Most designers start with public relations because, they rightly think, exposure equals growth. After all, customers can’t buy something if they don’t know it exists, right? However, without curating a unique brand image that captivates your target market, PR outreach is putting the cart before the proverbial horse. In fact, the power of a strong visual brand identity that I believe your designs aren’t your ticket to longevity, wealth, or loyalty.
Let’s do a quick exercise in the power of branding and perception. Go to your desk, or purse, or closet right now and ask yourself why you made the last 5 purchases you did. Did you buy that Chanel Red lipstick because it really looked that different from the drug store version? Or do you like whipping out those double C’s from your bag? What are you telling the world about your values, your perceived worth, or your financial wealth when you choose to upgrade your 10-year old Honda for a shiny new Mercedes? Do you carry designer leather handbag because it provides more function than a canvas tote? Of course not!
The reality is, with each of those purchases you bought more than just a lipstick, or a car, or a bag. You bought into the designer’s branding which created a level of status, prestige and lifestyle affinity that communicates to the outside world who you are.
For many designers, it’s difficult to pull focus away from your next collection and consider your overall brand identity. But consider the sheer number of designers worldwide – many will have a similar look and be competing with you for the same client’s sales. While it’s important to focus on quality and innovation in terms of your designs, don’t forget to figure out how to take advantage of branding, marketing, and PR to attract consumer and market interest.