Introduction stage is the beginning of the product life cycle of clothes when a new item is launched in the market. In this stage, the item requires lots of marketing effort and dedicated approaches to disclose it, like advertisements, fashion shows, magazines, PR events, etc. The primary goal is to promptly educate and attract customers. Some customers are open and adapt to new trends easily. They are brand advocates and are willing to spend more money in this first stage.
With the rising appeal of a product, more and more people are accepting the fashion trend. As a result of fashion recognition, companies will produce more to meet demand. Sales will begin to climb significantly, and more competitors starting to notice the opportunity. As the trend spreads, distribution will become more widespread. In this stage, the objective of marketing will be on increasing exposure to gain approval from the general public.
In this phase, the product has reached its peak of popularity. When the public’s interest decreases, the item’s price and sales volume go down, meaning profit margins are thinner. Competition for this item also becomes more intense and there’s no room for new entries, indicating that the market has reached saturation. In the maturity stage, the marketing purpose is to fend off competition, and introduced altered products if possible. This leads to opportunities for new fashions.
While companies can make efforts to extend the product life in the market, an eventual decline is unavoidable. In this stage, the appeal and demand for the product decrease, causing sales and profit to plummet. The item loses its market share and competitors are progressively being phased out with the threat of getting stuck with outmoded inventory. Eventually, the product retires from the market, and people’s attention shifts to the latest trend.
The value of the global fashion industry has reached 3 trillion dollars and has become more competitive than ever. Thus, it is important to understand where your fashion product is in its life cycle to have suitable strategies for your boutique.
In addition to the above 4 stages, there’re 4 more phases you should know specifically for the clothing industry: basics, fashions, fads, and styles.
Basic clothing refers to items that are simple and easy to wear, such as plain T-shirts or pants. The cycle of basics is usually much longer, and a small variation can create a difference. Sales are a bit slow in the introduction stage, but it’s gaining popularity steadily and bringing sustainable profit to the company in the long run. The mature stage has the largest sales volume. However, by distinguishing among the variations, some items stay in the maturity stage much longer than others before entering the decline stage.
Fashion happens when the items spread rapidly everywhere. Therefore, customer demand is rising in the growth stage, and companies can make a good profit during this stage. It won’t reach the decline stage until a new fashion emerges and replaces the old one.
Fad stage can come very fast when interest in the products drops. After gaining massive popularity during the introduction and growth stage, the sales are at the highest and get lost after a while. The duration of fads is very short and common for products targeting young people.
Style is the expression of an individual’s thoughts, characteristics, and creativity. Styles of clothing help highlight your personality and indicate a message of who you are. When a style is universally accepted, there are 2 different destinations for it. If it lasts for a long time, it becomes fashion. Lasting for a short time, it is called fad.