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The digital realm is truly the new frontier for brands and advertising and now it is incredibly rare to find a mid-sized brand which does not have a well developed digital content strategy and online following. Brands from around the world have seen amazing successes in the market due entirely to their online marketing strategies or social media manoeuvrings and the good news is that there is always room for more excellent, high performance fashion brands in the market. 

If you are all about fashion and design, but do not know where to start when it comes to branding in the digital age, do not fret. Many of the skills and experiences which are gained from working in fashion can be translated to the digital side of things. Keep reading to learn about some of the all time best practices fashion companies should follow when it comes to branding in the digital era. 

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Maintain a consistent aesthetic 

Fashion is all about design, aesthetics, projection, and emotional connection, so it should hardly be surprising that maintaining a consistent aesthetic is of the utmost importance. Fashion brands which do not have a cohesive aesthetic end up looking disjointed, awkward, and out-dated in a way which is not dissimilar to the JC Penney’s catalogue. 

The additional challenge which modern fashion brands have is maintaining that aesthetic on all digital platforms as well. This means that the colours, branding, and even tone of the brand need to be the same across all digital channels and, if the brand has physical stores, the atmosphere of the store should mimic the online experience or vice versa. What this level of cohesion requires is a solid design strategy, starting with a well-made logo. If your brand’s logo is awkward, boring, or homemade looking, it is likely to be disregarded or to devalue the entirety of the brand itself. 

If you are unsure of where to start, you can experiment with a logo maker to get some inspiration and a better idea of what you like. Logo makers are digital tools which assist you in designing a logo through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), icon libraries, or design tools, depending on the logo maker. 

Regardless of the logo maker you choose, you will be invited to input information such as the company name and industry and then the logo maker will assist you in choosing a good logo for your company. After choosing a logo, you will then be able to customize the logo to ensure that it fits the vision you have for your company. 

Once you have your logo design, create a style guide based on the fonts, color palette and icon. This style guide will lead the way when creating all other branding aesthetics to keep your brand consistent across all platforms.

Is your branding evergreen?

It can be tempting to jump on the new Pantone colours for the season when they are realised and try to incorporate them into your brand. However, it is worth taking a step back to consider whether or not the colours which are trending now are going to stick around or if they are more of a fleeting fancy. 

It is definitely still possible to incorporate the hottest colours, shades, and patterns into your brand, but you may want to include them in a less lasting capacity such as in social media posts or single fashion items, rather than trying to incorporate them into your brand aesthetic as a whole. That being said, all brands update themselves if they survive long enough, so do not be afraid to give your brand a makeover when it needs one. 

Invest in the website 

It may seem obvious, but it is certainly worth it to invest in your brand’s website. We can all bang out a good looking website using the freebie tools on sites like WordPress and Wix, but to really develop a professional, high grade website, you will likely need to make an investment. 

While it can be useful to incorporate the newest technology into your website design, this does not mean that you need to throw everything into your site all at once and hire the most expensive website designer you can find. Instead, draw up a budget and do your research by making a list of aspects you appreciate of other fashion brand websites. 

If you have the budget to hire a website designer, it is highly recommended you do so. Your website is your cover letter, and website design is one of the most important things to keep your audience engaged and willing to purchase. If you are going the professional design route, make sure you read reviews of any website designer you are planning on employing just to make sure they have the experience you need to bring your website to life. 

If you can’t afford a professional designer, you can also check out some fashion website templates that are designed with the best practices in mind. This will definitely be much more affordable, and it is a good way to start. 

Strategize!

There are so many different aspects to digital marketing and maintaining a digital platform that it can be disorienting and overwhelming, especially if this is your first time creating a digital presence for a brand. On top of that, Google Analytics is continually updating and new tools are constantly being developed, so if you had some experience with AdWords or other SEO strategies four or five years ago, that experience is unlikely to still be relevant. 

Developing a solid, multifaceted, staged strategy for building out a brand’s presence on social media is the best way to set yourself up for success in the long run. When developing the strategy, you will want to consult an SEO agency or hired professional, depending on your budget, to help you with the aspects of SEO you are uncertain of. 

You will also want to identify key areas you want to develop such as social media, website, analytics, online advertising, brand recognition, etc.. When developing your strategy, you should create benchmarks for yourself, schedule in regular “check in” sessions to make sure you are meeting the benchmarks, and also give yourself some flexibility with regards to goals and KPIs as you will likely learn that digital branding and marketing involves trial and error. 

Consider your brand’s tone

When it comes to marketing in the fashion industry, social media is a huge topic and area of consideration. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are incredibly visual, so it makes sense that they would be a natural fit for the fashion industry. However, it is really important to be smart about your brand’s social media presence and operations before launching social media ad campaigns, partnering with different influencers, or developing your accounts. 

The first and most important step is to take a moment to consider what your brand is and what you want it to be. These are foundational concepts that should shine through in your social media aesthetic, tone, and presence. For example, if your brand is sustainable, forward thinking, and targeting a younger demographic, then the aesthetic should match that “vibe”, as should the tone of the posts and responses you give. 

Be smart about social media 

These days it is easy for even small brands to receive an incredible amount of pushback or critique online if they are perceived to have made a misstep. This is why it is so important to have a solid understanding of what your brand is and who your customers are before developing your social media presence. 

A few ways to be smart about social media include doing your (serious) due diligence before partnering with any influencers, not responding to any “hate” comments negatively but instead developing form responses, and checking posts and videos with a few people before publishing to make sure any typos or potentially harmful misunderstandings are caught prior to publication. 

Help customers with digital style guides 

Not everyone is a born fashionista and most people can benefit from the guidance of a style guide. Style guides assist buyers by showing them all of the different ways in which a certain set of products can be worn and styled. These guides help customers to gain a better understanding of how to build an outfit while also giving them the chance to visualise themselves in your clothing. 

On top of that, style guides are great for boosting your brand’s SEO ranking as they are full of keyword-rich, high quality content. These guides can then be used as a part of your brand’s holistic marketing approach and applied to email campaigns, social media ads, and banners on websites. 

Invest in blogging 

Blogging is not dead! How many times have you googled a question only to find the answer in a well phrased and clear blog post? There is a reason for this – blogging is great for SEO because it allows a website or platform to increase the number of words and phrases on the site. This in turn is picked up by Google’s SEO crawlers and boosts the site’s Google ranking. 

Blogging is also a great way to connect with other brands and “cross pollinate” if you will. All brands and creators are looking for a way to boost their platform online and a blog is a great way to connect with others and mutually support one another. Interviews, collaboration pieces, and highlight articles are all great ways to make connections and network in the industry. 

These are some of the best practices which fashion companies should follow when it comes to launching the digital aspect of a brand. The digital realm is massive and there are always new tools, platforms, and strategies available, so this is really just the tip of the iceberg. As with all things, trial and error, patience, and perseverance are essential to gaining success in digital marketing. 

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