How to maintain a balance between design recognition and market?

In the actual sales, often sell well is partial to the market, the mass of the style. But a do market models, such products a lot, will affect the brand recognition. Plus the brand product price is not low, too much of the market models have pulled down the brand grade suspicion. Also, the brand's product terminal image is good, but most of the design models with personality is not sold well. So the question is, like this situation, how to balance the relationship between design recognition and commercialization? How to keep the brand tone unchanged, but also to keep sales do not pull down?

Table of Contents

In fact, the balance between design recognition and market is a very large cognitive system.

The key factors are: the accuracy of customer positioning, the rationality of product planning data, the implementation of ideas and reality, and the current stage of a company and the kind of business strategy it needs to adopt.

Here I will take the product design case of INITIAL (Spring 2021), a niche fashion brand, as an example to analyze how to balance the brand’s tone and commercialization, which can also be useful for commercial brands.

The main line of INITIAL is clothing, which is an all-round extension of life. In the main clothing section, INITIAL brings consumers a different shopping experience with “fine” and “close to life”.

Among the core clothing lines, INITIAL’s women’s collection is based on vintage elements, while the men’s collection is based on a more segmented military vintage, combined with gentleman’s suit elements.

In addition to the highly recognizable store design, INITIAL has highly recognizable products.

Color Logic

First let’s look at its color logic. In fact, to control your brand tone, the first thing you have to do is to grasp the color tone.

If you do not deviate from the color planning, then no matter how your style, including design elements to change, the overall tone of the brand will not have a big deviation.

There is a good saying: “You can’t talk about toxicity without the dose”.

It means that at any time we have to focus more on the ratio, the proportion. Color proportion is also.

Let’s look at the color planning logic of this product, in fact, the most proportion is still black and white (the basic real sales color), the second proportion is the brand DNA color.

I have talked about the logic of color planning DNA colors, also known as policy colors.

What is a brand policy color? It is the permanent symbolic color that represents the long-term qualitative aesthetics of the brand style. It embodies the brand genes (DNA) at the color level. Different companies call this term “qualitative colors” or “classic colors”.

INITIAL’s long-term policy colors are denim blue, khaki and army green, which are earth tones and belong to its brand policy colors.

INITIAL policy color in the proportion of color products accounted for the largest, in fact, these colors are very commercial

So, how to reflect the commercial, INITIAL selected the policy color, both in line with the retro brand tone, but also a very real selling color, at least not picky people

There is also a popular color. Reflecting commercialization can also be expressed through popular colors.

So what is the popular color? Popular color is the seasonal symbolic color that represents the aesthetics of the seasonal variables. It reflects the brand’s story theme and emotional expression of the season from the color level.

So let’s see, INITIAL’s popular color ratio is relatively small. However, at least it uses popular colors.

For example, red, orange, light yellow, light purple these popular colors are used. Although alone, these colors are not quite in line with the brand’s style tone, but because it only plays a role of embellishment, not dominant, so the overall brand tone, not affected at all.

Well, these are from the logic of color to analyze how it is to maintain a stable style of the brand, but also appropriate to join the popular elements.

Basic style

Let’s analyze from the style.

In fact, we look carefully, INITIAL although it seems that the whole plate of products quite independent brand character, but we dig in it, there are many models, in fact, there is no brand recognition.

I put together this schematic, you see each paragraph in this, to his single paragraph deconstructed, is more popular, it can be said that many brands, even wholesale, have done the same style

For example, the lantern short-sleeved shirt, and Peter Pan collar shirt, and quite ordinary black bottom shirt, and the suit shorts T-shirt three-piece set:.

Includes high neck undershirt, white lantern sleeve shirt, white textured knit, and straight leg pants, denim flare pants, and shorts.

These models even if put into Uniqlo (comprehensive casual brand), I think it is not inconsistent, and even put into Taobao store, single on the style is also no problem.

And these items are actually very popular and wearable, very easy to match. In the real sales, these models are cost-effective, with strong, it is a direction to go.

These models are not the brand recognition models, these models put inside, will not affect the overall tone of the brand? Will it affect the overall design recognition?

Not really, because the basic models are in a subordinate position, and the number of models is relatively small in the whole product line.


As I said above, INITIAL has a very recognizable product in addition to a very recognizable store design. Then let’s see how the brand tone is consolidated and how the product recognition is strengthened.

In addition to INITIAL’s color policy, there are also the following aspects.

The first one is the pattern. The vast majority of the patterns for each season’s products are custom-made, not patterned fabrics that can be bought on the market. This is because it is feasible from the point of view of the brand’s unit price.

Of course, perhaps your customer unit price is not so high, then your products also want to do their own personality, in fact, you can develop from other directions, not necessarily from the direction of the pattern to reflect the recognition.

Because it is related to the operating costs, but also related to the company’s supply chain can not keep up. To put it bluntly, associated with their own hard strength.

The second is the process. INITIAL process details are done with great care, using special processes, although not every model has, but must ensure that each season has a special process with the style.

For example, pressed folds, tying, turning bright lines, special craft lines, including weaving techniques. One year for winter wear, heavy beading was used to make the queen pattern of the ancient Persian traditional cardboard three-dimensional on the garment to enhance the texture of the garment.

The 3rd recognition is the styling technique. For example, irregular tailoring, deconstructed design.

The 4th identification is the single item. There are several categories of special singles that go on every year and every season.

The first one is suspender skirt. As we know, suspender dresses are not really able to generate sales of a single category, so why do it? Because it is associated with this brand unique with the way.

The second one is the vest. The vest is also a more characteristic single product. Every year, we combine different styles to make the vest category. For example, the ethnic style woven vest, multi-pocket work vest, urban style dry vest, casual sense of vest will be done.

The third category is the umbrella skirt with a large hem. Because the brand’s style borrows from the Japanese, it makes many large umbrella skirts every season. This is also its silhouette style.

The 5th recognizable design of the brand is the way to match. As we said earlier, why do halter dresses? Why do you want to make a vest? Because layering is very recognizable.

Then, when we do branding and design, we also have to think about how we want to express recognition.

Close to the trend

The last one is the design that follows the trendy elements.

In fact, INITIAL will also do design that follows the trendy elements, but when the trendy elements appear in the products, they can also have the elements of the brand tone.

For example, the popular sun protection clothing, which was made in spring 2021. There is also the big lapel (Peter Pan collar) that we often mention, and the trendy popular color light purple, in fact, all these popular elements have gone to blend.

But the Peter Pan collar, for example, is not simply a copy of what is popular in the market. It will be a blend of their own brand design, with a girly doll collar, to mix and match the work style items.

There is also a light purple basic shirt. It will be combined with the brand’s unique way of layering. When we do our own design, we also have to take into account the popular elements of the market, including the popular elements of the show, how to make our own things, rather than a rigid way to copy.

Final words.

I don’t know if writing so much, and I don’t know if it’s a little inspiring to you, I cited the actual case of the brand, belonging to the content of the design planning product layout.

From this article can be analyzed, highlighting the recognition is not too difficult, the key is the aspect can be denied the right. On this basis, it is not impossible to maintain the market performance.

It should be noted that the design response follows the current stage of the brand to change, and there must be a difference between the growth period and the maturity period, just as I said “proportion, proportion”, my personal advice is that the growth period should pay more attention to recognition, while the maturity period should pay more attention to the market performance.

Pan Pan

Pan Pan

Hi, I'm Pan Pan, the founder of BoloTex , I've been running a factory in China that makes Print Fabric for 10 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to Fabric from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

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