The Top Three Things Buyers Look for in a New Brand

New York fashion week; the time of the year where hundreds of like-minded people gather all over the streets of New York in anticipation of viewing the newest collection (SS18) of their favorite designer just recently ended.
 
Although bummed because the festivities came to a halt, a fresh cycle began! 

The selling cycle. 

To be honest, this is where all the magic really happens.
 
Do not get us wrong, catwalks, hot models, and epic parties are a blast! But to keep it all going you’ve got to sell the stuff.
 
So, some of you may be thinking; yes, I couldn’t agree more but I am a startup brand and really do not know what buyers look for when picking up a new collection. 

Not to worry, we’ve got your back and are here to rescue! 

In today’s blog, we will deep dive into the top three things buyer look for when picking up a new collection.
 
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of catching up with the Ann from TASK New York (buyer) and asked her: “What do you look for in new brands?” and she replied: Aesthetics, Functionality, and Price.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics is a study of our mind and how our brain deciphers if something is beautiful or ugly.

It's fundamental in the world of design because our initial interaction with most things is based on how it looks.

It’s a common saying that goes a little like this: “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”- Yeah, you’ve got that right!

Therefore, when it comes to “design aesthetics” it’s basically defined as style. A style that usually adds to the designer’s identity and overall brand.
 
So how does design aesthetics tie back to selling to a buyer?
 
Well, if you are interested in selling your collection to a buyer, your style must be in alignment with the concept of the store you are trying to sell into. Meaning, if your designs consist of preppy styles then you want to avoid selling to stores that sell edgy street.
 
For example, if you are selling ready to wear pieces like Vineyard Vines then it’ll be wise to steer clear of stores that sell brands like All Saints and Rag and Bone; why? Because the design aesthetics are completely opposite from what you are selling.
 
Try this; before selling to a store ask yourself:

  • Do the store and my brand have the same end consumers?
  • Are my prices aligned with what the store currently sells?
  • And will my collection sit well with the brands they currently carry? 

If the answer is “YES” to the above questions; then you just confirmed that you are targeting the right stores.
 
So, what’re the REAL Pros of selling into the right stores?

o   Buyer will purchase faster
o   Product sells through quickly
o   End consumer receives it well
o   Possibility of an increase in reorders
o   Buyer will most likely buy again next season
o   The decision maker may increase the number of pieces they buy next season.

Functionality

Have you ever bought something and the button fell off? Sucks! Right? Well, that’s exactly how buyers feel when they buy into a new line and the malfunction light turns on.
 
Since thousands of dollars are spent each season, as a result of testing pieces from new brands, can you really blame a buyer if he/she would become weary of new lines if the last time something didn't work properly?
 
Functionality is key!

Buyers might be interested in your line for several reasons but the core reason is the product performance ability.
 
Let’s say, you recently designed and constructed leggings with invisible side pockets for a phone. From a buyer's perspective who owns an athletic store, this is amazing! Because the number one thing their customer continues to ask for is legging with pockets.
 
The buyer now writes an order and the product ships! Woohoo!

functional leggings

However, there is one issue when the buyer receives the merchandise; the pockets aren’t functional. Meaning they don’t open!
 
Functionality isn’t hard to understand. A buyer purchases brands for obvious reasons. When selling, keep it simple; if we say something is going to work then let’s really make sure it operates before it ships (I.E. Quality control).


Price

Before you contact a buyer to buy your collection, did you look up their average price point?
 
If you answered yes to this question then good job!

Knowing the prices the store is selling an adjacent product at is the final ingredient to “the things buyers look for in a new brand”.
 
Ensuring your prices are parallel with current stock only increases the chances of a buyer solidifying an order.
 
Just think, if your dream account (meaning the store you would love to sell your collection into) average price points range between $50-$350 then it would be a good idea to sell the buyers merchandise with those sweet spot prices (not too high and not too low).  

So, you might ask why? Well, most likely their end consumer most likely will not purchase your product if it's out of their price range.
 
Bringing it all Together 

Each buyer's buying method varies when bringing new styles into the store.

However, a common ground that decision makers share when looking for a new brand is Design appeal, functionality and price.  

The incorporation of these three elements guarantees a successful buy + selling process.