Talking fashion with Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design: How to create and preserve your brand identity as a fashion designer


As a newbie in business with all the creative ideas, it is not easy to get people to see you as a star as others may have made their name and mark already in the business space. It, therefore, requires additional effort to develop and sell your brand to gain the much-expected publicity and image.

This can be achieved in several ways, among which are watching business-oriented programs on TV to keep abreast with the latest news in the business world and investing in books on networking and communication skills. These actions contribute to developing your desired image and brand.

It may also be helpful to invest in personal grooming ie wearing clothing from well-known designers, paying more attention to hair and nail care, using a personal or hired vehicle instead of a taxi; essentially trying out different things to make sure you are noticed when you step into your business meetings and gatherings. Eventually, you will know you are on the right path when people associate you with the image you have worked to achieve.

With all the effort you have made, in no time people start to recognize you through your appearance, your voice, your tone and even your use of certain dictions in your interactions. Thus, brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable. The above is no different when creating and preserving your brand identity as a fashion designer. When developing your brand identity, it is important to get it right from the get-go.

Your audience and ideal customers must be able to associate certain unique elements about your brand’s identity which will go a long way to build a strong connection between you and your customers and build customer loyalty.

When creating your brand identity as a fashion designer, it is crucial to have the ability to impress your ideal customers through visuals.  The visuals of your brand as a fashion designer or business speak about who you are, where you are and where you are going. It communicates your history, vision, values among others.

In a recent interview with Boye Doe a fashion designer, alumni of Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, he spoke at length about his visuals and why he chose the name Boye Doe with the Gye Nyame design embedded in his logo. According to him, he chose the logo and its design because of his passion for fashion and his faith. The story behind his visuals i.e. fonts, name, style and the logo speak a lot about what the brand stands for and where it is going.

Visuals are good but not enough because your goal as a designer should be to help the customer solve the problem of expressing their individuality. If you can’t communicate who you are as a brand and the type of person who would identify with your core values then you are in for a long ride to nowhere.

So, to nail your brand identity, it is necessary to take the time to brainstorm every single adjective that you believe belongs in the world of your brand. Then keep eliminating them until you have a maximum 2 favourites left. These favourites should be able to encompass all the visuals, sounds, textures, and feelings your ideal customer would experience when engaging with your brand. Find your niche and define in very few words what makes your brand special.

If for some reason something doesn’t fit those original 2 favourite words even though you might like it, please toss it in a trash can. If you put this exercise in practice, it will help you to establish the core message that matches your brand visuals. In the context of Ghana, many fashion designers choose to use their ‘Names’ but that does not mean you should go the same route. Think Different!

Photo Credit: Logo of  Boye Doe capturing the brand’s elegancy, luxury and authenticity.

The next thing to pay attention to when creating or preserving your brand identity is your ability to send a strong and compelling message to your ideal customer. The brand message helps customers connect with your designs on a personal level. If a consumer relates to the brand, it creates a connection; the wearer feels as though the brand is an extension of themselves or at the least what the wearer would like others to perceive in them.

Without a strong message, no matter how great your clothes or accessories are, it will not get the attention it needs to attract customers. It will just be another piece of clothing without any connection to its wearer.

Your message must move your ideal customer. If you are making designs for the rich and glamourous in the society, let your message say so. For instance, if you are an exclusive luxury brand, your language and imaging need to reflect what luxury feeling using black, gold and more refined elegant language and tone.

If you are an independent, ethically-sourced brand, you may want to use softer colours in your marketing material and have a softer tone in anything written. You should always have it in mind that you cannot design for everyone and therefore your message should be able to attract the kind of clients you want.

Thanks to technology your message can be delivered in many forms through the use of digital marketing. Components like your website, social media platforms and the use of industry or social influencers go a long way to establish your message in the mind of your ideal customer.

When it comes to your message, consistency is very important to ensure the best results are achieved. This can be achieved by having a brand guide which will ensure consistency with the message sent. A brand guide ensures that social media posts, blog posts, photography, typography, packaging and the overall voice and tone of your brand can be heard and felt far and near.

Photo: Nana Aba Anamoah wearing ‘Bold Romance Collection’ from Lauren Haute Contour

According to research, people spend more time on their computers and phones. Digital marketing is huge in today’s market. That’s why great online presentation and content is key for people to remember you. As a fashion designer, one of the good ways to get people to notice your brand online is by working with social influencers.

In conclusion, brand identity is what sets one designer apart from the endless competition and shows your customers who you are and what they can expect from working with you. And if you want your brand to be perceived in a positive light, you must nail your brand identity and create designs that accurately portray who you are to your customers.

Your brand identity is ultimately what will distinguish you from the competition. You must put extra work on your identity and in as much as your brand may be visible and well marketed, always remember that there are more opportunities to expand further.

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