At a Glance:
After many years of what felt like the DTC gold rush, brands today are now entering a land of unforeseen complexities. The DTC landscape is changing and proving more challenging than ever before. From customer acquisition to shipping and logistics and everything in between, brands are facing rapid changes across the board. These unfamiliar economic times are the perfect time to audit your business and make smart decisions today to protect your brand for tomorrow.
It’s nearly impossible to predict what is to come over the next year — let alone the next few months. For veterans in the DTC and Fashion & Apparel space, it can be tempting to compare from years past but no two down markets are the same. The only thing we do know is that the economy will always recover over time.
Brands that invest in their business during these down times are the ones most likely able to weather the storm. Here are just a few ways you can preserve your brand during these times.
Related Article: Mitigating Supply Chain Risks
Improve Your Operating Processes
Take the time to dive into the details and understand how your business is operating from A-Z. Look for ways to identify underperforming resources and bottlenecks and strengthen processes with automation.
In order to advance your automation, look to start by digitizing your operating processes. This is a great time to advance your business’ tech stack. A robust tech stack can give your brand a major leg up to increase performance across the entire business. The right investment can accelerate time to market, reduce the need for additional internal skills and resources, and optimize costs.
“If we didn’t have Backbone today, we would definitely need more people,” Backbone User from Chubbies
A great place to start to digitize your processes is with your design & development. Thanks to Backbone PLM we make this an easy transition for brands who can be up and running in days. Backbone’s fashion PLM software has leveled the playing field to benefit fashion and apparel brands of all sizes. Backbone PLM designed the ideal platform to benefit consumer goods brands and the DTC community.
Related Article: Finding the Right Fashion PLM Software
Get Closer to Your Customers
In times like today where uncertainty is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s time to really listen to your customers. Take the time to understand how your customers are also reacting to these times. Dig in and find out what is important to them and what are their needs.
Staying relevant with your customers will also allow you to increase your longevity in the market and unearth new habits and trends. This will open up new opportunities for your brand to serve your customers.
As a result, you continue to create trust and deepen your customer’s loyalty to your brand. One way Backbone helps to streamline your customer offerings is by optimizing the product creation process for fashion & apparel companies. You can easily carryover core styles and reuse historical data to get your products to market faster each season. Backbone’s single source of truth and data repositories makes it easier than ever to create tech packs in seconds and get products to market faster.
Related Article: Fashion Startups: Acquiring Customers and Marketing Your Brand
Focus on the Core
Continue to focus on what attracted your customers to your brand in the first place. Pour extra resources into what is working for your brand and less into new experiments and diversification. Typically during any downtown, it’s not the time to try and expand your product offerings.
If you have gotten closer to your customers during this time it will make it easier to get laser-focused on what to offer.
Once you have your core product offerings you can start to hone in on these developments from numerous angles such as design, development, supplier & factory allocation, and shipping & logistics. Rely on Backbone to store all of these product details to align your team as you move these items through the design and development process. Backbone’s dynamic libraries will give your team an additional layer of confidence and efficiency.
Prepare for the Worst
Navigating a downturn is never an easy feat as no two down markets are the same. The best advice is to get prepared. Understand what it may look like to scale down your team and your operations while focusing on what your company does best.
Being prepared will allow you to weather most storms and if you are prepared and understand how your business can operate successfully you can get on the other side of this downturn. To start, know your numbers. In order to stay on top of your business’ metrics, real-time reporting is necessary. Reporting allows you to look back in time as well as understand important trends happening in your business today.
Take advantage of Backbone’s real-time, dynamic reporting. Easily share product information with your dispersed team in seconds and transform manual processes into digital ones.
Before Backbone: “We were herding cats with spray bottles. Our old system was rigid, slow, and server-based. Not image friendly or intuitive.”
With Backbone: “The item masters give a 100-mile view of all of our product data in an organized way. We treat it as a living, breathing spreadsheet, and use it as a communication tool for use across departments.”
Check out our ROI Guide to see how much Backbone could save your brand:
See Beyond the Tough Times
This is a great time to build lasting relationships with your team, both internally and externally. There is a common bond that is formed amongst employees, factories, suppliers, vendors, partners, and more as everyone is weathering the storm together and rooting for each other to get to the other side of it.
This will pay dividends to your brand later as you will have built further loyalty with your team and partners.
Using a tool like Backbone will help keep these relationships fastened. Quickly and easily share the most up-to-date data with your team of suppliers and vendors. The easier it is to communicate with these suppliers and vendors the more successful your product development process will be. Over time, this process will become more and more efficient, saving you time and money and allowing you to get to market even faster.
Related Article: Factory Communication and Tech Pack Sharing
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