Ok so we all know that product placement is of the utmost importance to new up and coming brands right? It is the key component to building a small unknown brand into something that people in our genre of clothing know about, IMO that is of course. With that said, I'd like some help and or maybe some brainstorming ideas.
We deal with a lot of different people in terms of placing our products in various situations. We mostly work with up and coming rappers and mostly people involved in the hip-hop culture. My brand is a little more urban/sneakerhead than pure streetwear/bbc/bape/kanye type style. Though its more "in" to be in the latter category, there is always a need for more urban streetwear, and more crossover streetwear, again IMO.
Via stylists, managers, artists themselves, etc. I have gotten some exposure on MTV (Actually gonna get a big look this Thursday night on 50 Cent's show on MTV, Tony Yayo is wearing one of our Fall pieces throughout the episode from what I was told, or for a great majority of it at the very least, sorry for the shameless self promotion), in movies, and we have a very strong presence on the hip-hop blogs and with the artists who have their music distributed through them. Everyone from Charles Hamilton to Esso, AC, Theo, Donny Goines, Cory Gunz, etc all wear our clothes and give us a good look whenever they can. We have been in Music Videos for songs by Consequence, Joe Budden and a few upcoming one featuring Travis from Gym Class Heroes.
Along with that sort of placement, you need to be in the popular fashion magazines and blogs. The magazines are in a sense easy to do, you just need enough money to get it done, which is problematic for small brands across the board. How many of you other brands can afford to take a $15k per month ad out in Complex for example? Don't get me wrong magazines are still useful and good marketing tools, we have gotten several stores to seek us out after seeing our ads/features in YRB and Antenna, but that kind of advertising only does you so much good with the growth of the internet and the decline in the popularity of print media. We have done interviews for magazines that are not involved with fashion per say, and those have been useful as well, but again only to a certain extent. The popular fashion blogs (especially the site we are on now) are extremely choosy and picky about which brands get posts put up about them, which makes it extremely hard to get in the swing of things in that respect. I whole heartedly understand why it is like this and appreciate their positions in our genre of clothing, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept that fact that you have to work hard, and get lucky at the right time, to get into these sorts of circles.
Ok with all that said now here is what I am noticing. In the clothing game, especially the streetwear game, your biggest obstacle is to get people to notice you from everyone else. To make that happen you need strong product placement and strong store presence. You need to be in the "hot" stores and popular consumer areas. To get in those stores, or even better, to get those views of your product, you need to get the stores to notice you first before the public in a way. The problem with that is most people who buy for stores and/or own stores are kinda disconnected from the culture that they are providing garments for, especially the bigger chain store accounts which most of us covet for obvious reasons.
Sorry if I began to rant, but I was trying to cover a lot of territory. All in all my point is that, we are in business to make money right? That is the underlying theme behind anybody starting any sort of business, barring very specific cases of course. But you need money to make money right? Can you make a brand big without spending the money that your slightly larger sizes competitors do to get noticed? I personally feel that at some point if enough people ask for a certain product the stores have to take notice and pay you your due for your product and therefore contribute to your line taking off and becoming successful. What other ways do you guys know of marketing and placing products that have been successful with your brand. Not only in terms of exposure but also in terms of dollars and cents. Myspace, Facebook, things like that are all obvious and have been done to death by everybody. I'm thinking more outside the box. We do a lot of custom jobs with a number of the up and coming rappers we deal with that have gotten us some more name recognition, but that brings up a whole new set of problems I'm not gonna get into right now. Lets Discuss! lol