Guest post by Aimée Lopez of Copy Unleashed
“I make clothes, women make fashion.” – Azzedine Alaïa
As a copywriter who specialises in the retail and e-commerce worlds, I have learned a thing or two about writing for fashion that resonates with consumers.
To start your endeavour, you need to sell your brand with written and spoken words that will entice, attract, and convert your potential buyers. With this in mind, I want to share with you some of the hard-earned writing tips I have learned along the way. Below are five helpful writing tips for your fashion business.
People make the pieces come to life
The above quote from designer Azzedine Alaïa says it all. We work together to get clothing out there, but at the end of the day, people make them come alive. That is why it is so important to create an impressionable brand or clothing line for people. With clothes, words follow.
I read somewhere that fashion just needs images to sell. But in my opinion, words go hand-in-hand to make an indelible impression on people, to create an atmosphere, a celebration, a connection with the pieces. Words help build a world, a brand.
- Start with whom you’re really designing for
Fashion designers are famously known for choosing their ideal person for a collection. This is a beautiful concept that should continue but is this ideal person going to buy from you? Your ideal isn’t necessarily the person who’ll spend money with you. Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point goes into brilliant detail about this.
First, think about how your clothing specifically fills a need or solves a problem for a potential buyer. Yes, solves a problem like with retail buyers on how they will attract a certain clientele to their stores.
Secondly, what type of person would benefit most from your pieces? Read what people are saying about your competitors. What types of folks are buying from them?
Important, when writing about your fashion business, focus on one person in your writing. You can’t be all things to all people like anything with fashion.
- Simplify your product names
You’re a creative, I get it. But you’re also making items to sell. Focus your poetic license on your clothing and not your product names. Simply name your pieces to what they visually are and what they consist of. Make things easy for people to grasp your concept. For example:
Yes: A-Line Cotton Dress with Leaf Print
No: Eve’s Seduction in the Garden of Eden Slip-On Bridle Corset with Lurex
Think about the weak example above. As fun as it sounds, does it quickly conjure up an image of what it is? You get that it is sort of a sexy corset, but what else? Does the average person know what Lurex is?
By the way, capitalise Lurex as it is a trademarked material and be mindful of hyphens as fashion is a haven for the hyphen.
- Paint a picture with product descriptions
When selling online, in a catalogue, trade fair, or with a hang tag, you’ll need some sort of product description for each piece.
A product description is a short blurb that satisfies any purchasing apprehensions and answers the potential buyers’ questions.
A simple product description for fashion should consist of:
- A short visualisation summary of the product. Paint a picture of the benefits the person will get from the piece.
- Four simple bullet points of the benefits, not features, of the garment.
- The ever-important material composition. Some folks are allergic to certain materials.
- Shipping information.
I know bullet points are not aesthetically pleasing but they statistically make things easier to read. If you can think of an alternative that works best for you, then go for it.
You must have proper sizing information and an easy-to-read size chart readily available with your descriptions. People will not feel comfortable buying if this information is not at hand.
When marketing and selling on an online marketplace, check to see if they have any restrictions on the products they sell and the language they use. Some of their requirements may surprise you. Marketplaces also usually have a writing style guide that can be helpful.
- Marketing, marketing, marketing.
A bulk of your business will be centred around marketing your wares. Be very strategic with where and how you present yourself on your chosen channel.
Consistency is key. Start by storing any taglines, descriptions, hashtags, press releases that you frequently use in one easy to find filing system. This will come in handy for when you expand as this can develop into your brand’s marketing style guide for the almighty consistency.
- Points on sustainability
Laws and regulations are quickly changing on the issue of environmental responsibility and it’s your responsibility to be on top of what can and cannot be called sustainable.
People are becoming increasingly savvy on the topic. If you’re going to say something is environmentally conscious you need to be specific with your claim but in a way that is easily understood by people outside of the industry.
Thanks for reading along. I hope you found this information to be useful and a little thought-provoking. I am here if you have any questions or you need a wise-cracking copywriter who knows a thing or two about fashion to take some of this stuff off of your plate.
- Aimée Lopez