In the 1950’s the art world was dominated by the greats such as Jackson Pollock, Rothko and their abstract expressionist art was spearheading the times. Andy Warhol graduated from Pittsburg school of art and within years was already a celebrated commercial artist. His illustrations for magazines and newspapers would fetch him a great financial rewards but he still longed for being an artist.
For his art to stand out it had to be about something, it had to comment on something, it had to position himself in the present day world. The world around Andy was America in its consumerism prime. This caught Andy’s attention as he was raised in the great depression era, comforted by movies, fame and celebrity status. To him it was this glossy consumerism was the reality, which can solve everything. It was his reality.
He brought the commercialism to the art world. As he was a commercial illustrator, he knew mass production and consumerism hasn’t been able to touch the Art industry. Artist in that era worked on exclusive artworks had selected markets to sell and most of the work was not available to the masses.
Andy positioned himself as the artist who celebrates everyday commercial objects, celebrates consumerism. He was such a genius at positioning himself that everything about himself, his artworks, prints, installations, movies and appearances had that central element. For instance he called his studio where he worked a Factory.
This is what we call brand strategy and brand positioning strategy today but at that time this was something Art world had never seen, resulting in an art movement called Pop Art.
Behind every successful brand is a carefully designed positioning strategy. Positioning is the dynamic approach that adapts to ever changing markets, customer behaviour and content consumption. Focusing on positioning a brand, creates space in the current crowded, competition driven segment of lifestyle and fashion eCommerce.
Positioning is the fundamental concept in all branding, marketing and social media touch points.
Why you should bother about positioning?
It is only for the brands who are consumer centric, as it’s conceived keeping the customer as the focal point. A well positioned brand speaks directly to the customers and breaks through the barriers of over-saturated markets.
If you are in the lifestyle and fashion eCommerce segment you are in a crowded place with a lot of players competing for your ideal consumer’s attention. The brand who understands their consumers the most, has the advantage.
How to position your lifestyle and fashion eCommerce brand?
Positioning is the successful amalgamation of price, product, promotion and place, the dimensions that controls sales.
The one line statement:
What: The only (category)
How: that (differentiating characteristic)
Who: for (customer)
Where: in (market geography)
Why: who (need state)
When: during (underlying trend)
It might be clichéd and old but if answered honestly and defined sincerely there’s so much valuable information you can gather from it. Start with the following steps and you’ll be on your path towards better positioning your brand.
Your lifestyle and fashion brand is an extension of yourself, your values, your views, your story and first step to go in that direction is to define how you want your brand to be perceived. This is the phase where you must invest most of your time.
A strong brand is built on clarity of thought.
Pyermoss.com a relatively new brand has a distinctive defined themselves and it translates well in their products and visual communication throughout all their touch points.
You need to define your audience and know them well enough. If your answer is your brand is for everyone then in reality it will be for none. Brands grow stronger when they narrow their focus.
Survey’s are lazy, focus groups lack intent, in order to outgun your competition you need to go the extra mile, connect personally with your defined audience ask questions, observe where they spend time, how your brand can value them and you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
Alison Lou has a crystal clear understanding of their audience, which explains their recent rise in popularity. A jewelry brand that’s competing with brands quadruple their size.
Kenzo, the most fun, supporting in your face attitude clothing brand sells more than just clothes, so does Fendi, Luis Vitton and Hermes. All these luxury brands have evolved but in their initial days of gaining attention they catered to only one single category, Kenzo was all about Fur, Fendi was about bright leather bags and so on. Hence you need to focus only and purely one single category. Get to the essence of that category gain your audience and evolve from there but you have to narrow yourself to just one category and own it.
Gentle monster have done what kenzo did in their early years, they have crafted a niche category for their brand. This can be easily experience through their digital presence.
Major points are discovered by now, you have the brand’s essence, you understand your audience, you have defined your focused category now imagine where does in this whole scheme of things you can provide actual value. For instance zappo’s is for customer service, Volvo stands for safety, Lady gaga is Madonna and Everlane is for radical transparency of present times so where can you provide authentic value to the customer.
Define your value proposition and own it!
They have managed to own their value proposition so well that it disrupted the market and changed the way we see fashion brands doing business.
That’s where the mostly majority of the brands fail. It looks promising in the spreadsheets and PPT presentations but keeping it together in the execution is the ultimate test of your preparedness.
Consistent approach firms your position in customers eye, don’t take customer for granted. Invest value in your customers and your customers will value you. We have talked about the detailed process of how to create a lifestyle brand here.
We have listed few questions that you need to ask yourself and take action on to be able to successfully position your lifestyle and fashion brand among the competition.
Do you have a brand identity program in place?
Have personally interviewed (at least 5) your target audience?
Do you know where they spend most of their time?
Do you know what they long for in their favorite brands?
Do you know what they love about their favorite brands?
Have you defined a tone of voice to your brand?
Which emotion your brand is catering to?
Which colour pallet your brand is focused on?
Do you have a typeface aligned to your brand value?
Do you have a specific artwork supporting your brand?
Do you have a focus category?
Have you aligned yourself with a cultural movement?
Which art movement best describes your brand?
Have you incorporated it in your communications?
Which genre of music best describes your brand?
Have you incorporated it in your communications?
Have you articulated your value proposition?
Have you distilled your brand essence in one single tagline?