Thursday, September 22, 2011


Welcome to Fah-schyon Lab 101! So, I have gone off and done some quick research for you. My post today will go back to the drawing board and focus on some advice about creating a winning fashion brand.

There are so many designers out there within the African fashion scene whom I believe did not even think about what they were getting into and as such are not giving us the best that they can.

Many mainstream fashion houses started small, some are leading in market areas that is completely different to where they began the business. Look at where Louis Vuitton started, by creating lightweight and airtight trunks!

Below are some ideas from my research. If you feel, I have not mentioned anything whilst reading, please d not hesitate to email me at

Step 1: Craft your image

Creating a brand perception requires intrusion. You are trying to position yourself with a buying market whose buying patterns can be very difficult. Your brand must be powerful and unique enough to force them to pay attention.

It all starts with a name so please ensure you give it a good thinking over. With enough frequency of the message, any name can become memorable. Obscure brand names are unique from their competition and often become among the most memorable.

Your logo is just as important as your name. The logo is the first visceral connection the consumer makes with the brand. It triggers the brand perception. The first measure of a logo is that it answers questions: Who are you? What do you do? What's in it for me?

There are other practical considerations in logo design:

  • It must reproduce well in various sizes and media.
  • It should reflect the sensibilities of the target audience.
  • Its intention and message should be perfectly clear.
  • It should be easily and uniquely recognisable.
At its best, a logo should convey an emotional connection as well as personality. The cleverness in a conceptual logo should get a reaction--an "aha!" --while conveying what you do and capturing the personality of your brand.

Step 2: Get Known

Branding happens in the minds of consumers. The promises behind the brand create its appeal, but getting the word out is still what brings in the customers.

Traditional media exposure - advertising, promotion, trade shows, direct marketing, events etc

Social media is a great platform for the budding entrepreneur. Here are some fundamental guidelines for building your brand online effectively using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and other social media outlets:

  • Listen, don't just talk. The days of saying anything that comes to mind or reporting what you're having for dinner are over. Hear the conversation first, then participate.
  • Ask, don't tell. The goal is developing an exchange. Force your opinion and you'll end conversations before they begin.
  • Be real, and have a story. Behave in the character of the brand. Give the character depth and be genuine.
  • Be interesting, and give. Add to the conversation by offering up whatever knowledge you have.
  • Be interested, and respond. Hear a person's need, then share expertise in a personal way that has no motivation other than to help.
  • Have a payoff, and say thank you. Reward your followers with something special and exclusive. Appreciate them for following your brand and letting you into their world.

Step 3: Know What the Customer Wants

In launching a business with limited funding, the potential for successfully establishing a brand is far too often based on the zeal of the entrepreneur's belief in the disruptiveness of the unique business idea rather than market intelligence.

To increase your brand's chances for success, you need to know five things:

  • How strong is the perception of your brand, and what would make it stronger?
  • What is the true level of consumer satisfaction for competitor brands?
  • Will your brand introduce emotional connections with consumers who do not currently exist in the market segment?
  • What percent of the market will consider change because of the disruptiveness of your product?
  • How much awareness can you gain for the brand.
The answers to those five questions will determine your chances for successfully branding your product. There are various methods for conducting consumer research, like focus groups and e-mail surveys, that determine what would make a consumer recommend your brand to a friend. If cost is a crippling concern, you must at least go out into the market, observe consumer behavior over a relevant period of time and keep tallies of each type of consumer behavior.

To succeed, you need to know what is the true perception of your brand, how many people hate it, how many it appeals to strongly enough that they would advocate for it and how that acceptance stacks up against the competition. The most successful companies pick a competitive position from which they know their brands can win.

To recap, things to consider whilst attempting to create a winning fashion brand are:

  • Attempt to equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible within the fashion field.
  • Ensure you have thought about and know your branding, marketing and selling streams.
  • Your fashion brand name is intact and your logo is hand in hand with your branding.
  • Don’t ever compromise on quality. Please avoid using cheap fabrics and accessories. It could cost your brand greatly.
  • It is good to be arrogant and cocky but ensure you are humble at all times.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks but ensure they are calculated risks and you can cope with the outcome.
  • Know what your customer's needs are and meet them.

So that is it from moi today!
Stay fashionable
Twitter: @Brownschuga

(source: online)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hello fellow fashion lovers! I hope I have not been M.I.A for too long ;-)

For your information, my blog Fah-schyon going forward will be known as  Fah-schyon Lab 101.

My initial aim for starting this blog was to solely focus on bringing to the forefront as well as advising my readers of the new names/happenings within fashion and beauty from Africa.

However, due to the rising number of other blogs that focus on this same aspect I have decided to take a different route which I believe will set my blog apart as well as "open some eyes" to enable some development/enlightenment within the African fashion and beauty sphere.

What I have noticed and read during these past years is that many people feel that purchasing some fabrics and picking up the latest fashion magazines and taking them to their tailors to sew makes them a fashion designer.

What seems to be lacking is a real desire to equip themselves by piling on the knowledge of what running a fashion business and being a fashion designer is all about. Fashion is not just about style or throwing things together to achieve a look, it is a business which should you choose to get into, is better if you are well equipped beforehand.

To run a fashion business, it is essential you gain some knowledge about the field either through studying a fashion degree or through an apprenticeship programme with an established fashion organisation or brand.

Fah-schyon Lab 101 will therefore be a fashion critic blog focusing on dissecting and laying bare the African fashion and beauty labels/brands and fashion events/shows that are out there or springing up within the scene. I intend to look at the marketing and branding structure as well as/or contrast them with other mainstream brand(s) which I believe is their competition.

I aim to also focus on the marketing and branding processes of some of the mainstream luxury and high street brands in order to generate some ideas for brand growth for the African designers.

Please feel free to comment or drop me an email at:

See you soon and stay Fashionable!