There are lots of reasons why advertising is important for a business startup, but in the apparel business, it comes down to a couple of things. Not only do you want to convince potential customers once and for all that you've got more to offer than Banana Republic or Ann Taylor, you want to make sure you have a strong image, like Banana Republic or Ann Taylor. In short, you need to create the desire to come into your store instead of those of your more established apparel competitors. If your ideal customer never strolls past your store, you'll hope that he or she at least pays attention to the mail and mass media.
Try to look at advertising as not just another business expense but as a way of building your sales. Whatever media you decide will work best within your community, your advertising campaign should be well planned, distinctive and consistent with your store image. Advertising informs your customers about the merchandise you carry and your store's special events, services and sales. And it's also going to be all those things that Advertising 101 says it should be: simple, straightforward, informative and eye-catching.
- How is my store different from my competitors'? (e.g., he sells Levi's; I sell dress pants)
- What quality merchandise do I sell? (e.g., he sells Levi's; I sell dress pants)
- What kind of store image do I want to advertise? (e.g., trendy, tailored, casual, chic)
- What customer services do I offer? (e.g., special-order clothing, free on-site tailoring, a children's corner)
- Who are my customers? (e.g., Beverly Hills matrons, Manhattan models)
- What are my customers' tastes? (e.g., trendy, tailored, casual, chic)
- Why do they buy from me? (e.g., convenience, the only store in town that sells plus-size business suits)