Recently I have conduct research on startups, fledging brands and business in general.
During the MA I realized that having my own handwoven textile brand is probably the most advisable choice. I would like to sell my own designs and work for third parties meanwhile selling some products as well.
The question comes up inevitably:
“Where to start?”
Launching a new brand on the market having no experience can be demanding and a lot of different aspects must be taken into consideration; the first thing that one should decide is the amount of money that can be invested in the project. Of course, it is clear that the amount of money necessarily depends on the type of business we want to establish. A good start could be to research available fundings. In my case, being a young woman is an advantage because there are a few fundings for new artisans that are willing to work in Tuscany.
Another thing to consider is the space in which we will be working. Rent a suitable studio is very important and, again, different aspects will be taken into consideration depending on the kind of business we want.
In order to launch our own collection of product, we must be able to address our competitors: Thorough research is essential in this case. Internet and all social media are in general very helpful for the purpose and I mainly use linkedin, instagram, pinterest and Eatsy (I’m not particularly familiar with twitter but I’m aware that I’ll need to start using it as well).
Other things to consider are Brand Identity and Brand Image:
In order to define a brand, the creation of a logo is crucial. The first step when designing a logo is to chose whether to use your own name or a business one. It is not easy to make a choice, especially if the brand identity is not fully defined, therefore broader research on the matter was conducted from which emerged:
- Recognizability: a customer should be able to recognize the brand by looking at the logo_.
- Choice of colors and font is essential.
- Simplicity: a logo should never be complex.
As I already own a brand that has a business name_ I have decided to use my own name to address my collection.
As written on menagementstudyguide.com_, the brand image is how the market perceives the brand: it is passive, superficial and it looks back. The brand image is the consumer’s idea of the brand_, it is developed over time and it is based on a consistent theme. In my case, the recurrent theme will be the craftsmanship and the outstanding quality of the product. The image I want to project is linked to the idea of Italian craftsmanship that continues over times, loaded with specific connotation. I hope that over time as my products become known I can increase the brand equity. As I want to target the luxury market, the brand image should reflect a classic style. Black, white and possibly blue will characterize each collection so that the consumer could easily associate the style with the brand. Website and social media will be used to define my brand identity while swing tickets will be developed in order to explain the brand ethos.
Addressing your customer and your market is also important when defining the brand image. The style of the brand, it’s colors and website should reflect the target market.
Those are the things I took into consideration while building my brand identity; I still need to define a lot of things but I think that whit time I will be able to launch my collection and start my small business.
 MSG Menagement Study Guide [Online] [Accessed: 24 March 2016] [Available from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/identity-vs-image.htm].
 Business Dictionary [Online] [Accessed 23 March 2016] Available from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/brand-image.html
 Healey, M. (2008), What Is Branding?, Mies : RotoVision.
 ChameleonSurf: @Chameleonsurf (Instagram,Twitter, Facebook) chameleonsurf.oneminutesite.it. The brand was launched in August 2015 and reflects the style of my hometown. It is aimed at young generation, surfers and sports-lovers. The production is relatively small and the product range varies from printed t-shirts to hats.