Fashion boutiques, especially ones that are new and that haven’t had time to gain a following, often feel threatened by larger stores. This is understandable. A few years ago, many fashion boutiques around Covent Garden in London quickly went out of business when larger stores like Top Shop opened in the area.
While boutiques are often too small to be able to compete with larger operations on price, they have a unique advantage – they represent authenticity and true fashion. This is why the fashion departments at large department stores and big-box retailers often try to pull off the boutique look themselves – most people equate boutiques with authentic fashion.
Boutiques, then, have a great start – they have natural appeal. They do need to work at driving this natural advantage home, though. Specific marketing moves that help them amplify the natural advantages they already have could be a great way forward.
Put a lot of thought into thematic displays
The great names in fashion put a lot of work into their window displays – their stores are well-known for their creative and adventurous signature display ideas. While boutiques don’t have the kind of resources that the retailers of high-fashion do, they can certainly more than make up for it with their independent ideas and their freedom from corporate oversight.
An independent clothing store can take risks and make bold, politically unpopular statements through its branding and its displays the way larger competitors never could. Such independent thinking could easily win it loyalty among its customers.
Hold contests for customers
Fashion customers who don’t mind the higher sticker prices at boutique stores often have a deep connection to the fashion they buy. They tend to have very specific ideas and tastes. Their ideas on fashion are often well enough formed that they could design their own clothing. Fashion designing contests for customers, then, can be a very meaningful way of impressing them.
If you can manage to bring in a well-known name in fashion design to judge your contest, so much the better. To be selected winner by a bona fide fashion designer could be one of the best rewards possible to a true follower of fashion. To make it even better, you could offer to display winning entries in the window display.
A design contest by a large clothing chain would never seem believable to their customers. They merely look upon those stores as businesses that they shop in. Boutiques, though, have credibility. Contest could only help promote and raise their stature.
Offer added services
The most important reason why people love boutiques is that they let them stay in touch with the latest in the world of fashion. There is another reason, as well – they are in a position to offer personalized service.
Since boutiques serve only a few customers, they have the ability to work with their customers to find them new kinds of fashion. They offer fashion guidance and consultation. The more specialized services a store is able to offer, the more it lives up to the image of what boutiques stand for.
Hold trunk shows
A trunk show is a fashion display by a small and untested designer. Since many people love the idea of being the first to discover the talent of a fresh designer, trunk shows can make a boutique immensely popular.
Duncan Johnston is a business branding consultant. He enjoys passing on his insights and ideas through blogging. To learn more about promotional items for your business, visit the link.