A 4-Step Strategy to Build a Community Around Your Fashion Brand


When starting a company entrepreneurs are faced with a challenge. 

What is it that one should build first, a product or an audience? 

Well, there is much debate on the subject. From one angle the fashion industry is a manufacturing industry, and many business managers think that the product should come first and the market later. 

From another angle, however, the fashion industry is very competitive and crowded. If a business develops a collection without creating an authentic connection with its potential customers even the most amazing product launches can result in a total disaster. 

What we need to remember in order to succeed is that developing an audience is not just a process of outreach, it is also a process of inward reflection. Understanding who your brand is speaking to, and what tone of voice best embodies the essence of your brand can be hard to figure out but is necessary.

In this post, we’re going to help out by providing 4 simple pieces of advice to create a community around your fashion brand. With no further ado, let’s get started.

1. Understand the Values of Your Brand

The first step to developing a community around your fashion brand has to do with understanding the values that your business is bringing to the market

In other terms, the heart of your communication should not be focused on what you do

Products can be exciting and enticing, if you want to foster an audience, you should consider that people are looking for something else.

In this sense, talking about “how” you do what you do can be also challenging. You are making a big assumption on behalf of your followers if you imagine them being able to understand some of the technical aspects that make your product differ from the competition. Fashion products can be complex, and talking about technical details is unlikely to be effective, as most people will not have the tools to understand your message.

What you need to focus on is your purpose, or your reason for being in business, or in other words, your company’s “why”.

As people develop an awareness of the existence of your company, they will need to identify what makes you different, and what defines you.  This element of differentiation will be much easier to perceive if it has to do with the change you want to make in the industry or what unserved need you are trying to fill that everybody else is neglecting. 

For an entrepreneur, knowing exactly where your product stands in a crowded market is a sign of being ready to grow and scale the business by attracting a larger crowd around it, one that connects to the values and purpose of the business, regardless of the specific products that are being sold in the market.

2. Understand the “Job to Be Done” for Your Collection

Once you’ve clarified what your brand stands for, and what values it is driven by, it is possible to move to the next step. 

In this post, we’re discussing a very important marketing theory called “Jobs to Be Done”. This is a very insightful perspective on marketing and communication that helps you understand how your customers are not simply buying a product, they are hiring a solution. 

In marketing, we always use the following phrase: 

“People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.

In order to understand how to move towards a more sales-oriented communication (once you’ve established the values of your brand) you need to be very clear about the benefits it provides to your customers. In other words, you need to know how your customers are using your product so that you can have a clear idea of what features and benefits will impact your customer’s experience the most.

In fashion, we say that garments have three different layers of value: functional value, social value, and emotional value. Are your customers buying a product because of its practicality, because of the social currency of your brand, or because of its uniqueness and exclusivity? 

Again, unless we know what makes our customers choose our product, it will be difficult to understand what features to discuss, or even how to improve our collection to meet the expectations and demands of our audience.

If you’d like to read more about the functional, social and emotional value of fashion products, you can find more information in this post. 

Great! Now that we’ve clarified the values of our brand and we’ve had a chance to reflect on the reasons that make our customers choose our brand, it’s time to learn more about the typology of the community we’d like to foster as not all communities are alike. We’re going to discuss this in our next paragraph.

3. Understand Where to Find the Customers you Want to Attract

At this stage, you can start getting the word out and becoming more vocal about your brand, as you are likely to have a much clearer idea about what message to share, what tone of voice to follow, and what type of brand persona to develop. 

The question now becomes where to find the customers you are looking to attract. In this sense, before starting your social media profiles, make sure you clearly identify the type of customer you are willing to attract.

Only by knowing clearly who you are looking to attract, and what type of message you want to deliver you can identify the right platform for your message. 

Ask yourself what is the goal of the communication. What is it that I want my audience to know? These types of questions can help you identify what platform will better serve your communication.

It is also a good idea to pick one or two platforms to get started before creating too many profiles on too many channels. As your business grows, spreading your content over multiple channels can reduce the effectiveness of your communication and put you under pressure to keep all of your profiles updated. 

If you’d like to read more about how to develop your social media presence as a fashion brand, this article may be helpful to you. 

4. Understand the Type of Community you Want to Build

When building an audience, we have two possible courses of action available. On the one hand, we have passion communities, on the other trigger-event communities. 

A passion community is a community of individuals connected by a common passion, where members entertain peer-to-peer conversations revolving around their common interests. These communities have a high reach but are at times oversaturated on most social media channels. If you are willing to develop a passion community, you may have to deal with a few extra challenges. First, it is not simple to stand out on social media, unless you’re pursuing a very specific identity or passion that is underserved.  Moreover, the people who join these types of communities are not always in the mood to make a purchase, as the focus of the interaction is comparing and contrasting opinions.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a community typology that is high in purchase intent, a trigger-event community can be a great alternative. A trigger-event community is a community comprised by individuals that have gone through some life-changing event and are now addressing a completely new set of challenges that require them to connect to people who have already addressed and overcome those challenges. Imagine relocating to a new city, retiring from work, moving abroad, deciding to be as sustainable as possible, etc. In all of these cases, an individual is likely to seek other people who have gone through a similar set of issues and can provide helpful advice on how to address these new challenges.

In this latter case, if a product or service can be bought to make the transition simpler, then, by all means, the opportunity to solve a problem by simply acquiring a product is always welcome.

Understanding what kind of community you are planning to develop is an essential step to succeeding. If this is something you’re interested in learning more about, in this post, we discuss this topic in greater depth.

Great! Now that we’ve covered all 4 pieces of advice we have to help your brand build a strong and engaged community around itself, it is now time to draw a few conclusive remarks.


There you have it! In this post, we’ve provided a 4-step approach to developing an effective communication strategy for your brand, one that can help you create a community of like-minded individuals that connect to your brand because of the value it embodies and the purpose it is trying to fulfill.

As we’ve discussed, after identifying our business purpose, we can then move towards the second degree of analysis, one connected with understanding your customer’s purchase behavior. In this context we’ve referenced “Jobs to Be Done” as a very helpful framework, designed to assist us in uncovering the reasons why our customers buy from us, and what they use our products for in their daily lives.

Thirdly, we looked into how to scout the perfect platform to find your high-value customers and make sure you are investing in creating a presence where it matters the most. 

Last but not least,  we discussed passion communities and trigger-event communities. As we start gathering momentum and drawing traffic toward our digital platforms it is important to clarify what type of community we want to develop and whether our brand is a better fit for a passion or trigger-event community.

If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, here’s a book we recommend to help you scale your business and develop a broad and engaged audience.

Don’t hesitate to keep exploring our blog to find out more about the business of the creative industries. On 440industries.com you can find a wealth of free material to help you scale your business and bring your creative vision to market. Enjoy!

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A 4-Step Strategy to Build a Community Around Your Fashion Brand In this post, we're looking at a simple 4-step strategy to help you create a community around your fashion brand.
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