African Fashion Designers: Here’s How to Stand Out From the Crowd

So you love African fashion, have some products and even a little shop. You want to sell your products and enjoy the sunshine. GREAT!  But, before you get ahead of yourself, you should know that the trendy wax and African prints landscape has become very competitive. One cannot expect to succeed by just creating a couple of clothing and accessories, post photos on Facebook and offer a few discounts here and there.

Even with the best products, it’s getting harder to stand out, especially online where customers are more knowledgeable, are only a click away from your competition and won’t buy what you’re selling just because you claim it’s the best product.

So how do you get past those barriers and make sure that your items are not only viewed by a large audience but also sell to people other than your family and friends?

Concentrate on branding.

People don’t buy products, they affiliate with brands. Consumers aren’t buying from you because they don’t know you, which means they don’t trust you, which means your product may just be another scam. The first step you need to take is to make sure that you build a brand . Building a strong brand includes creating a style and a story for yourself

Be known for something. Are you very good at doing African scarves? Don’t be tempted by those who are selling flashy blouses. Concentrate on your scarves, let them become your trademark, what you’re known for and build on that. Think of your favorite Ketchup or Soda brand. The name that first comes to mind is the brand that has the biggest impact on you. That is what you want to become to others when they think of your product.

Facebook is your friend

Promoting your new brand is critical to your success. No really, it is critical. Successful brands spend lots of money on marketing. They get noticed, not because they are better but because they put themselves out there. If no one knows you’re an amazing African handbag manufacturer, well, no one will buy from you. And this is where Facebook is your ally.

Google ads will dry up your savings really fast, Youtube ads as well and we won’t even get into paper and tv ads prices. They’re just outrageous. So how do you promote your brand on a budget? Facebook. The platform has millions of users, lets you boost your posts for as little as a $1/day and helps you build a community of followers who might not buy today but will keep you in mind when they need something down the road.

Connect with influencers

If you want to play basketball at a professional level, you try to get in the NBA. If you want to be a successful actor, you try to make it in Hollywood. The same rules apply with your business. Connect with influencers in your industry. Trusted journalists, bloggers, ect. Their opinion counts. Not only will they give you advices on what they think might resonate with their audiences,  their review and endorsement will help your brand.

Sell on a marketplace

You heard of the sayings “two heads are better than one”,” The more the merrier” or “No man is an island’? Think of marketplaces as a way to get noticed, get inspiration from other designers, and be part of a community. Most importantly, marketplaces, such as ours, are your best opportunity to present your products to a massive audience. They enjoy healthy monthly traffic, promote all the products on their platform without you doing the legwork while you reap the benefits.