How African Designer Can Grow Their Businesses Through The Corona Virus Pandemic

by Nana Tamakloe
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Ghana Insights & Advise 

Despite the tragedies that might be born with the spread of the Corona Virus, this may just be a great way for African brands to take full opportunity of this pandemic. In most cases I would hate to give this information out for free and will only do so through processes of consultation, but then again it would also be a great opportunity to have content on the blog so carefully read below.



PUSH OUT YOUR REAL COMPETITION
In most scenarios, African designers are usually competing with themselves when the truth of the matter is their real competition is foreign brands and second hand goods that are all imported from the west and Asia. These are the clothes that most of their hidden clients are comfortably wearing preventing them from spending money on their designs.

For the first time in history, this pandemic might possibly give society enough reason to decline the number of imports of foreign goods, in fact it should. Our worst cases of imported goods that are destroying our markets are 2nd hand clothes from USA, cheap clothes from China, and high fashion brands from Italy. All the three which seems to be hit the hardest by the pandemic.

If there is a way to rally against the government and retailers to stop the imports of these goods for public safety there could be a massive opening to clients supporting local brands. Mind you after the pandemic there might also be a high number of people ready to spend on clothes (depending on how long it goes on for).

SOURCE OUT RETAILERS
Retailers are going to have a difficult time rebuilding themselves with stock after this pandemic. Uncertainty to do businesses with the said countries above will be on a high, designers can use this period of no interactions to build themselves a strong database of shops and retailers, if which they can propose tremendous deals. And although it might be lower than their usual sales, striking a large amount will be of amazing interest to retailers. Then utilize this period most are staying at home to produce in large numbers and in bulk. Ready for the stores as soon as the pandemic is over.

BRANDING
One area most African designers are failing miserably in (mind you I never use the world miserable but this is just appalling), is taking advantage of branding during the pandemic. The most we have seen, branding wise from designers is publishing one of those ‘be safe’, ‘wash your hands’ or ‘stay at home’ posters with their logos on it. Designers could have, or can take the opportunity to create masks for homeless shelters or charities, and then put out a press release. Or create a very protective dress for a celebrity and put out a press release, or donate money to the hospitals and put out a press release. I mean there are so many ideas to help get you in the press during these times. Unfortunately African designers (with the exception of south Africa) fail to understand the importance of pr, press and blogs, most think that an instagram page is the end all to their success, and that’s why there is a cap on the success of all African brands. Most of you do not even have a list of press contacts you can forward press releases to and that is extremely sad. Anyways that is where hiring pr comes in, if need be get intouch with us. This is the moment to take over the press, let people get to know who you are and why you exist and the ethics behind your brand.

IMAGERY
Models are out of jobs and so are photographers. Now is the perfect time to hire the most talented photographer and model you wished to work with. You can probably get them at half the price they would initially have worked for. Then create something relative to the pandemic, something artistic, meaningful but yet fashion related.

SALES EXPLOITATION
Now would be the best time to also buy what you need. One can easily go to the market and bargain low prices easily as many businesses are in the hot seat. Buy your fabrics, buttons, zips, etc in large amounts. Provide a very healthy, safe and isolated environment for your workers (depending on the state of your nation) and get producing.

Stop Being Basic
This pandemic has really hit your competitors hard. And as said above, not your next door designer neighbor, but the guccis and pradas etc. Yes they are billionaires, but can you imagine how much un-purchased goods will impact them, with all the staff they need to pay? Events are cancelled, manufacturers are fearing lack of sales, There is very little advertisement going on! Now is the chance to ensure you are stuck in people’s minds. Now is the chance execute online adverts, not for the now, but for the after. Adverts that might not even focus much on an outfit, but more on the name brand.

Good Luck


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