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n 2008 Victoria Beckham debuted her RTW (Ready To Wear) Dress Collection at New York Fashion Week and within just five seasons she has managed to dress everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Beyoncé, Cameron Diaz to Julia Roberts. Making an estimated $90 million (USD) in sales in 2011, the secrets to her success can be found in the following:
In 2008 Victoria Beckham debuted her RTW (Ready To Wear) Dress Collection at New York Fashion Week and within just five seasons she has managed to dress everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Beyoncé, Cameron Diaz to Julia Roberts. Making an estimated $90 million (USD) in sales in 2011, the secrets to her success can be found in the following:
Partner with the right people – Teaming up with business partner, Simon Fuller (the man who put the Spice Girls together) and working with established fashion designer, Robert Mouret, to put her design team together, was critical to the success of the line. So often people seek to launch a new business without understanding the key components needed to make the brand a success. Victoria Beckham understood her strengths and partnered with the right people to eliminate her weaknesses.
Quality products – Irrespective of what product you are making, it is imperative to put quality at the centre of your products development. I absolutely love the advice Marc Jacobs gave to her: “Make sure the quality of your product is good. People can always say they don’t like it, but they should never say it’s not made well.” When you give your customers quality they will always come back for more.
Create something you would want to buy – Victoria Beckham has been reported to say that as part of the design process she puts on the dresses in order to see how they fit. She tries on each piece as if she were a customer herself, making sure the fit is right, the fabric feels good and the color works. When you ‘become your customer’ you start to see things from their prospective. What are the pitfalls? How can your product or service be improved? Would you buy it? These are key questions to ask yourself and your team.
Allow technology to give you flexibility – In today’s world there is no reason why you need to be bound by geography. Victoria Beckham lives in LA but her team and business is based in London. Using Skype she has daily ‘video meetings’ and keeps abreast with what is happening in her business.
With modern technology you can be anywhere in the world doing business. The key is to find the solutions and make the technology work for you. For example I personally have a VoIP Phone System, which means that I have one number that can be redirected to wherever I am in the world. It also means that if I don’t answer a call (say at my home office) my team can pick it up at the main office. Technology is a wonderful thing as it allows us to take the limits off.
Take baby steps – Before launching her own fashion business in 2008 Victoria Beckham toyed with the fashion industry through a range of activities including being the British Ambassador for Dolce and Gabbana, creating a limited-
What Victoria Beckham understands is that you simply cannot create success overnight; you need to take baby steps and you need to have the right team around you in order to make each project flourish. Far too many budding entrepreneurs want ‘instant empires’ seeking to push multiple products and or businesses simultaneously without the financial backing or personnel to make them a success. Brand building is a process and to achieve it you need to take incremental and strategic baby steps.
“When you stop having fun, stop doing what you’re doing” – I love this quote by Victoria Beckham. Irrespective of whether you are running a business or building a career, doing something you love should be your starting point.
Turning your passion into profit is a journey and you should enjoy the process. I believe that as soon as you stop loving what you’re doing, that’s the time to try something new.
Good luck with building your brand!