No 1. Over spending on marketing to create more demand

When you are selling products people don’t necessarily need to survive, the products are considered to be a want and not a need. Fashion brands all over the world know this and have been very successful at using marketing tactics to convince the average consumer that they need another pair of high heel shoes that will hurt their legs when worn for an extended period of time and God forbid you try to dance in them on a special night out.

Marketing budgets by fashion brands usually accounts for at least 50% of their expenses. You would think that with the invention of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that the cost of marketing would reduce, but that’s not the case when the social media platforms become saturated with so much noise and their only revenue model is from advertisements.

Unfortunately, to reach more people you need more $$$$ and that is why the big brands will always be at the top of the food chain. Smaller brands have to rely on being super creative in developing guerilla marketing campaigns to have a fighting chance to get more awareness about their  products/brand image. All this takes away valuable time and resources from conducting ground breaking research and development that would lead to innovation in the industry.

No 2. Inability to quantify the demand it’s creating

Once the brands have succeeded in blowing a  lot of $$$$$ convincing consumers that they need another leather hand bag. The brands have no clue of how many products consumers will actually buy making their supply chain management a complete nightmare. Some brands do their best to use predictive mathematical models drawn by economists and statisticians but it’s very difficult, if not close to impossible to use previous data of unrelated products to predict demand for newer products especially when you add volatile fashion trends into the mix.

Fortunately, there are new market research tools being developed by Style Minions to help brands use their own customers and fashion early adopters to accurately predict how successful a new product will sell irrespective of the fashion trends at the time.

No 3. Over reliance on fashion trends

This is actually the nail in the coffin for innovation in the fashion industry. It’s sad to see that a lot of brands/designers have completely abandoned being innovative or try to push fashion to evolve. Instead, everyone is taking the easy way out and relying completely on trends to determine what their next collection would be. There is nothing wrong with doing this from a business perspective cause it means that brands can capitalize on short term demand depending how long the trend lasts which makes their supply chain even more of a nightmare. Too much of anything is eventually bad in the long term, meaning brands should try and find a balance between responding to trends and creating innovative products.

Let us know in the comment section below what other problems you think are contributing to the slow growth of innovation in the fashion industry. Thank you.