The background of #business models

business model describes how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value,[2] in economic, social, cultural or other contexts. The process of business model construction and modification is also called business model innovation and forms a part of business strategy.[1]

Business model innovation is an iterative and potentially circular process[1]

In theory and practice, the term business modelis used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of an organization or business, including purposebusiness processtarget customers, offerings, strategies, infrastructureorganizational structures, sourcing, trading practices, and operational processes and policies including culture.

Context

The literature has provided very diverse interpretations and definitions of a business model. A systematic review and analysis of manager responses to a survey defines business models as the design of organizational structures to enact a commercial opportunity.[3]Further extensions to this design logic emphasize the use of narrative or coherence in business model descriptions as mechanisms by which entrepreneurs create extraordinarily successful growth firms.[4]

Business models are used to describe and classify businesses, especially in an entrepreneurial setting, but they are also used by managers inside companies to explore possibilities for future development. Well-known business models can operate as “recipes” for creative managers.[5] Business models are also referred to in some instances within the context of accounting for purposes of public reporting.

History

Over the years, business models have become much more sophisticated. The bait and hookbusiness model (also referred to as the “razor and blades business model” or the “tied products business model”) was introduced in the early 20th century. This involves offering a basic product at a very low cost, often at a loss (the “bait”), then charging compensatory recurring amounts for refills or associated products or services (the “hook”). Examples include: razor (bait) and blades (hook); cell phones (bait) and air time (hook); computer printers (bait) and ink cartridge refills (hook); and cameras (bait) and prints (hook). A variant of this model was employed by Adobe, a software developer that gave away its document reader free of charge but charged several hundred dollars for its document writer.

In the 1950s, new business models came from McDonald’s Restaurants and Toyota. In the 1960s, the innovators were Wal-Mart and Hypermarkets. The 1970s saw new business models from FedEx and Toys R Us; the 1980s from BlockbusterHome DepotIntel, and Dell Computer; the 1990s from Southwest AirlinesNetflixeBayAmazon.com, and Starbucks.

Today, the type of business models might depend on how technology is used. For example, entrepreneurs on the internet have also created new models that depend entirely on existing or emergent technology. Using technology, businesses can reach a large number of customers with minimal costs. In addition, the rise of outsourcing and globalization has meant that business models must also account for strategic sourcing, complex supply chains and moves to collaborative, relational contracting structures.[6]

Theoretical and empirical insights

Design logic and narrative coherence

Design logic views the business model as an outcome of creating new organizational structures or changing existing structures to pursue a new opportunity. Gerry George and Adam Bock (2011) conducted a comprehensive literature review and surveyed managers to understand how they perceived the components of a business model.[3] In that analysis these authors show that there is a design logic behind how entrepreneurs and managers perceive and explain their business model. In further extensions to the design logic, George and Bock (2012) use case studies and the IBM survey data on business models in large companies, to describe how CEOs and entrepreneurs create narratives or stories in a coherent manner to move the business from one opportunity to another.[4] They also show that when the narrative is incoherent or the components of the story are misaligned, that these businesses tend to fail. They recommend ways in which the entrepreneur or CEO can create strong narratives for change.

Complementarities between partnering firms

Berglund and Sandström (2013) argued that business models should be understood from an open systems perspective as opposed to being a firm-internal concern. Since innovating firms do not have executive control over their surrounding network, business model innovation tends to require soft power tactics with the goal of aligning heterogeneous interests.[7] As a result, open business models are created as firms increasingly rely on partners and suppliers to provide new activities that are outside their competence base.[8] In a study of collaborative research and external sourcing of technology, Hummel et al. (2010) similarly found that in deciding on business partners, it is important to make sure that both parties’ business models are complementary.[9] For example, they found that it was important to identify the value drivers of potential partners by analyzing their business models, and that it is beneficial to find partner firms that understand key aspects of one’s own firm’s business model.[10]

The University of Tennessee conducted research into highly collaborative business relationships. Researchers codified their research into a sourcing business model known as Vested Outsourcing), a hybrid sourcing business model in which buyers and suppliers in an outsourcing or business relationship focus on shared values and goals to create an arrangement that is highly collaborative and mutually beneficial to each.[11]

Categorization

From about 2012, some research and experimentation has theorized about a so-called “liquid business model”.[12][13]

Shift from pipes to platforms

Sangeet Paul Choudary distinguishes between two broad families of business models in an article in Wired magazine.[14] Choudary contrasts pipes (linear business models) with platforms (networked business models). In the case of pipes, firms create goods and services, push them out and sell them to customers. Value is produced upstream and consumed downstream. There is a linear flow, much like water flowing through a pipe. Unlike pipes, platforms do not just create and push stuff out. They allow users to create and consume value.

Alex Moazed, founder and CEO of Applico, defines a platform as a business model that creates value by facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups usually consumers and producers of a given value.[15]As a result of digital transformation, it is the predominant business model of the 21st century.

In an op-ed on MarketWatch,[16] Choudary, Van Alstyne and Parker further explain how business models are moving from pipes to platforms, leading to disruption of entire industries.

Platform

There are three elements to a successful platform business model.[17] The toolboxcreates connection by making it easy for others to plug into the platform. This infrastructure enables interactions between participants. The magnet creates pull that attracts participants to the platform. For transaction platforms, both producers and consumers must be present to achieve critical mass. The matchmaker fosters the flow of value by making connections between producers and consumers. Data is at the heart of successful matchmaking, and distinguishes platforms from other business models.

Chen (2009) stated that the business model has to take into account the capabilities of Web 2.0, such as collective intelligence, network effects, user-generated content, and the possibility of self-improving systems. He suggested that the service industry such as the airline, traffic, transportation, hotel, restaurant, information and communications technology and online gaming industries will be able to benefit in adopting business models that take into account the characteristics of Web 2.0. He also emphasized that Business Model 2.0 has to take into account not just the technology effect of Web 2.0 but also the networking effect. He gave the example of the success story of Amazon in making huge revenues each year by developing an open platform that supports a community of companies that re-use Amazon’s on-demand commerce services.[18][need quotation to verify]

Impacts of platform business models

Jose van Dijck (2013) identifies three main ways that media platforms choose to monetize, which mark a change from traditional business models.[19] One is the subscription model, in which platforms charge users a small monthly fee in exchange for services. She notes that the model was ill-suited for those “accustomed to free content and services”, leading to a variant, the freemium model. A second method is via advertising. Arguing that traditional advertising is no longer appealing to people used to “user-generated content and social networking”, she states that companies now turn to strategies of customization and personalization in targeted advertising. Eric K. Clemons (2009) asserts that consumers no longer trust most commercial messages;[20] Van Dijck argues platforms are able to circumvent the issue through personal recommendations from friends or influencers on social media platforms, which can serve as a more subtle form of advertisement. Finally, a third common business model is monetization of data and metadata generated from the use of platforms.

Applications

Malone et al.[21] found that some business models, as defined by them, indeed performed better than others in a dataset consisting of the largest U.S. firms, in the period 1998 through 2002, while they did not prove whether the existence of a business model mattered.

In the healthcare space, and in particular in companies that leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence, the design of business models is particularly challenging as there are a multitude of value creation mechanisms and a multitude of possible stakeholders. An emerging categorization has identified seven archetypes.[22]

The concept of a business model has been incorporated into certain accounting standards. For example, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) utilizes an “entity’s business model for managing the financial assets” as a criterion for determining whether such assets should be measured at amortized cost or at fair value in its International Financial Reporting Standard, IFRS 9.[23][24][25][26] In their 2013 proposal for accounting for financial instruments, the Financial Accounting Standards Board also proposed a similar use of business model for classifying financial instruments.[27]The concept of business model has also been introduced into the accounting of deferred taxesunder International Financial Reporting Standards with 2010 amendments to IAS 12 addressing deferred taxes related to investment property.[28][29][30]

Both IASB and FASB have proposed using the concept of business model in the context of reporting a lessor’s lease income and lease expense within their joint project on accounting for leases.[31][32][33][34][35] In its 2016 lease accounting model, IFRS 16, the IASB chose not to include a criterion of “stand alone utility” in its lease definition because “entities might reach different conclusions for contracts that contain the same rights of use, depending on differences between customers’ resources or suppliers’ business models.”[36] The concept has also been proposed as an approach for determining the measurement and classification when accounting for insurance contracts.[37][38]As a result of the increasing prominence the concept of business model has received in the context of financial reporting, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), which advises the European Union on endorsement of financial reporting standards, commenced a project on the “Role of the Business Model in Financial Reporting” in 2011.[39]

Design

Business model design generally refers to the activity of designing a company’s business model. It is part of the business developmentand business strategy process and involves design methods. Massa and Tucci (2014)[40]highlighted the difference between crafting a new business model when none is in place, as it is often the case with academic spinoffs and high technology entrepreneurship, and changing an existing business model, such as when the tooling company Hilti shifted from selling its tools to a leasing model. They suggested that the differences are so profound (for example, lack of resource in the former case and inertia and conflicts with existing configurations and organisational structures in the latter) that it could be worthwhile to adopt different terms for the two. They suggest business model design to refer to the process of crafting a business model when none is in place and business model reconfiguration for process of changing an existing business model, also highlighting that the two process are not mutually exclusive, meaning reconfiguration may involve steps which parallel those of designing a business model.

Economic consideration

Al-Debei and Avison (2010) consider value finance as one of the main dimensions of BM which depicts information related to costing, pricing methods, and revenue structure. Stewart and Zhao (2000) defined the business model as “a statement of how a firm will make money and sustain its profit stream over time.”[41]

Component consideration

Osterwalder et al. (2005) consider the Business Model as the blueprint of how a company does business.[42] Slywotzky (1996) regards the business model as “the totality of how a company selects its customers, defines and differentiates it offerings, defines the tasks it will perform itself and those it will outsource, configures its resources, goes to market, creates utility for customers and captures profits.”[43]

Strategic outcome

Mayo and Brown (1999) considered the business model as “the design of key interdependent systems that create and sustain a competitive business.”[44] Casadesus-Masanell and Ricart (2011) explain a business model as a set of “choices (policy, assets and governance)” and “consequences (flexible and rigid)” and underline the importance of considering “how it interacts with models of other players in the industry” instead of thinking of it in isolation.[45]

Definitions of design or development

Zott and Amit (2009) consider business model design from the perspectives of design themes and design content. Design themes refer to the system’s dominant value creation drivers and design content examines in greater detail the activities to be performed, the linking and sequencing of the activities and who will perform the activities.[46]

Design themes emphasis

Environment-strategy-structure-operations business model development

Developing a framework for business model development with an emphasis on design themes, Lim (2010) proposed the environment-strategy-structure-operations (ESSO) business model development which takes into consideration the alignment of the organization’s strategy with the organization’s structure, operations, and the environmental factors in achieving competitive advantage in varying combination of cost, quality, time, flexibility, innovation and affective.[47]

Design content emphasis

Business model design includes the modeling and description of a company’s:

A business model design template can facilitate the process of designing and describing a company’s business model. In a paper published in 2017,[48] Johnson demonstrated how matrix methods may usefully be deployed to characterise the architecture of resources, costs, and revenues that a business uses to create and deliver value to customers which defines its business model. Systematisation of this technique (Johnson settles on a business genomic code of seven matrix elements of a business model) would support a taxonomical approach to empirical studies of business models in the same way that Linnaeus’ taxonomy revolutionised biology.

Daas et al. (2012) developed a decision support system (DSS) for business model design. In their study a decision support system (DSS) is developed to help SaaS in this process, based on a design approach consisting of a design process that is guided by various design methods.[49]

#Brand Archetypes

The 12 brand archetypes

  • The Magician

As a brand archetype, Magicians make dreams come true and – hey presto – make problems disappear. They do things, both big and small, that amaze and transform.

Intelligent and knowledgeable, magicians have access to secret information, the dissemination of which adds value to customers and positions the brand as problem-solving or wish-fulfilling transformers.

Brand archetype gift: Turning problems into solutions, making dreams come true.

  • The Creator

The Creator has a vision, a way they feel the world should be, and they want to create an enduring product that turns that vision into reality.

Creators crave authenticity, innovation and freedom of expression to make sense of the world around them, and use creativity and technology to enable creativity in others.

Brand archetype gift: Inspiring creativity, creating an authentic brand story, fusing technology and artistry.

  • The Ruler

The Ruler seeks to eliminate uncertainty by taking control. They like to follow rules but, even better, they like to make them. (Rulers need followers, after all.)

Rulers believe in playing the game properly and create stable, respected brands to suit. They also expect the same propriety from others, which is why politicians naturally fall into this category (and often fail at it, too…).

Sometimes their confidence extends into arrogance and so Ruler brand archetypes need to be careful not to appear despotic, thus leaving the door open to pretenders to steal their throne.

Brand archetype gift: Fostering stability and trust, creating high-quality products that lead the way.

  • The Lover

Who says romance is dead? Not the Lover, that’s for sure, who inspires closer relationships through sensuousness and seductiveness.

But it’s not all about romance; the types of relationships the Lover fosters are also spiritual, familial, companionable. For Lover brand archetypes, the focus is on improving connections with the people and things that really matter.

Brand archetype gift: Connecting people emotionally, providing sensuous experiences, making people – and life – more special.

  • The Caregiver

Caregivers live to give. They’re motivated by compassion and want to make people feel secure and nurtured.

As defenders of the less fortunate, Caregivers are found in teaching, nursing and charities, but also appear as gardeners, cleaners and in restorative jobs, such as mending clothes and refurbishing.

Because they’re altruistically rather than financially motivated, Caregivers are considered trustworthy. Brands such as Heinz and Johnson & Johnson have tapped into the Caregiver brand archetype, couching their products in a quasi-medicinal, nurturing way.

Brand archetype gift: Making people feel safe, fostering trust, generating public support for the socially-minded service they provide

  • The Jester

The class clown, the office joker – we’ve all known one in our time. And, crucially, we all remember them. They want to have fun, to lighten the mood by connecting with their inner child. And, just like most children, they’re not too fond of obeying rules.

Jesters think outside the box because they’ve never spent their lives living in it – which makes them great innovators.

On the face of it, Jesters live for the moment, but at a deeper level, they understand that life is fleeting and needs to be filled with laughter whenever possible.

Brand archetype gift: Helping people see the lighter side of life, spreading creativity through joy.

  • The Sage 

The Sage believes that the truth will set you free. They are driven by the desire for truth and knowledge and use them to make the world a better place by sharing their findings.

Sage archetypes are rigorous researchers and reject misleading messaging and ignorance. They typically show higher levels of intelligence and social awareness.

As arbiters of information, they are often highly regarded as a trustworthy and intelligent source of information.

Brand archetype gift: Illuminating the world through knowledge-sharing, earning respect through intellectualism.

  • The Explorer

Explorers are independent thinkers, forging new paths to find purpose in life – and to change it in the process. They are often individualistic in outlook but their clear, strong vision inspires others to join them.

Explorers seek freedom and joy through discovery, often eschewing rules and conformism as a result. This means they’re defined more by their trailblazing philosophy than by the industry in which they work, so that an Explorer brand archetype may be defined by decentralising and democratising its internal structures.

Brand archetype gift: Inspiring change through innovative vision and force of personality.

  • The Rebel

Unlike the Explorer, who disregards rules as a by-product of their behaviour, the Rebel actively seeks to rip up the rulebook.

Rebels see opportunity in dismantling existing paradigms as a way to create something newer, better and often cheaper. They position themselves as free-thinking outlaws – a romanticised and intoxicating social archetype.go

The Rebel brand archetype seeks to undermine the status quo so that people question it, search for better alternatives and – ta-dah – turn to them in the process.

Of all archetypes, Rebels inspire the strongest brand loyalty as their countercultural message resonates beyond just the product and into their customers’ lifestyles and philosophies.

Brand archetype gift: Disrupting existing structures, rock ‘n’ roll sex appeal, promoting brand loyalty.

  • The Hero

Just like their DC and Marvel spandex-clad counterparts, the Hero brand archetype rises to the challenge. They protect and inspire. They sell the power of self-belief and transformation.

The Hero turns a brand into a story of triumph over adversity. So that a company like Nike isn’t seen as a seller of trainers but as a transformative device that helps people achieve their full potential.

There is a moralism to the Hero. They see their work as important and empowering and take great pride in the positive effect they feel they have on the world.

Brand archetype gift: Inspiring courage and achievement by overcoming adversity.

  • The Everyman

The Everyman is your salt-of-the-earth type: non-pretentious, relatable, wholesome, comfortable. The Everyman values hard work, common sense, reliability and authenticity.

They want to appeal to a mass market and so disregard the trappings of luxury. For the Everyman, practicality wins over pretence. Think Ford instead of Ferrari, Gap instead of Gucci.

Symbolically, the Everyman allies themselves to families and multiple cultures, appealing to those who sit below the luxury threshold and who, as the brand might describe it, better understand the value of money.

Brand archetype gift: Bringing safety, reliability, trust and comfort to a mass market.

  • The Innocent

The promise of the Innocent brand archetype is one of simplicity bordering on naivety. The Innocent looks at the world through the lens of a child, seeing wonder, fun and happiness at every turn, and hoping to pass that good feeling on through their work. 

Not usually ones for innovation, Innocent brands rely instead on the simplicity of their product (organic food, baby soaps) or through childlike communications (Coca Cola).

Brand archetype gift: Spreading purity and joy in a cynical world.

#customer profile in Italy

Consumer snapshot: Italy

Are you looking for tips on changes in the consumer landscape, created by coronavirus?

Need to know the ways consumers in Italy behave, and interact with brands?

Our Italy consumer market snapshot explains the major statistics behind consumer actions, to shed light on the best way you can reach them.

In this set of Italy consumer insights you’ll be able to take your brand further, and align with the needs of your target audience.

Update your consumer profile with the latest insights

With data from our far-reaching global survey, refresh your knowledge of the habits and preferences of Italian consumers.

Discover new patterns in their lifestyle

What sort of interests does the typical Italian internet user have? How do they use devices? Get the latest knowledge on activities.

Shape your social media approach

With insight into social media platform use, see how your target consumer is unique – to shape a strategy that lets you stand out.

Learn about the latest trends, including social media.

Consumers in Italy are tracking their spendingon mobile more than the global average.

They’re more likely to own a smart speaker than others around the world.

When it comes to social media, Whatsapp is more popular than it is globally, and the vast majority of Italians have used social media in the past month.

Find out what’s unique to your consumer, beginning with this insight toolkit.

What’s in the infographic?

Drawing on a global consumer survey that’s been tailored to regional cultures, we outline the facts to know.

  • What’s the demographic and lifestyle profile of an internet user in Italy?
  • What are their interests – and how does this compare globally?
  • How does Gen Z online time stack up against the average?
  • How are Italian consumers using mobiles?
  • How do they use social media for brand discovery and purchases?

#Brand Identity Roadmap

A strong brand identity doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just pick a few colors and haphazardly slap a logo together. You need to approach your design strategically to build an identity that truly reflects your brand—and can support you as you grow. This requires deep thinking, a team with strong communication and design skills, and an intimate understanding of who you are, what you do, and how you want to present your brand to the world. 

This work isn’t easy, but it’s some of the most important work that any brand can do. So if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it the right way. Of course, tackling a brand identity can be both intimidating and confusing. What should it include? How do you start? Who needs to be involved? 

Don’t worry. With the right guidance, you can move through the process effectively, and that’s why we’re here. To make it easy, we’ve broken it all down into this simple step-by-step guide, including our best tips and handy toolkit to help you along the way. Follow this guide and you’ll end up with a beautiful, functional brand identity that will help you outshine your competition, connect with the right people, and tell your brand story through every piece of content. 

Let’s get into it. 

• What Is a Brand Identity?

• What Does a Brand Identity Include?

• What Makes a Strong Brand Identity?

• How to Build a Brand Identity

• Step 1: Know Your Foundation

• Step 2: Assess Your Current Identity

• Step 3: Audit Your Competition

• Step 4: Hone in on a Visual Direction

• Step 5: Write Your Branding Brief

• Step 6: Design Your Logo

• Step 7: Choose Your Color Palette

• Step 8: Choose Your Typography

• Step 9: Design Additional Elements

• Step 10: Build Your Brand Guidelines

• How to Use Your New Identity

What Is a Brand Identity?

Is it your logo? Your color palette? Your infographic style? It’s all that—and more.

Branding pro Marty Neumeier defines a brand identity as “the outward expression of a brand, including its trademark, name, communications, and visual appearance.” To us, a brand identity is the sum total of how your brand looks, feels, and speaks to people. (Sometimes that even includes how it sounds, tastes, feels, and even smells.)

That said, when most people talk about brand identity, they’re referring to a brand’s visual identity. For the purposes of this post, that’s what we’ll be focusing on.

Why Do You Need a Brand Identity?

A strong brand identity is not about making pretty packaging; it’s about communicating your brand story effectively. Design is a powerful tool that can transform how people interact with your brand in three important ways. 

1. Differentiation: How can you stand out in a crowded marketplace? Your brand identity can play a strong role. Whether you want your product to stand out on a shelf, or you want your ads to stand out on Facebook, creating a consistent, cohesive presentation is the secret to success. 

2. Connection: The more effectively you communicate who you are, the easier it will be for people to engage with you and, ultimately, join your community of lifelong fans. 

3. Experience: Everything you create reflects your brand. Thus, if you want to create a consistent, cohesive brand experience, you need to present a consistent, cohesive identity. From your website, to your social media, to your sales brochures, a strong identity is the key to elevating your brand experience. 

Some brands elevate brand identity to an art (think Apple, LEGO, or Levi’s). Some brands make it their entry into the playing field (think Warby Parker or Casper). Others struggle because they don’t know who they are or don’t know how to communicate it effectively. (The truth is too many brands fall into this camp.)

Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, one thing is certain. If you want to be a competitive and successful company, crafting a strong brand identity is mandatory. 

What Does a Brand Identity Include?

When you create a brand identity, you’re basically building a toolbox of visual elements to help you communicate effectively. This can be basic or extensive; it all depends on your brand’s needs. 

Regardless, every brand needs a basic identity, which includes three core elements: 

• Logo

• Color palette

• Typography

If you create a wider variety of content (or plan to), you may also design additional elements to express your brand across mediums, including:

• Photography

• Illustration

• Iconography

• Data visualization

The good news is you don’t have to design everything all at once. If you don’t have a ton of resources (or don’t know what your future needs will be), start with the basic logo, color, and typography. You can build out additional elements as you need. 

What Makes a Strong Brand Identity?

Here’s the thing. Having a brand identity on paper doesn’t mean your identity is good or effective. Even if you design every element needed, it may not help you achieve your long-term goals. 

A strong brand identity needs to work for everyone, both your internal team (e.g., brand ambassadors, content creators) and the people who will interact with it (e.g., customers). 

To truly succeed, you need to build a brand identity that is…

• Distinct: It stands out among competitors and catches people’s attention.

• Memorable: It makes a visual impact. (Consider Apple: The logo is so memorable they only include the logo—not their name—on their products.)

• Scalable: It can grow and evolve with the brand.

• Flexible: It can be used in many different applications (web, print, etc.). 

• Cohesive: Each piece complements the other. 

• Easy to apply: It’s intuitive and clear for designers to use.

If you design an identity that doesn’t resonate with your target audience, or doesn’t truly reflect your brand, you will have wasted a lot of work. (Luckily, we created this guide to ensure this doesn’t happen.) 

How to Build a Brand Identity

To demystify the process for you, we’ve broken the process into 10 steps to get you from A to Z. These steps are listed in this specific order, as different elements of your identity are built upon others. Whether you’re building a fresh identity from scratch or embarking on a rebrand, follow this sequence to design a strong brand identity that sets you up for success.

#Fashion Start up ingredients

Starting a fashion business is no easy feat. Between finding sources of funding marketing your startup, and handling day-to-day business operations, you may realize doing everything on your own is just not sustainable in the long run. That’s where a talented, hardworking, and passionate team comes into play.  

Building a fashion brand is not just having the right designers, but also the team which takes the products to market establishes partnerships, and publishes what a brand does. These teams typically consist of many members who possess dedication, loyalty, and passion for the industry and may serve in roles as designers, marketers, assistants, or top-level management once you’re fully operating.

In this post, we’re going to cover the essential members you need to have on your startup team, the desirable skills, how to find qualifiedteam members, and more importantly, how to retain valuable team members.
Let’s get started!

  1. Who Should Be on Your Team?
  2. What Skills Should Your Fashion Startup Team Possess?
  3. Finding the Perfect Fashion Startup Team
  4. Tips for Building & Retaining a Cohesive Team
  5. Conclusion

1. Who Should Be on Your Team?

So who should you bring on your team first? You certainly aren’t ready to add top management positions, especially if you’re still working with a small budget

  1. Designer: If your business is both your brand and your name, consider keeping your position as the designer form the association between your image to the brand as a whole. If your brand targets different markets, you may want to hire other designers that mesh well with your design vision and are able to maintain aspects of the brand.
  2. Administrative Assistant: When starting out, you may not be ready to add top management positions. An administrative assistant can handle all of the tasks that bog down your workload as the founder. This person will be your right-hand employee, so look for someone you can trust. You want to be able to mold this employee into a good representation of who you are. Ideally, they’re going to be someone who shares your enthusiasm and commitment to the brand. An individual who is well-rounded and a fast learner is ideal for this job.
  3. President/CEO: As you may know, being the owner of the business is a full-time job. The collection alone-not including maintaining the entire brand image and direction-can be an overload to your daily checklist. Hiring someone to oversee your employees, partnerships and collaborations, finances, and contracts will maintain the business aspect of your line while you maintain the vision. This position may not be required until later on after your business grows.
  4. Stylist:  A stylist edits the vision and decides on the music, the environment, the looks, and the accessories. Stylists also give a second opinion on behalf of customers and buyers. They contribute ideas to make the overall vision purchasable. This is a powerful position in every fashion brand so you should choose this team member with great care.
  5. Digital Marketer: It is important to give priority to cultivating an online presencewhen you join the fashion sector and the industry. You must prioritize engaging with your brand ‘s online audience through social media, blogs, and websites. By concentrating on these factors in public relations, you can see higher profits and a more regular influx of customers. This role is one of the most important for a startup, so make sure you find a person who understands the brand and can represent it well.
  6. Account Manager/Customer Service Representative: Account managers operate as the point of contact for assigned customers, generate sales among customer accounts, makes sure the customer receives products in agreed upon deadlines, and communicates the customers need to the company.

Other Important People Outside of In-House Team

When you have a distinct vision of what the company is meant to be like and who the target client is, you need to find out how you’re going to accomplish the vision.  If you’re an artistic person, you’re likely going to concentrate on the product and everything relevant to it — but of course, the other side needs consideration, too: the commercial side.

Here is a list of other people who are also on your “team”:

  • Financial Advisor: A financial advisor has the skills and knowledge to help you make the most of your initial capital investment in your brand. He or she will help you determine the feasibility of your business plan and outline plans and deadlines for the path to profitability.
  • Accountant: Accountants can help you manage growth transitions, such as hiring employees or acquiring more office space. They will take care of the details (payroll, payroll tax management, property tax, other operating transactions), leaving you free to look at a larger picture of how your business is growing.
  • Attorney: Attorneys can help you navigate the many forms and legal documents that are involved with starting a business. They will ensure the business is properly licensed and titled, and support you with tasks like trademarking names, reviewing documents, and discussing legal items to be mindful of. With an attorney, you can focus on other parts of the business without spending time learning legal processes.

In the next section, we’re going to discuss the valuable skills people in the positions listed above should possess if you are looking to form a cohesive and hard-working team.

2. What Skills Should Your Fashion Startup Team Possess?

Creativity alone is not enough to develop a line of clothes or a brand. It fosters your passions but does not consider the implications of starting a business. That means you and your team need to be able to reflect, plan, and make decisions like an entrepreneurs.

More than 50% of today’s startups fail in the first four years after launching. This is often because many of today’s entrepreneurs lack the essential skills to face challenges and setbacks during their first years as a startup. With the proper attitudeknowledge, and skillsets on your team, you’ll soon be on your way to launching a successful fashion business.

Here is a list of critical skills fashion entrepreneurs need to startmanage, and scale their entrepreneurship journey to achieve business excellence:

  • Effective Communication/Visualization Skills: Effective Communication / Visualization Skills: Designers, but really all team members need to make their expectations and goals apparent to all keen on making the brand concept a reality. In the case of a designer, a talented one knows how to imagine a clothing piece and convey that vision to others.
  • Sense of Current Creative Style: Having an eye for which materials and colors will compliment a garment is a talent all designers need. Even those not directly involved with the buying or design process should be thinking about original and creative ways to make the clothing they buy/create stand apart from competitors.
  • Artistic Abilities & Computer Skills:Fashion designers need to know how to use computer-aided design (CAD) programs and be familiar with any graphics editing software that could help them improve their designs. In order to effectively convey their ideas designers must be accomplished sketch artists. Designers need to be able to properly construct the garments they create.
  • Be Detail-Oriented: Paying attention to details can make all the difference between a harmless mistake and an impactful disaster. You want to find team members who care about their positions and pay attention to details because they ultimately want the best for the company. Paying attention to details is something that will attract potential customers as well.
  • Good Sense of Business: Your startup team needs to foundational business knowledge and skills in order to stay within the budget, make savvy decisions, and properly advertise the products and services. Knowing how to make the right changes and choices regarding your product offering and business partnerships will be critical to your success.
  • Competitive Spirit: Since the fashion world is extremely competitive, brands must be willing to push themselves and continually strive to stay one-step-ahead of their competition. Conducting market research to anticipate what the latest trends in fashion will be will help keep any fashion business at the top of their game. For some, market research and trend analysis can be tedious, so you want to find someone with experience and who enjoys finding innovative ways to improve competitive advantage.
  • Team Player: A successful team member is one who knows how to collaborate with every other member of their research, design, marketing, or management team. Business just starting out are inevitably going to encounter boring tasks. Although they may not be the most exciting, they are crucial to the success. It is important for every single task or issue at hand to be addressed by the team, as a team. Solving problems together works best in a team with people who are understanding and collaborative.

3. Finding the Perfect Fashion Startup Team

Now that we covered the essential skills your team needs to have, you may be wondering where you can find the right personnel who possess these skills.

Here are four different ways to find talented candidates to join your fashion startup team:

  • Networking: Always forge relationships with peers and colleagues that are successful or demonstrate a drive to succeed. High performers are good to keep in mind to join your future startup or to reach out for recommendations on others that will enrich your team.
  • Social Media: Search for similar fashion brands on social media. Check to see if they list their team members, and then research their career backgrounds. You may even reach out to see if they have any possible recommendations. Another option is to post position advertisements directly on your platforms! While this isn’t the most traditional form of recruitment, you never know what talent is interested in bringing value to your startup.
  • College Recruitment: Newly graduated college students are always looking for positions. They can be great candidates, as they offer a fresh perspective and recent background experience. Search for candidates who have completed fashion, business, marketing, or design internships. You’ll also want to look for students who have been in leadership positions, so you know they have experience in working well with teams. Often times, universities have job recruitment portals directly linked to their website where businesses can connect with students.
  • Job Advertisement Sites: Post a listing on general platforms like IndeedUpworkFiverr or on a more fashion-specific site. People who search these platforms are usually ready to start work right away, and you should have a number of responses within 48 hours. Make sure you post a detailed listing that covers all your requirements in order to get your hands on the best candidates.Once you have brought on all of your team members, the team formation does not end there. Read ahead for some tips forming and keeping your team together throughout a potentially hectic process.

4.Tips for Building & Retaining a Cohesive Team

Having team members with a domain of knowledge and expertise allow you, the owner, to take a step a back and handle more pressing duties. How can you create an environment that allows your team members to thrive?

Overall, team cohesion is critical in the workplace as it contributes to greater performance, better employee loyalty and enhanced motivation. Team cohesion can be learned, but teams need to treat the process organically. Having clearly defined roles are the first step.

Below are some tips for building and retaining a successful team!

  • Stick to an Ideal Hiring/Partnership Model: It is critical early on to create an ideal hiring/partnership model and never compromise. Always consider experience, but also look for good qualities. People are frequently hired for experience and even more frequently fired for qualities. Never compromise on honestyintegrity, or intellect that can be applied to finding paths through complex problems. As long as someone has those qualities, they will be able to learn along the way.
  • Create Cloud-Based Workstations:Launching a fashion brand without investing in operational systems can be a big mistake. Platforms like G Suite gives you access to Google Sheets, Docs, Drive, and Calendar. Having communication and workspaces based in one space helps teams work cohesively and stay on the same page. It also gives you ownership. If a team member leaves your startup, you will still have access to their company emails and files. Having these systems in place will help boost your productivity and streamline systems when you bring on your first team member.
  • Communicate Value: Create an environment team members will want to work in. Communicating the value of each team member’s talent and role and rewarding and celebrating success will help maintain morale.
  • Encourage Teamwork: Teamwork does not always come naturally to a person or to a group of people. Since the fashion industry relies on creative talent, it becomes necessary to help team members work together. This goal can be accomplished by making certain each team member understands the importance of working together to fulfill a common goal of the business.

Conclusions

When forming your final team. there may be challenges and difficulties along the way, but it will all be worth it in the end. A combination of having the right attitude, hard work, determination, passion, and undying desire to invest your team will get you to the success you are longing for.

To recap, these are the positions you will most likely need team members to fill…

  • Designer
  • Stylist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Digital Marketer
  • Account Manager/Customer Service Representative
  • In the future, possibly top-level management positions like a President, or CEO

Team members in the positions should have…

  • Design skills
  • Communication skills
  • A sense of detail
  • A sense of current creative style
  • An understanding of business practices
  • A competitive spirit
  • A desire to work with a team

You can find potential team members through networking, social media platforms, posting on job advertisement sites, or recruit programs from universities. Finally, to build and retain a good team, we encourage you to keep communication flowing, organize workspaces, define roles clearly, and motivate by celebrating successes accordingly.