In a casual chat with Franchise India, AyushiGudwani, CEO, FableStreet, shared her experience about how she quit her job and became a successful entrepreneur.
When asked about what prompted her decision to quit the corporate world, AyushiGudwani, said, “When I was working with a corporate firm, I never had the choice of wearing something fashionable yet comfortable even when I was in formals. This gave my idea a push to quit my job and start a fashion label, where women can buy formal wear, which is fashionable yet comfortable at the same time. It was about time to push the boring black and grey suits aside and make way for colorful, fashionable and comfortable formal wear for women.”
Ayushi pointed these seven points on how a brand can balance between matching with trends and keeping the core essence of the brand:
- Defining the core values of the brand at a vision level and merging them with the trends. For us, those are timeless styles, luxury fabrics and tailored fits. So, if there is a particular color in trend, we figure out how our timeless pieces can be made using that color. Over time, you will end up associating more elements with the brand, which relates to trends, but the core value of the brand will remain constant.
- Openness to experiment within the boundaries of a brand is another way to correlate trends with brand philosophy. We, despite being a western wear brand, wanted to use handlooms of Indian origin and therefore, we experimented with western silhouettes in handloom, which were an instant hit with our consumers.
- Every trend will not be in conflict with the brand and thus, make sure you make the most out of it. For example, we observed that jacket pairings have become a global phenomenon, which was significantly in line with our brand. We made the most out that and launched a variety of jackets that can be paired in various combinations allowing customers to mix and match according to their preferences. We can now proudly say that we offer the best quality and fit in terms of jackets for women in India at this point in time.
- Define what you are not and stay away from those trends. For instance, we are not a fast fashion brand, so some trends (like cold shoulders) don’t work for us. We choose to stay away from them and we have noticed that it does not affect us from a business point of view as well.
- Know your consumer and what they want. It is one thing about offering the latest trends to the consumers, and another to dress them well and make them feel beautiful. Deep understanding of customers will enable you to merge trends with an ability to sell/create something they want. Many a time, latest trends don’t work for your customers, be mindful and do a small collection in line with trends.
- Take inspirations from the thought process behind the latest trends and not follow exact replica of the trend. This enables you to easily influence your brand in line with trends. For example, the color of the year was Greenery in 2017. Since this was slightly outside of corporate color palette for our brand, we launched a more subtle shade of green but picked up the inspiration behind the choice of the color and worked with that as our base color.
- Merchandise planning is another crucial aspect of merging trends with brand identity. Plan your collection, keeping it in line with the current trend (10-20%) and remaining in line with the core ethos of the brand (70-80%); so at an overall level, you are in trend but also don’t deviate from the core values.