These days it is important to carefully plan before jumping into anything especially since a lot of people are already into creating and marketing their own products and services. For your venture to become successful a well thought out business plan and the appropriate product life cycle management or PLM must be initiated. One of the industries that are fast growing in today’s generation is the clothing business.
If you have been thinking of creating your own fashion brand then chances are you have only thought of the wonderful designs of the brand, the look of your store or the marketing campaign you will be launching. Before you head on over to that direction, hold your horses. A successful brand has a strong foundation. Yes, the visual and marketing aspects play a role however a strong brand has strong products which are brought to life by product life cycle management. You can get through this with the help of PLM software, especially made for your brand.
Here are the important phases you need to know and understand for a successful fashion brand.
5 Phases of Product Life Cycle Management
1. Product Development – This phase starts when a team or company finds or creates an idea for a new product. In product development different kinds of information are gathered and incorporated into the new product. For example, trends and seasons greatly affect apparel product development.
At this time, the product will be under the microscope and will go through various changes requiring time and money. This is a critical part of the product life cycle. It is also during this phase that finished products are sent out to be tested in the market. Once the product survives, it’s time for the second phase.
2. Product Introduction – When the product is launched into the market the real game begins. The company must be prepared to spend money and get less in return, temporarily. A successful product launch is making a loud introduction. This means that everyone must know that your product exists. Some companies even hire special services for this part, however, if you are not working with much be prepared to continuously brain storm ideas for a campaign that will stick in your target market’s mind. For example, creating a catch phrase that will make your brand easy to remember.
3. Product Growth – This is when you will see the product take off and how much of your target market is actually purchasing your product. A positive product growth is achieved by increasing your market share; this means more buyers and keeping them. How can you do this? Continuously make your products better so competitors cannot replicate. Acquiring patents and copyrights are also a way to secure a market share. For example you have a coat that is selling well, find ways to improve the design or offer something more for the style.
4. Product Maturity – A product can only sell for so long until you either get more competition or the product has been faced out. A perfect example is coats getting mature during warmer seasons. This time the brand must consider product repositioning to maintain the market share. Some ideas would be creating lightweight coats for warmer seasons and offering discounts and promotions for out of season items.
5. Product Decline – There are times when a product just does not sell anymore. In the fashion world this does happen. Like the trendy pieces created for a specific fad or season which come and go. An example is the denim elephant pants that were so hip in the nineties, everyone had a pair. Now, only high fashion designs sport the style. When this happens you have to recognize the decline, the PLM software can help you with this, and decide on facing the product out or doing some changes.
So before starting your own line, understand your product, get a PLM software and make a plan.