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Should big fashion companies publish their supplier lists online?

   

Supply focus

8 Tips for Successful Supplier-Client Relationships

Mehera Shaw Customer Are you a supplier working with international clients? SOURCE speaks to Shari Keller, fashion designer and director of Indian fair trade manufacturer Mehera Shaw, on how to ensure your business relationships deliver value for you and your client.

Supply focus

FLO's New Fairtrade Cotton Program Makes Sourcing Easier

Fairtrade cotton label Fairtrade International has recently launched a new way of certifying Fairtrade cotton, which breaks down the barriers and makes it easier for companies big and small to start using more Fairtrade cotton. SOURCE Contributor Rebecca Enderby founds out how.

Resources & training

SUSTAINABLE SOURCING MATRIX: AFRICA

AFRICA MATRIX Looking to source materials or have your collection made in Africa? This downloadable spreadsheet with help you find suppliers, local organisations and to get to know some key cultural and business information when you're sourcing from particular countries.

Business focus

10 Ways That Large Businesses Approach Sustainability

People Tree 2014 The SOURCE team reviewed a wide selection of global high street retailers and the ways in which they approach and work to integrate sustainability strategically. Image: SOURCE member brand, People Tree x Zandra Rhodes

Quickfire Q&A

5 minutes with... Russell Spiller, Mantis World

Russell is the Director of Mantis World, an award-winning and commercially successful brand and supplier of t-shirts and casual wear for men, women and children. Russell is passionate about Sales, which is why he’s nicknamed “The T-Shirt Seller.”

Well Made

1) What do you think is the key to a Brand’s sales strategy? What is the one thing that you think is most important above all?

The most important point above all else is consistency in your approach to Sales, it should be a properly planned function with as much thought, planning and detail applied to it, as to the creative and development side of your product.

Sales and Sales planning are the most important function to any business without which they won’t succeed…”No Sales…No Business.”

2) Why do you think Brands get sales so wrong?

Brands get sales wrong for many reasons but mostly it’s because they don’t appreciate the importance of the process and making time in the day to actually do it, and by the time they do, it’s usually too late.

It is also a fact of life that some people don’t have the confidence or the necessary skills to develop the consistent approach to Sales that is required to be successful.

3) What if you’re running your own label and sales is just not your strength – but you can’t afford to pay anyone to help you? Any tips to make life easier?

One of the easiest solutions to this problem is to contract out the Sales function, initially perhaps to an agent who understands the market and your place in it, has the relevant experience and most importantly the contacts, which have been built over many years.

Sales agents are a cheaper solution for young brands and an easy way to get a consistent Sales strategy up and running. Many will work on a commission only basis, so they only earn, and you only pay, when they have made a sale.

4) If my products are more expensive than many of my competitors, how can I justify to buyers that my brand is worth the extra cost?

This is really about your brand strategy it’s the how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity.

A strong brand equity gives the added value brought to your brands clothing or service that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coca Cola vs. Un-Branded Cola. Because Coca Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product—and customers will pay that higher price.

The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes; hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the clothing or the trainers features that sell the product, but the branding that justifies the increase in price to the consumer.

There is a lot of scope for emotional attachment and quality in an Ethical and Sustainable clothing or textile brand, and the awareness from consumers is an ever more popular subject.