Emerging Designers / Fashion Business / Interns

Branding Lessons from Brynn

Last Friday, I realized for the umpteenth time that running a business is more difficult than it looks. Of course I did not come to Brynn’s office thinking that it is easy to juggle the various components of a small business. Yet a conversation I had last week reiterated what I already knew; it’s not simply a matter of creating the product, but highlighting your benefits and features that are key factors for your target market. Brynn learned early on that you can’t be everything to everyone and branding helps differentiate you from your competitors. Branding seems easy because companies make it look easy. There are actually quite a few factors at play and I’m learning that keeping ‘the brand’ in mind is key.

making a listThis is what happened: Brynn and I were working on a newsletter when the conversation shifted from fonts and lifestyle photos to the topic of branding a company. She asked me to name adjectives that describe Brynn Capella handbags. Together we came up with five: everyday, modern, bohemian, luxury and functional. These words, she said, should always be kept in mind because consistency is a crucial part in establishing a relationship with your customers. These adjectives are what you communicate visually and verbally as part of your brand strategy.

independent handbag designer

51kttplp5il-_sx258_bo1204203200_A few weeks ago Brynn, Allie and I worked on an application for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. I had never applied for an award before, so I looked  at some past applications to get a sense of the responses. I was immediately drawn to those designers with a clear vision of who their designs were meant for, even if I was not their target client. One applicant wrote multiple times that their bags were made exclusively for working moms, and although I do not fall into that category, I was still drawn to the product because the designer’s message was sharp and coherent. It was confident, and confidence attracts people.

I get that none of this takes a rocket scientist to understand. Still, there is a difference between knowing information and actually incorporating it into your business model. One of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed working for Brynn is because she knows who her different clients are, why they buy her handbags, and how they will respond to certain branding strategies. Applying that knowledge to all the areas of a business is most likely challenging at times, but also provides an individuality and clarity of vision that I believe makes Brynn’s brand so successful.

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