When starting and running your brand, there's a range of issues from risk to reward. Showing your following that you are different falls at both ends of the spectrum, and is easily one of the more difficult issues that most smaller brands fail to understand the importance of making it known that you are different as well as legit. A brand doesn't just sell clothing, it has to do something bigger than that in order to be different, and in order to be different you should be doing the following:
- Create a brand statement: This statement should show what you stand for and shouldn't be the same old thing you read on every other brand page. "We are the motivation!", "We create clothing for those who want to see the vision" - these are all things that we see every single day, and although you might try to motivate your following, or create clothing for someone to see your vision, you aren't doing any of that if you aren't following the statement first and creating clothing second
- Create and document your content: Taking real photos is extremely important, and this does not (only) mean taking photos of people holding up wrinkled t-shirts in their cars as you hand merch off to friends and family. You should be taking real photos of the garment, close ups, of nice and clean merch. If every single post you put up has merch, you're doing it wrong. The algorithms are looking for you to be different, social media is more than just a platform to post it's a platform to interact. Ask your followers questions and seek to understand. Your content is the only thing that can relate to your following, your brand statement is what caught their original attention, now it's time to keep it.
- Invest in the risk: Having inventory on hand to sell is important in a post-pandemic economy. As inventory dries up and supply chains start to raise costs due to inflation, the real brands will have inventory on hand to sell while the fake brands will just post photos of merch they don't have (or haven't ordered yet) which will be confusing to their following. Investing upfront to ensure you have everything you need to take care of your following is important so that you can keep consistent with your flow. The last thing you want to do is post about how you have nothing left, and possibly letting your following go and purchase elsewhere in the mean time.
It is not easy to start and run a brand that actually makes a difference in the world. New brands are popping up every single day, mostly all of them with the same statement about motivation, money, or something bland that doesn't set them apart from anyone else. Consider the risks and rewards before investing into something that you aren't sure of yet. A brand is so much more than clothing, and we have seen countless brands start up and not know what they are doing. Don't be the brand that just thinks they can sell clothing, because it's much more than that.