In the core of every successful brand stands a very strong and clear concept and it is something that one must think about before getting into actual business. What does brand concept mean? It is basically strong brand identity, with which clients start to recognize you and associate you with the certain style you are in. It starts with the message that you want to spread to the audience, which has to correspond with the type of products you create. The colors you use on your products need to correspond with the colors on your campaigns and on your website and social media platform profiles. What makes concept stronger is the head designer or spokesperson wearing pieces from their own collection in public and impersonating that perfect client a company targets.
Since we are discussing fashion, I will give you a couple of examples of companies with very strong concept and how is that incorporated into their marketing strategies.
Let’s first talk about shoes and a brand called Charlotte Olympia, which only started less than 10 years ago and is now leading shoe designer worldwide. The designer with same brand name quickly became recognizable creating the ‘iconic’ Dolly shoes, which are high-heels with a gold platform. The brands philosophy is based on luxurious feminine shoe design, inspired by the era of the old Hollywood glamour as well as pin ups and movie stars from the 1940s and 50s. Olympia’s shoes are handcrafted in Italy, using finest materials with a signature gold spider web on the sole. The brand uses very often leopard, red and black in its designs, as well as objects such as animals, incorporated into the shoes. The brand is very recognizable because of its style and logo, and is already considered as classic. In their social media as well as advertisement, you can see that the brand is staying true to its concept buy creating pin up and old Hollywood glamour looks. You would always see bright colors and a lot of positive energy in their advertisements, and you would never see a girl stepped into the mud in their advertisement because it doesn’t correspond with their glamorous concept. On their social media the inspiration photos and other photos they post are in the style of the brand and the messages in their posts are always said with a classy and semi-formal tone of voice.
What impresses the public the most is when the designer is dressed in the style his brand is and that is how Charlotte Olympia Dellal looks like. Wearing the timeless and glamorous red lipstick, always on high-heels and appearing on social media and TV wearing only chic and high-end clothes. She represents her product and that builds trust with the audience.
Vivienne Westwood is another company with very strong brand identity and clear concept. Her clothes are inspired by the punk and new wave era and a lot of the clothing she created are political statements themselves, for causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights group – Liberty.
For over 30 years now, Vivienne is known as a cutting edge designer, pushing the limits of fashion, every piece of her collection is odd in some way. Her shows are not a typical fashion show, girls do not just walk to show clothes, she tries to show a whole persona. The models are very often wearing wigs and with painted faces. Vivienne has always been an activist, as well as politically involved. Participating in multiple acts and also using political badges in her runway, as well as cutting her hair off as an act of highlighting the damages of climate changes.
Vivienne is consistent with her cutting edge fashion decisions in her campaigns, as well as her social media platforms, where you can find pictures of her attending many environmental events.
Her company was a part of a controversy a couple years ago, being accused of using the green movement as a marketing strategy, however the brand was not being green at all. First in using materials which were not environmentally friendly and second, producing 9 collections a year, when an average is of 2 per designer. Such controversy might seriously harm your brands reputation and especially young professionals are highly advised to think a lot not only when creating your brand concept but when you are already in the business, being aware of what you deliver to the public and making sure that it is in harmony with the rest of your company.