Conscious & Concise
Elevation to the Highest Point
Whether it's online posted or printed, the visuals of what your company offers are the first thing customers notice. Hundreds of products offer similar items, made with the parallel materials. What makes the consumer purchase what you offer over seemingly identical others, comes down to a few key topics. Generationally speaking, those topics change between groups of human beings.
One parameter that does not change, is the sensory perceptions we are all using. The visuals we see, the emotions we feel in response, the tactile qualities of that which we feel, and the words that we hear. Though your interpretation will be different then mine, there will be one and it will directly affect the way we choose to spend our dollar.
What does your social media platform feel like to the viewers? Carefully put together or all over the place? Curated or careless? Are the colors harmonious or garbled? Is a story being told that I want to find out the sending of? Are the elements seasonally appropriate? How much (or which parts) of the color spectrum are represented? Am I visually stimulated by the combination of elements you have chosen?
What do you stand for and who are the people you are featuring? Do I feel like I become a part of a group by joining the band wagon of brand loyalty in purchasing your product? Do I need to change to be included, or am I appreciated for what I uniquely bring? Is who I am, seen as a good thing?
Am I happier and more motivated by the words you've written now rooted in my subconscious? Or am I fearful and focused on the problems of the world? Have you inspired me to make better choices in some way, and feel like I can pick myself up again after whatever challenges I am now facing? Have you guided my focus to things of consequence?
Let's Talk About Touch
Are the materials you use good looking and of decent quality?
Odds are the every day customer won't know the difference between silk and poly and will buy according to price point more than materials, but they won't be happy if their t-shirt shrinks and twists after one wash or the screen print flakes. That vintage feel pilled tee they love that looks so retro literally doesn't register like it does in the mind of what a designer knows, but as what they want, or what they don't. There is no dissection of parts and processes to the customer, it is as simple as dealing with a Merchandiser or Buyer. They don't know what they want, until you show them it.
The prediction of what's desired comes from a nuanced combined psychology of the elements, and the ways that have proven sales and traction. Barney purple will likely not ever sell for men, unless Drake starts wearing it on the regular and other celebs take it on, but eggplant will surely sell for fall given the right complementary palette to compliment it. But if the culture shifts to a pace of deep meaning or trend rooted in the color, then what once was a 'surely never' will shift to a 'for sure'.
Taking the temperature of the every day customer is as simple as walking through a store with one arm out against all of the clothing racks. A tactile scan reveals hard fabrics that don't lay well or feel nice, compared to oh-so-soft pieces we'd be happy to wear all day and then sleep in. So much as style is one piece, comfort is another. When you put the two together with a winning fit, you've won the race altogether.
How Much Does it Cost?
Price is always in the perimeter, of course, but there are ways to hit the mark within any given bracket of costs. There are polys that feel like silks that will perfectly suit someone in a lower income bracket, and modals that satisfy those more monetarily elevated. But no matter what the budget may be, every person wants to look as high end as those they see. Everyone is emulating somebody or something. Value, is perceived.
A vintage pilled t-shirt from the 70's from goodwill is resold in an LA flea market for hundreds to a Japanese tourist. A silk blouse from Bloomingdales that stays in style for decades as a standalone piece no one else has, feels worth the price paid for it. Avant Garde harem pants from Korea hold the memory of time spent traveling and tell a story to those we may meet in future.
What is of value falls within the parenthesis of what one has to spend. What is possible to make is determined by producer capabilities and minimum quantities. Cultural boundaries can be broadened and put together more cohesively with a trip to the factory and personally sourcing. Language may be understood but design tastes are not always able to be taught. A technical mind may not comprehend what textiles are best for a target market, especially if they find no joy in the process.
Sending your team overseas will lead to solving many problems quickly, and getting ahead of future seasons. Key players who are great at communicating will intuit the most important things, and take action as needed.