Today, the customer has most of the power in deciding how the fashion industry meets their needs. This is aided by the expansion of communication, as well as, consumption and interaction all embedded in a powerful tool called the Internet. Apparel manufacturers now must come up with an innovative brand and business models. The marketplace is highly competitive and if consumers will be taken away from the competitors, strategies which supersede the product-centric model or even the company-centric model must be improved upon.
Finance remains the driving tool for growth strategies in a lot of company boardrooms today. Unfortunately, finance is an element which takes away the primary focus from the consumer. It happens that with apparel companies that place a lot of significance on research and development, consumers need do not top the list of priorities. All these companies do is produce what they can and push it to the consumers through their marketing, distribution, as well as, sales teams. Apparel lovers need brands to give them experiences that create a special feeling for them in exchange for loyalty. In fact, they wish to be a part of the input process. Where this does not happen, customers continue to increase how vocal and open they are in providing feedback.
A philosophy that is centered on the customer is an ideology which sees a company align its operations, production, as well as, internal controls to focus basically on the customer. It places so much focus on interactive relationships that last for a long time violating three important elements with service, the satisfaction of the customer, and engagement and all these are done in innovative ways.
Clothing designs must be driven by customer rather than just designers
Apparel brands need to be driven by the customer, and this is where asking the customer comes in. Models that are driven by the customer basically serve to improve the products and services while bringing the brand closer to consumer needs and wants. A very simple way of achieving this is by simply asking the consumers. Campaigns such as these are mostly outsourced by the companies where interviews, focus groups, online surveys, and more some of the tools used to get customer feedback. However, the best feedback is usually gotten from sources that are more innovative.
Think about clothing designs which are engineered not just by the designers, but by the actual consumers. In order to create more personalized and customer-centered designs, the top brands are finding ways to interact directly with their customers by giving them an avenue to share their experiences and how they feel about the products. By using innovative methods, apparel innovations that suit the taste of customers, as well as, their preferences can be engineered which helps to boost consumer loyalty and brand.
However, there is a new way of ensuring that your clothing brand stays on top of the game. Instead of getting feedback from customers as to how they feel about the product, open innovation is fast becoming the trend by bringing these customers in and getting them involved and allowing them design products, services, as well as, processes too. So, rather than having to ask consumers what their needs and wants are, they get to do it by themselves. This is what some of the top brands like Zara are doing, and this has resulted in clothing innovations and designs that are better suited to the needs and preferences of the consumers since they get to design themselves.
Customers are the retailer's best designers
Recently, a survey which involved over 1500 chief executive officers around the world revealed that complexity happens to be their biggest challenge. Unfortunately, less than half feel ready for change but points to the scarcity of consumer insight as a very huge challenge. For a strategy to be coherent, the direction must be clear. It is only the customers that can rightfully offer answers to questions about their needs both in the present and future.
Being proactive is very important in customer-centered strategies. It means being able to determine the needs of consumers even before they know it. Choices are very abundant today and branding only helps to serve as a guide to help customers choose from alternatives. What really differentiates the process is innovation. Innovation, in this case, involves allowing the customers to be the designers. In fact, for an apparel retailer, the best designers are your customers. When the process is built around the customer, project development, as well as, design becomes more aligned to consumer needs which helps to build competitive advantage over time.
The best way for you to gain customer insights on what to design is to allow them to create what they desire themselves. For your clothing retail business, bringing the customer directly into the process will help you to avoid boardroom challenges. This time, you will not only be querying the customer to find out what appeals to their them, but you will be inviting them to take part. This helps to build loyal customers and ensure creativity. For these insights to be complemented, the collection of objective insights and customer data analytics are extremely helpful.
Customer-driven designs reduce design development time
One of the benefits of involving the customer in the design process is that it helps to reduce the amount of time spent in coming up with designs while helping to position your marketing. The ability of businesses to predict what the needs of customers are by looking at what their demand patterns are and customizing their communication, as well as, advertising and promotion to suit buyers is pronounced. The form of advert which ranks higher than others is to make use of audiences that are empowered.
Customer-driven designs help retailers create designs that are trending
Apparel companies need to find ways of analyzing and improving consumer experiences in order to always create trending designs. This is why a customer-driven approach is necessary. When customers are involved in the design process, trendy products are sure to be the outcome with the guarantee of the segment who already want them. Then again, there is a need for techniques that are objectively data-driven in order to gain valuable customer insights.
Coming up with such technology that gives you insight into the apparel preferences of consumers through data can be quite expensive. Then again, this valuable data is needed swiftly in order to be able to create and supply the right products before they go out of trend. All of these involve money and resources.
But thanks to Neural Trend, designing in record time can now be a regular thing. Neural trend assists clothing retailers to come up with products that totally match what the consumers need, thus, resulting in reduced go-to-market times. Neural Trend makes use of premium AI technology to provide fast data analytics that you can trust. This way, product design can be connected easily with accurate customer demands very fast. The practical customized UI of Neural Trend technology helps to simplify and speed up the clothing retail process.
Now you can -
- Increase sell-through.
- Reduce your go-to-market time.
- Improve your market position.