Build Your Core Products to Build Your Brand
A good designer builds core products to build their brand and business. Every popular workout phenomena always focus on building strong core muscles. Building your core muscles does several things.
- You won’t get easily injured.
- Core exercises train the muscles to work in harmony and lead to better balance and stability.
- Strong core muscles make it easier to do other types of exercise.
Now, you might be thinking, “Why are we talking about physical fitness?” Just like you have to strengthen your core muscles, so do designers and brands have to work on their core products in their business.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle for how to take your fashion career to the next level in just one post! This article is part of an 8 part Fashionable Promotion Series. Learn how to work faster and smarter than your peers by checking out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
How To Spot A Core Item
If you were to walk into any apparel store in America you will easily spot what that brand’s “core items” are. For the GAP it has always been their wall of denim. Chanel has their famous perfume. ZARA might be a tank top or a sweater. These tend to be basic items sold in high quantity. Both luxury and fast fashion companies sell tables or racks of core items. This is their bread and butter and where the company makes most of their profit.
Why Core Products Are Important
Core products are central (or core!) to a company’s performance and make the most money that will sustain the business. Emphasis is placed on the profitability of core products while still working on other products that hopefully will grow and add to the product line. Offering a strong core product line will do the following:
- Because stores or brands make most of their profit from their core items, it allows them to test new products in the line or take more risk with other products without “injuring” their bottom line.
- Core items should work in “harmony” with the rest of the collection. Your fashion items should work or be worn with your core items for a well-rounded collection.
- When you have strong established sales on core items it allows businesses to try new things out to hopefully build the business such as adding accessories to the line.
What Is The 80/ 20 Rule?
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule was first introduced by Italian economist Wilfredo Pareto, who, in 1906, observed that 80% of Italy’s land was controlled by 20% of its population. Joseph Juran then took this rule and applied it to other facets of business and economy including retail. In the area of retailing, one can expect to make 80% of one’s profits on 20% of their products.
Why Is This Important For Designers To Build Core Products?
While you are working on each new season be sure to stay clear on the difference between your core products and your fashion products. Make sure you have a healthy core product line, and that you build your fashion products around those core items.
As designers, we tend to spend 80% of our time on the fun fashion products that will only give us 20% of our profits. Why? Because core items are not sexy! They are not fashionable. Core products are not trending or peaking our creativity. No one is tweeting about a basic tee shirt that just hit the stores and that everyone is wearing. Yet every line has a basic tee shirt that they sell like crazy. And if you want to be a smart designer you will take these things into consideration and follow these steps:
- Each season, be sure to spend time designing great core items for your brand. This does not mean the products has to be void of design details. It just has to not cross the line into fashion. The product needs to appeal to your core. Think about creating signature trims or stitch details to make it stand out.
- Build your fashion items around your core items. If done properly customers will want to buy both!
- Work with your sales team to ensure you are making good profit margins on your core items and that they are properly placed in store or on the sales floor to maximize profits.
Fashionable Promotion Series
If you, or someone you know, is interested in taking your fashion career to the next level then please read the entire series. Learn how to make the right moves to jump to the next level.
- Create Your Fashion Playbook
- Build Your Core Products to Build Your Brand
- How Fashion Industry Pros Shop Their Competition
- Adobe Bridge – How To Get The Most Out Of Your Inspiration Shopping Trips
- 7 Ways To Impress Your Boss
- How to Take Criticism And Become A Better Designer
- Impactful Fashion Design Presentations
- How To Build A Personal Image In The Fashion Industry