If you are looking to develop bespoke sportswear and create a brand, but need to launch in a couple of months, have a rethink.
Launching an activewear brand into a saturated market needs to be considered and the approach to execute this should be 100% on point.
Sure, timing is important as you are super keen to launch as soon as possible, however launching something that isn’t polished and considered will most probably result in low sales and returned orders, costing you a fortune in postage and lost custom. Ultimately this could end up being the demise of your dreams.
We get several requests a week from entrepreneurs looking to launch their brand within a couple of months, asking and sometimes pleading with us to use existing styles we have already developed or worse, use white label sportswear and simply apply their logo.
This might give them “Merch” to sell in a couple of months, but honestly, this isn’t going to cut it. Could you imagine any established brand (Nike, Lulu Lemon, Rapha or The North Face) slapping their logo onto off the shelf blanks and hope nobody would notice.
Launching a sportswear brand needs meticulous planning and thought. The brand needs to make a difference and stand out from the crowd. It needs to have its own brand values and voice to penetrate through the crowd, so that anyone that buys into the brand really loves it and spreads the word.
You cannot deliver average, or worse, below average, as nobody will thank you. You won’t receive new orders and most of the orders you do take will be returned instantly. Instead, you need to amaze. The product should live up to your brand values and the attention to detail, features, performance and function should all be on the same level (or preferably above) your nearest competitor.
This all takes time. Time to design, samples, develop source and fine tune to make sure all the details are as polished as they can be. This is why we quote a minimum of 10-12 months to launch a brand from scratch and depending on the product and level of detail required, could take up to 18+ months.
It’s really important to put yourself in your customers shoes. First they find your brand, peruse your website and are convinced by your words and images that you are the best next thing they need in their lives. They place their first order with you but because they have never ordered from you before, are naturally apprehensive about what they will receive. Their first order will therefore be judged by this customer far more than if they purchased from an established brand with a great reputation.
When the goods arrive, the judging starts. They will unwrap the product while judging the packaging. They will touch, inspect and try on the garment and judge the fitting and quality of the materials and components used. They will judge the features, make sure the pockets work and are fit for purpose and check out the small details and branding elements. If the quality and attention to detail is there, they will keep the product and the next round of judging will take place when they use it when doing their sport.
Chances are, they will use your product the next time they exercise and this time they are less focussed on the details and now focussed on performance and function. They are judging how they feel when they exercise in your product and if they feel better or worse that the kit they already have. If you deliver a product that makes them feel better by offering an increase in performance or function, then you have cracked it and they will come back for more and hopefully spread the word to their friends. If you deliver something equal or worse than the kit they already have, you have lost a customer and the ability for them to market your brand.
Therefore, it’s important to slow down and take your time. Launching faster with average will result in you failing faster. Take your time, develop products you are proud of and know will beat the standard, and you have a great chance to build a successful brand.
Our average lead times to develop and launch a sportswear brand can be found here.
At Blue associates Sportswear, we only take on clients that accept these lead times and understand the importance to create amazing product.
Just as important as the product is the rest of the touch points the consumer has with the brand. The website needs to be on point, deliver a slick representation of the brand, its values and tone of voice which should be mirrored by the social media you choose to run. Every detail is important, including the choice of packaging, how fast the goods are shipped and who delivers them.
This attention to detail is crucial to building a strong brand and a strong following.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to get a free quotation, then please get in touch now.