How Influencers Can Build Their Own Fashion Brands
As a core component of the rapidly-growing “creator economy”, influencers have emerged as a fundamental part of the modern world. They’re perhaps one of the most valuable marketing assets businesses can access, and they’ve fundamentally changed how people buy products.
Today, around 93% of marketers say they leverage influencer marketing as part of their strategy. Plus, 40% of consumers say they purchase something after seeing it recommended by an influencer. As the impact of influencers has evolved, these content creators are gradually beginning to recognize new avenues for monetization and growth, outside of the realm of promoting other brands.
After all, as valuable as influencers may be, they can't always rely directly on constant partnerships with other companies to maintain a consistent revenue stream. This is particularly true as companies continue to experiment with different brand ambassadors and marketing strategies.
As a result, many well-known influencers are looking for ways to cut out the middle man, and promote their own brands and products to consumers instead.
Why Influencers are Launching Their Own Brands
While working with other major brands, influencers unlock exceptional skills in marketing, sales, and customer communications. They learn how to adapt their styles and strategies to achieve different marketing goals, and become experts in connecting with consumers.
Cutting out the middle man and launching their own brand means influencers can use what they've learned about their communities, promotion strategies, and content styles, to achieve direct results for themselves. When influencers launch their own brands, they can put everything they've already learned into practice, and start a business without having to rely on external marketing support.
Creating a new, personal brand can be an excellent strategy for influencers.
After all, while a career as a brand ambassador or influencer can be heavily unpredictable, the demand for ecommerce and social commerce is constantly growing. The social commerce market alone is expected to reach a value of $6191.13 billion by 2030. Establishing a new brand, in an area which already gains a lot of attention from customers relying on influencers, like fashion or beauty, allows creators to evolve their revenue stream from clicks and ads.
Influencers already have the foundations they need for success in the fashion landscape in place. They have a huge existing audience, and a fantastic knowledge of the marketing world. Plus, because they've worked on building a strong relationship with their communities, they can develop their brand around the core areas that matter most to profitability, like transparency and feedback.
Influencers can even engage their communities in the process of creating new products. They can poll their customers, request insights, and get their fans involved in designing the items they most want to buy. This community-driven practice can generate incredible sales and brand loyalty.
The Challenges of Launching a Brand as an Influencer
Influencers can achieve significant benefits from launching their own brand, particularly in an area where they already have a high amount of sway – like the fashion landscape. They're engaging, connected to a pre-existing collection of customers, and skilled in marketing.
We've already seen evidence of countless influencers successfully building their own brands. Kylie Jenner founded her own celebrity beauty brand as an extension of her personal brand. Negin Mirsalehi, wo was listed as one of the 30 most influential personalities in Europe, launched a bee-product based haircare line with a partner co-founder.
Unfortunately, breaking into this landscape isn't without its challenges. Many of the top influencers-turned-entrepreneurs have had significant financial support, investment and help to get them started. In the fashion industry, the barrier to entry can be even greater, as resources need to be sourced, inventories need to be managed, and logistics need to be planned.
Some of the major challenges facing influencers include:
- Managing product development: While influencers may be experts in marketing and building communities, they rarely have extensive knowledge in creating products. Designing a fashion brand requires a commitment to everything from design to sampling.
- Finding funding: Building a company takes money. Brands need to earn cash to build inventory. A single product produced in a handful of sizes and colors will demand a lot of inventory. There are also minimum order quantities to think about for fabric, packaging, materials, and resources.
- Supplier selection: Small creators can struggle to access quality manufacturers working for larger fashion brands, due to their relatively small order volume. The wrong manufacturers, on the other hand, can lead to significant problems with delivery management, quality consistency, and quality assurance.
- Warehouse and logistics management: Products don't just need to be designed and created, they also need to be stored, sorted, and shipped to end customers. This requires working with specific partners, and developing plans for success.
- Time management: The time involved in creating a product from design through to launch can take anywhere up to a year. The more time it takes to bring the product to market, the more money an influencer can potentially lose.
All of the issues above often mean influencers need to work with a team of specific skills to manage their processes. They also require these professionals to invest significant time and money into building their brand, all while ensuring they don't lose their influencer status.
The Best Way for Influencers to Launch Brands
The good news is there are alternative ways to enter the market for influencers who don't have the significant time and cash investments involved in a traditional go-to-market model. Perhaps the easiest option is to explore an entirely new business model, such as "print on demand".
Companies like NovaTomato can assist influencers and professionals in the creator economy with building their own fashion brands from scratch. It's easy to design premium fashion apparel, with trendy designs, luxury fabrics, and consistent quality, all without initial investment. Plus, users instantly gain access to leading manufacturers who already work with international apparel brands.
With NovaTomato, influencers can access their own dedicated design lab, with AI tools to help them generate patterns, and start selling online in a matter of minutes. Perhaps most importantly, there's no need to maintain any inventory, or adhere to minimum order quantities. Influencers can simply place orders when they're issued by customers, which means there's absolutely no waste.
To further enhance the quality of their brand, influencers working with tools like NovaTomato can adhere to their customers' values, by investing in sustainable, eco-friendly processes, which minimize waste and environmental damage. Plus, they can create custom branding assets like wash labels, hand tags, and shipping slips with ease.
NovaTomato delivers products on a drop-shipping basis, which means there's no need for the influencer to handle warehouse or logistics management themselves.
For influencers looking to embrace the benefits of launching their own brand, NovaTomato offers a phenomenal, no-risk solution, leveraged by cutting-edge technology, which eliminates the common barriers to entry. Check out the service today to see what it can do for your new brand!