Welcome to part 5 of an informative series of articles demonstrating how to launch a brand, from the perspective of experienced intimates agent, David Finlayson. Over the last few weeks here are a few of the subjects we have covered:
1. Identify your target retailer correctly
2. Competitive analysis
3. Prepare professionally
4. Deliver early
5. Follow up in season
6. Agent, Distributor & In-house Sales
7. Trade Fairs
If you missed the series read part one here.
In our last post we talked about how to optimise the opportunity of being at the show but in my experience, most sales will come afterwards as buyers get back to their offices, review what they have seen and decide what product works in their mix for the coming season.
I always take a lined notebook and staple in all business cards or write client details in to it. Alongside the card, make a note of what product they liked and what follow up you have to do. Also, spend some time during the evening after the show doing a recap on to an Excel spread sheet to keep things fresh in your mind. Send as much on the day as you can (during the evening), so you are fully focussed on sales during the day.
In the days following the show, send out a mailer or a hard copy look book to every one you met who you felt was relevant to you and you had a good feedback from. Send a polite follow up email to see if they would like you to come in and see them. You will often have to go in to the buyer’s office for a follow up appointment to discuss the finer details as more often than not, they will use the fair as an opportunity to scout for new brands and get an overview of existing ones to see what your new season direction is. I use Dropbox on my iPad and can send the look book and pricing links while talking to the buyers. Another good system is Chimpadeedoo which is part of the mailer system “Mail Chimp”. This allows you to collect email addresses from potential clients at shows and send them well designed e-flyers. It’s all free and looks very professional for your brand. Most people are working on a really tight budget so the more you do yourself the more you can spend on growing the brand in other ways.
So hopefully you are now in a position where you have placed some orders with your clients! We will be publishing more tips on Lingerie Stylist in the future but in the meantime, I suggest looking at a system like www.worldonahanger.com to send out confirmations, invoices and production orders in a very professional way without too much cost.
Remember; always keep the communication with your clients going, even if things go wrong!
Best of luck from all at APM. If you have any questions, please feel free to email email@example.com for advice. We can also prepare you a personalised package for launching your brand to the market.
David Finlayson was formerly the president of Sales and Marketing for Calvin Klein Underwear Europe and now has his own company APM AGENCY handling brands such as Marlies Dekkers, Chantal Thomass , Claudette and ID Sarrieri. www.apm-agency.com
For more detailed questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0203 544 3140.
They offer a full service package to help you step by step through the launch of your brand and help you make a success at retail.