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1/10/2019

Building Brand Awareness for Apparel Companies

Standing out from the crowd in the fashion industry takes more than a colorful or innovative product. In such a high-traffic information environment, communicating a straightforward, clear brand message can help companies cut through the noise. Simply having a brand name does not fulfill the need for branding. Apparel companies must create a strong brand identity to become distinct and memorable to their target audience.

Brand identity encompasses not only the visual elements – logo, web design, packaging, font – but also the values and character of a brand. By creating an experience around its brand, a fashion company can present a certain lifestyle that its customers can aspire to. A brand’s reputation relies on this experience and can win over savvy consumers who are concerned with how their status is represented by apparel choices. 

Fashion companies have an even greater need than brands in other industries to communicate a strong message due to ever-changing trends and the short lifecycle of apparel. The perceived value of an item of clothing helps differentiate it from similar items, and branding can help influence an item’s perceived quality. Cues from branding help shoppers decide how much they are willing to pay for one brand’s garments versus another’s. 

Communicating with a social audience

Branding is more important than ever in today’s digital marketplace. With the rise of social media, it’s possible for fashion brands to engage with consumers directly while promoting products and company news. 

Social media helps humanize once-unreachable bigger brands and gives insight into brands that are starting out. Through images and text posts, brands can offer a “behind-the-scenes” look at the people and ideas behind their company to build trust and inspire loyalty. Unfiltered content such as live videos can also help consumers feel like insiders during exciting events or Q&A sessions. 

Visually-rich platforms like Instagram can be even more useful for apparel brands. According to the 2017 CFA/CIT Los Angeles Region Fashion Survey,1 54 percent of fashion leaders say Instagram is their preferred social media platform. These accounts are typically handled internally, with in-house social media management dominating at 75 percent. 

Outside of in-house social management, the ability to partner with talented photographers and influencers is another benefit to using social media for apparel branding. Social media influencers in particular help promote brands in a more authentic way. Many influencers engage their followers with details of their personal lives and thus foster a more organic connection for the brands they work with. These brand ambassadors can have a global reach, helping even local brands develop a following across the globe.

CIT’s simplified and updated brand

CIT recently refreshed its brand identity to position CIT as a national bank and reinforce its goal of empowering customers to turn their ideas into outcomes. The refresh process included launching a new marketing campaign, tagline and website for both its commercial and consumer lines of business. The new visual identity system centers on a "Lens of Opportunity," which illustrates a customer’s goal coming to fruition. 

By putting the customer at the forefront of the conversation and illustrating how CIT can help with his or her needs (whether that means factoring, equipment financing, personal savings, or something else), CIT leaves a lasting impression that helps us stand out from other banks. 

Strong branding, whether in apparel or any another industry, can help build trust and increase customer confidence in product quality. A brand with an established reputation is likely to win customer confidence and motivate purchase decisions. Develop a brand identity that is truthful to your company’s unique story and you may win customer loyalty for years to come.

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