ranging from XS to 3XL, then the size sets could be :

XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL => XS, M, XL, 3XL

Or

XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL =>  S, L, XXL, 3XL

If the fits don’t match the human form, iterate again, just like you would iterate at the Fit sample stage.

On most occasions, if the fit sample is done correctly and the size grading is performed properly, then the chances of iterations are significantly reduced.

SMS / Photoshoot

Once your size sets are closed, you can proceed with your photoshoot or SMS samples (Salesman samples).

In a pre-eCommerce era, salesman samples were critical to forecasting order volume. The brands would display the samples in the retail stores, anticipate demand, and get wholesale orders.

In the era of TikTok, e-Commerce and drops, SMS samples have lost their relevance, but you can probably use them for brand activation and initial reviews and feedback.

The photoshoot sample should ideally be perfect, but in many cases, even if there are some errors in the photoshoot sample, brands proceed with a photoshoot and edit out any errors during the post-shoot editing.

Brands, however, communicate clearly to their suppliers what needs to be fixed from the photoshoot sample so the supplier can make the required changes in the final pre-production samples.

Pre-production samples (PP)

PP samples forms the base of your entire inventory under production. When evaluating your product quality or delegating quality inspection to third-party Quality Assurance vendors – all the stakeholders will keep this PP sample as their benchmark.

The PP sample is the physical representation of your tech pack with all the corrections.

If your PP is screwed, your entire production is screwed, and you will be sitting on an inventory that you never wanted in the first place. This stage can make or break your brand, so be very careful.

Once a PP sample is closed, you can keep the original one, and your supplier keeps an exact copy, also known as a counter sample.

Download our pre-production checklist to ensure that you are covering all the important points before you are ready to place that production order for your inventory.

There are several other types of samples like FPT / GPT etc. which we talk in a lot more detail in the book – How to Start a Clothing brand – Step-by-step guide

There is an aspect of Brand identity which we are deliberately skipping in this guide but we have covered in a detailed manner in the book. Remember to download the brand identity checklist

Your brand identity needs to develop when you are developing the collection, which means at the design stage. When you get to product development stage, elements of your brand identity needs to translate into physical manifestation during the product development cycle. Your brand’s identity should seamlessly sync in with your fashion brand’s merchandise and there is where importance of working with the experienced suppliers come in. Novice clothing suppliers often fail this step.

Another important aspect that we are skipping in this guide is production. Production, logistics and supply chain are super critical aspects for any clothing brand and at Hula Global, this is our core competency. However this post is already very long and if we start talking about production, it will be a super long post. Instead, I would recommend that you head over to hulaglobal.com and explore our resources, knowledge, collections, programs, catalogue and plenty of other useful pages to dig deep.

Step#6 : Brand Activation

Assuming that your merchandise magically appears in your warehouse (just kidding – we EXACTLY know how that “magic” happens) – we move to almost the last step before launch : Brand activation.

Brand activation is the most critical aspect of a brand launch, and it often gets lost because the founder and the founding team are pulled in so many different directions before the brand launch that they lose sight of the brand launch. In fact, just like this long post – by the time you reach this stage and ready for brand activation, you & your team is so drained out that you will most likely skip this part. By now, you have done everything right.

Here is the list of things you have done so far before reaching this stage:

  1. You have done a thorough product research 
  2. You found a niche
  3. You made the products
  4. You got those products shipped
  5. You created a fantastic website on a platform of your choice (Amazon / Shopify)
  6. You have created brand collaterals that will go on your website and social media channels

You have done everything perfectly until now. You need a trigger button to get the ball rolling; brand activation is that trigger button.

If brand activation is done correctly, you can create a very aggressive sales flywheel from very early on.

Here are some strategies for brand activation:

  1. Influencer Collabs: Influencer collaborations should be the core of your brand activation strategy whether you are launching your brand on a shoestring budget or executing a multi-million-dollar brand launch. You must allocate budget and resources to influencer collaborations if you are serious about brand launch via any digital channel.
  1. Pop-up Stores: If you have a product that is unique and can help create a buzz if presented physically, then you can set up temporary pop-up stores in high-traffic areas to create buzz and generate free word-of-mouth marketing
  1. Social media activation: The influencer collaborations should start generating UGC (User Generated Content), and you can create ads along with UGC to build your audience.
  1. Launch Event: You can host a launch event by inviting key influencers, media and industry professionals – this strategy depends on your budget.
  1. Fashion Shows: This will probably be a much more expensive affair than a basic launch event, but it is a sure-shot way to generate a lot of buzz in a very specific niche micro-market.
  1. Celebrity Endorsements : If you are launching the brand, you can partner with a celebrity who embodies your brand’s values and style to represent and promote it by leveraging their social reach. Try this one, only if you have budget or extremely close relationship with celebrity or their managers.
  1. Brand Partnerships: It is vital to create brand partnership opportunities with complementary brands to reach audiences.
  1. PR: Although historically, media & PR activation has not been a very effective tool for brand activation for a fashion e-commerce brand launch, if you can allocate some resources or even interns to create media kits and press releases and if you are lucky, you may be even able to get some media coverages with minimal effort. The keyword is minimal effort and “lucky”.

Step#7: Launch!

In the book, how to start a fashion brand – I have chapters, specifically dedicated on brand launch for three major distribution channel : Amazon FBA, Shopify and digital wholesale. But in the interest of keeping it short, I am summarising the KPIs for the launch below.

It is very important to build your key performance indicators (KPIs) and map them across specific timelines because it is easy to lose track of time when you get sucked in. 

Having milestones with clear timelines will help you navigate your entrepreneurial journey in a structured manner. Your KPIs before launch would be very different from those during and after launch. You have to establish your KPIs yourself and hold yourself accountable.

For each stage, I will highlight key factors to look for while establishing your KPIs. These factors are not exhaustive but are there to help you build your KPIs.

KPIs during pre-launch

All your KPIs before launch should be based on timelines.

Your design timelines, your sourcing timelines, your production timelines, your photoshoot timelines – it is all about hitting the timelines.

The cost of missing your timelines equals your opportunity cost for that duration.

From inception until launch, you should follow the steps provided under steps & timelines to launch.

KPIs during launch

Your KPIs during launch should hover around your brand activation KPIs

These KPIs should be –

  1. Impressions – The number of times ads are displayed.
  1. Clicks – The number of times your ads are clicked.
  1. CTR -Click-Through-Rate is the ratio of how often shoppers click on your ad when displayed. This ratio is calculated as clicks divided by impressions. If your CTR is below industry standard, it means you need to improve the imagery that you are using in your advertising campaigns.
  1. Active Influencers : Total number of active influencers who are active vs. total number of influencers who were reached out.
  1. Review Velocity :  It is the frequency of reviews vs Sales.
  1. Traffic growth, reach and awareness.
  1. Sales per day
  1. AOV : Average order value, compare your AOV to your competitors and also benchmark you

Look for red flags like abandoned carts, low AOV vs high CAC etc.

KPIs post-launch

  1. CTR: Click Through Rate :Continue to monitor your Click-through rates. If your CTR is not in line with the industry standards – keep improving and optimizing.
  1. CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization: Go aggressive on your Conversion Rate Optimization. Several resources on CRO have been provided under the resource section, but the bottom line is that you have to constantly improve your CRO and CTR and bring it to the same range as per your category’s range.
  1. Funnel : Get your funnel right. An activewear brand selling leggings at $65 /pc on Shopify with traffic from Facebook and Instagram will have an entirely different funnel than a very similar brand selling $20/pc on Amazon: Know Your Funnel very well.
  1. ROAS: Return on Ad Spent: The return you receive from your advertising investment – ROI of your advertising investment. This ratio is calculated by dividing sales attributed to your ads by your spending. The attribution varies by campaign type as well as a traffic channel. If you make $100 by spending $25 on ads, you have a ROAS of 4, which means you earn $4 for every dollar of Ads spent. This ratio is the measure of the efficiency of your core advertising platform.
  1. ACOS: Advertising cost of sales (ACOS)

ACOS is the per cent of attributed sales spent on advertising within X days of clicks on your ads. For Amazon, this X is 14 days before writing this book, while for Google, Facebook and other platforms, this X could vary. I recommend that you learn about the concept of ad attribution so that this concept makes more sense to you. So ACOS is calculated by dividing total spending by attributed sales.

Again, in the above example, if you spent $25 to get $100 in sales: your ACOS is 25%.

So essentially, if you look at ROAS and ACOS – both point toward the efficiency of the advertising strength. However, in practice, many performance marketing practitioners these days are using a concept called “Blended ACOS.”

While ROAS is the strength of advertising due to the sheer efficiency of the advertising channel, blended ACOS also considers sales that happened organically.

Step#8: Monitor and Adapt

Once your fashion brand is up and running, closely monitor your sales, customer feedback, and market trends. Stay agile and be prepared to adapt your strategies to evolving consumer preferences and industry dynamics.

Most importantly – be willing to learn. 

If you are pinning all your hopes on selling every last unit of your inventory at full mark-up (4X / 5X) of factory price, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, PLAN your merchandise even before starting.

When it comes to inventory and many people think – oh! I don’t want to sit on top of dead inventory. What they do not realise is that there is a method to madness – and that method is merchandise planning.

In fact, merchandise planning is the best kept secret of the fashion industry. If you can crack your merchandise plan, you have a successful brand. Every big, small or even medium size clothing brands – they all got a merchandise plan first before they even place their first order for inventory.

The goal of this guide was to elaborate how all different moving parts come together and bring some awareness to those who are not from apparel & clothing industry but have a passion to launch their clothing line.

Launching a fashion brand is a challenging yet rewarding endeavour that requires passion, creativity, and determination. By following this step-by-step guide and staying true to your vision, you can turn your dream of owning a successful fashion brand into reality. 

If you found this post informational and you want to dig deep, I recommend that you go and download the book : How to start a clothing brand : Step by step guide for in-depth research and make full use of our resources and checklists.

Good luck!

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  4. Outline your roadmap for success. A solid business plan serves as a blueprint, helping you navigate challenges and attract potential investors.

    • Business plan for fashion brand is a result of all the other steps that you take during the planning stage of the brand – whether it is range planning, merchandise planning or brand position planning – everything needs to perfect tie back and only then you will have a coherent business plan or rather a strong business strategy

  5. Before diving in, take time to define your brand identity. What values, aesthetics, and messages do you want your fashion brand to convey? This will be the foundation for all your decisions.

  6. This was extremely informative and great information for starting a business and even for designers who already have their business set up, there is information that provided details and helpful things that I didn’t even know. This was great.

  7. Thank you for this invaluable guide on “How to Start a Clothing Simple Steps.” Your insightful tips and step-by-step approach have demystified the daunting process, making it accessible for aspiring entrepreneurs like myself. I’m truly grateful for the wealth of knowledge you’ve shared. Cheers to turning dreams into reality!

  8. This article is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it has motivated me to begin working on my new line. I eagerly anticipate reading more articles in the future.

  9. Overall, fantastic job on creating such a comprehensive and user-friendly resource for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs! Looking forward to reading more from you.

  10. I appreciate the practical tips and insights you’ve provided, making it easier for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs like myself to navigate the complexities of launching a brand. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog on starting a fashion brand! The way you explained the key steps and shared practical insights was truly insightful. Your writing style is engaging, and the visual elements added a nice touch. Personally, I found the section on marketing strategies especially helpful, and I’ve already started implementing some of your suggestions in my own venture.

  12. Great blog post on starting a fashion brand! The information provided is insightful and well-organized. I appreciate the clear steps and practical advice shared.

  13. Fashion is not just about clothes; it’s a language, a form of expression. Starting a fashion brand is like telling a captivating story through design, and it begins with a passion for the art of clothing.

  14. Launching a fashion brand requires a perfect blend of creativity, market understanding, and a strong business mindset. Dive into the world of fashion with a well-thought-out plan and watch your brand flourish.

  15. Starting a fashion brand can be overwhelming, but this article breaks it down into manageable steps. I appreciate the guidance and tips shared here – definitely feeling more prepared to embark on this journey!

  16. As someone interested in the fashion industry, I found this article incredibly insightful. It’s packed with valuable information and practical advice for anyone looking to start their own brand

  17. Thank you for this comprehensive guide! The detailed explanations and actionable steps have given me the confidence to pursue my dream of starting a fashion brand.

  18. Wow, starting a fashion brand seemed daunting, but this article breaks it down into manageable tasks. Feeling inspired and ready to take the plunge!

  19. Wow, starting a fashion brand seemed daunting, but this article breaks it down into manageable tasks. Feeling inspired and ready to take the plunge!

  20. As someone with a passion for fashion, this article is a goldmine! I appreciate the practical tips and advice on how to turn my ideas into a successful brand.

  21. Great guide! Starting a fashion brand has always been my dream, and this breakdown makes it feel achievable. Can’t wait to get started!

  22. Embarking on the path to start a fashion brand is like weaving a tapestry of your vision, style, and passion. Every stitch counts, and with dedication, you’ll see your brand come to life.

  23. Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging glance easy. The full glance of your site is fantastic, let alone the content

  24. I am from PR background. I have worked with Forbes News, USA Today and many other global media companies, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle. Can you please help me start my brand. I have written to your team several times but never heard back. Please HELP!

  25. I am looking to start a streetwear brand but my quantities are small and your team told me that my quantities do not meet their minimum criteria. I really want to work with you. Can you please help me

  26. I am looking for uniform supplier. We deal in construction industry. I sent you message several times but you never respond. I have a very deadline. FAST reply please

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