I read an article recently which described how telling a story helps customers identify with the products they buy and understand what they are really investing in.
I’ve read some fascinating tales of how companies come up with their goods and how their processes create beautiful bespoke things you can own.
Sometimes the stories are there from the start. Sometimes they take time to realise. Born from a desire to create something, and then furthered from the problems it solves once the customer reacts.
Above all it is about a lot more than just saving the planet or making something that’s distinctive from everything else on the high street. Those are the afterthoughts. The feel good factors that noone can see. Really, it’s about ownership.
I doubt people who bought into the Cambridge Satchel Company’s trend were thinking about whether or not the workers were being paid an honest wage. Buyers liked the distinctive bags that reminded some of them of their, or their parents, childhoods. And you couldn’t get them anywhere else – a key factor at that time.
So how do you tick the boxes that get customers buying what you make and inspire them to come back for more. What people want (using myself as a case), is complex. It’s about more than the cost of the product, or how different it is from everything else on the high street. Or even that my dresses are designed to fit a range of body sizes with minimal customer hassle and embarassment (my personal shopping hell).
It’s about more than the fact that most of my creations are designed to fit women over 5ft 9ins but that this doesn’t exclude shorter women because I have that added personal touch. But maybe I’m complicating the issue. Maybe customers really don’t want that many options from a product.
It’s also got to be about more than the celebrity endorsement – although that does imprint a lifestyle on to what you are selling. And many products have become successful because a celebrity has worn, carried or eaten it. I suppose for many companies that’s the golden ticket.
‘Do you know what happens when your followers
feel like they’re invested in your past, present, and
future? They get out their wallets and invest in you.’
So it stands to reason that just pushing sustainable, handmade or made in the UK is not enough. Sustainability doesn’t give that air of uniqueness, of a classy product that everyone will want. It doesn’t advertise itself on a product – usually. Those are afterthoughts that take away the guilt trip when you buy something that potentially could be bad for the world but isn’t. And how many customers truly buy things because they think they are ethical or sustainable? Very few according to what I’ve read. But they are nice afterthoughts if you are that way inclined.
What I do is, from an accessibility point of you, limited. I don’t sell on the high street or through outlets. If you want something from me, you have to tap into my online shop. But in many ways that’s a plus and many businesses thrive on that exclusivity.
‘What I make is to be loved and worn. These are
clothes that need to be valued.’
What I sell isn’t what you get on the high street. That’s the point. And it means only people who can be bothered to make the effort will buy my garments. And that’s okay because if you’re the kind of person who just wants to drag themselves down to Primark on a Saturday afternoon, you’re not my kind of customer.
What I make is to be loved and worn, and reworn and restyled to suit multiple lifestyles. These are clothes that need to be valued. And that’s where the high street has fallen down. It has devalued fashion to such an extent that clothes are now seen as cheap throwaway accessories. And it has largely devalued what the rest of us are trying to do.
For all things Falcieri Designs check out my website at www.falcieridesigns.co.uk