Monday, May 6, 2013

What does customer focus mean?

One of the critical things people forget when entering the fashion world is the customer. A designer comes into a new business and has a vision. Fantastic. If you’re vision isn't what the customer wants, you are out of business. I will grant you that sometimes the customer doesn't know what s/he wants until s/he sees it. Listening, observing, testing and taking calculated risks can help you find what it is your customer is interested in. What is your customer’s vision? What need could you fulfill?

As a merchant, knowing and delivering for your customer is the key to success. What does knowing your customer mean? How does your customer like to shop? What does your customer want to buy? How often does your customer buy? Who is your customer buying for? How much will your customer pay? Where else does your customer shop? What made the customer choose your product or brand? Giving your customer the right product at the right price at the right time in the right size, in a way the customer can easily find, will surely grow your business.

On more than one occasion in my career, I witnessed the ego take precedence over the customer. In one company, my customer was (on average) a forty year old man making the median American income, married with three kids living in the suburbs. I sat through a meeting where a designer and merchant declared their feelings on a product: ‘I would never wear that’. If your customer is a 40-something man in Middle America, who cares what two twenty five year old single guys with tight cuffed jeans in New York City would want to wear? They needed to get in touch with the customer. Every decision should be made with the customer in mind.

If you want the key to getting ahead in the fashion industry, put your ego on the shelf and focus on your customer. How can you stay true to your brand vision while catering to your customer?

Learn more about the fashion industry from Career Coach Kate Kibler at

No comments:

Post a Comment