HOW TO: Plan Your Collections

Lama Alshenaifi, from @idontgiveablah, reimagines the work of MENA-based designers: REEMAMI, 5ivepillars & Shabab Intl, through her illustrations. The focus of our article today is 'HOW TO: help you strategically plan for your collection(s).' These apply to anyone - whether you're already established or planning on launching your career in fashion. Contrary to popular belief, it is important to note that the items in your collection(s) do not need to serve the same purpose. While some pieces help in raising your margins, some may be needed to attract consumer traffic. As you will note below, you need to strategically plan your 1. attract customers and 2. ca$h in, to maintain a good balance! FOCUS ON KEY PIECES These are your signature pieces. They are the products that your brand is/ will be known for. These products can be new, where no one in the market is selling them, or they could be better than what your competitors are currently selling on the market. They may exist every season or they might be limited edition ones. MAKE IT MEMORABLE You need to address your unique selling point (USP), as such, maintain brand identity across seasons to come. Your collections need to be innovative, but recognisable. TRANSACTION BUILDERS These are additional items that complement each other, i.e. accessories. This is important because if sold at a more affordable price and if your USP is easily identified, people who may not be able to afford your other items and want to own an item from the brand, would be able to do so. Think designer belts, scarves etc... CONSIDER PRICE Pricing your products is essential. This is because it affects everything from materials to design to the potential customers you may be attracting. PROFIT GENERATOR These products would be the money makers! They are products which are often sold at high margins and always included in the mix of merchandise you sell. They also aid in boosting your brand's image through word of mouth advertising. QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY! You must maintain quality across all areas that represent your brand. This includes craftsmanship, services offered to customers, i.e. free alterations etc... IMAGE ENHANCERS These are the special pieces that boost your brand's image. They are products which retail at a higher price point because of the work that went into them. Think couture, but not literally. It is worth noting that they should not exceed 10% of your overall inventory mix. This is because, while they might excite your consumers, not everyone is able to afford them.