Introduction to brand design with the fashion business designer

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Corrado Manenti
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Hello and welcome to this second article of the Fashion Business Academy where I explain how the Canvas works, starting with the first quadrant, the one dedicated to the Brand Design.

In the previous article which you can read HERE we have seen the basic structure of our canvas, in this article we will delve into the first quadrant where we will develop the architecture of our fashion brand!


  • If you haven't already done so, to better understand my approach, it is useful to print out the canvas! you can find all the resources in your private area in the Fashion Business Academy at your private area and access the free video course where you will also find all the downloadable materials]

  • The Canvas is designed to be accompanied by my manual: ?Do you want to be a designer too? at the end of each chapter you will find exercises to correctly fill in the canvas if you have NOT bought it yet, you can find it HERE


If we were to give a 'weight' to how we do our brand architecture in terms of its importance on the whole creative process, suffice it to say that the first hundred pages of the book more or less talk about this (out of 350 pages!).

So it is perhaps the most important thing to start with because as the saying goes: well begun is half done.

You have to work on refining your idea, on what will be the target market where you will find your potential customers, and focus above all on what you do well, which is: your focus on positioning.

Before we get to building products, I tell you from experience:

I very often see the opposite: enthusiastic designers who make products but then in the end are very weak on the Brand Design part, which being the intangible and marketing study is certainly less attractive, especially if you only think of enhancing creativity

Now let's look at how this quadrant is composed and what parts you need to keep track of in order to develop an idea that will then fit a specific market so that you can make specific products for specific customers.

The whole point of the quadrant (and where we need to get to) is to move from the initial idea to our value proposition or even better to the our magic ingredient.

We will usually start with a lot of ideas and then we will have to select a specific one that we are willing to believe in and invest in because:

Building a brand requires a lot of energy and time investment.

So we need to have a clear idea from which we can understand what we want to do and want to test it and test it first on an imaginary market in your head and then launch it!

We will have to see if there is a Product Market Fit i.e. a match between our product and the target market. In simpler terms? a sale!

If our product meets the market and the first sales trivially occur Having an idea or a dream is certainly the thing that brought us here. You read one of my articles, did some research on the internet or bought my book.

If you are following me because you probably have an idea that you think is very good and therefore you want to get to market by doing something you like something you believe in very much!

Our idea must be defined and specific, and all the more so by following my approach that you can't do everything for everyone! So working on the idea is very important. You have to think about what you want to do for whoever wants to do it. And what are all those attributes that can bring a benefit through your product to the customer.

This is what we are going to see throughout this section on how to structure your idea. The idea does not only exist in your head, but of course it is confronted with your market.

Your market may be your target market, it may be the other fashion brands and designers you are inspired by.

For example, if you are in a specific product or market segment, you will have many brands that more or less do similar things to yours.

It is true that you are not obliged to follow market trends, also because from the moment you start with your idea to when you are actually in the market will realistically pass from six months up to one year because you have to build a real 'fashion machine'.


Fashion in my approach is not a hobby it's about becoming an entrepreneur because obviously you have to structure a company something that works.

So your market is the place where your products will go and it also boils down to which shops might sell them the distribution channels and so on.

It is also important to understand and analyse the market because the price you decide to give your products is usually geared to the market price.

The fact of having a higher or lower price compared to your market or brand competitors is up to you, the right price is ?fantasy? not real and will be built and supported by your marketing and communication.

Not knowing the market you will not know the dynamics that govern it, and like all things even if you want to break the rules and play by your own rules you still have to know the bigger game as it is played.

Only then could I be innovative otherwise it will simply be a gamble.

A diagram of a business plan for sportswear with 'brand design' written on it.


The third part is precisely your customers in a specific market, there can be many types of customers, obviously your idea and its products will have to suit these customers, which is why you will have to slowly try to profile your brand's customers and then go and see what they are passionate about, what they like, and what themes they like, not so much your market.


The market can be environmentalist it can be against recycled plastic it can be against many types of things it can be more or less outspoken its customers may or may not be in line with this If we can create meaningful objects for our customers we will have more opportunities to become one of their favourite tracks and thus sell our products.


The fourth part is kind of your reason for existing. Your magic ingredient is what your customers know you do best - your focus and positioning your iconic and timeless garments!

Here we are talking about positioning but not in the sense of market positioning but we are talking about positioning in people's minds:

Every brand has intangible attributes that brand enthusiasts recognise, appreciate and identify with.

For example, if we think of Under Armour, it is a brand for sportsmen that became famous because many times we would see on the news marines resting on bases rather than extreme sportsmen in these very technical clothes and so they gave the impression of being such a technical brand that even professional operators and so on went to use in war zones.

Under Armour's strong and confident mentality is showcased through their innovative fashion business designs.

All of Under Armour's current communication is based on partnerships and collaborations with professional athletes and sportsmen and women to get the message across that ?it's uncompromising clothing chosen by people who do it for a living?

so positioning is something for the extreme sportsman and therefore is very appealing this is an intangible attribute not a real attribute of the brand.

Similarly, whatever your brand whatever the main type of garment you have chosen, whether it is the dress for an eighteenth rather than the dress designed specifically to go to certain types of occasions intangible attributes will be given to you by your customers once they see someone wearing your products, buy and tell other people about your brand. They are therefore very important!

The more we are specific about certain types of clothes rather than types of goods, we can be specific and be easier to recognise.

Think for example of streetwear if we focus on our style code, our graphics language and all our garments it will be much easier to do this and be memorable than if we always use different colours, graphics and messages.

If we are focused on something that looks particularly good on our shoulder the sweatshirt rather than a total look. This is something we need to know:

less is more

Mainly because starting from scratch you can't create everything and so having to choose what to do, you'd better choose what works for you. Of course, brand also means identity and your identity lies somewhere in between.

Whether you have a logo or not at some point it will have to go into this part of your visual stylistic philosophical identity.

Let us always remember that the brand is not just the logo that is the explicit part which is simply a stroke a design. The logo thanks to the brand must become a symbol in order to become one, you must internalise the essence of your brand which is precisely the compass that will gather all your values as a creator and as a designer as a person.

This will be your story and it will be what is truly authentic truly yours and what no one can copy.


Once you have defined the brand design quadrant, you will have the elements that will then help and guide you in the product choices that we will then go on to see in the next part of COLLECTION DESIGN within which you find for example the moodboards I have recently explored in this article

Did you like this article? Leave me a comment below and share it on your social networks with everyone who might appreciate it! Would you like to join me and other visionary students on an innovative path?

Discover the Fashion Business Academy the first on-demand online academy with courses dedicated to building your own brand from scratch! 


Corrado Manenti, the designer of designers, showcases his work in Elementor Single Article #3277.
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