Yes, no matter what you want a social media and internet presence to build the brand and support the effort to sell to retail stores.
But to attempt to create significant demand for the brand BEFORE approaching retailers will be daunting. It will take a lot of time and patience.
Unless they want to put in all that effort, it’s better to kick it off online to get some presence and then go ahead and talk to buyers. Selling though retail channels will get them a lot more exposure rapidly than trying to build up the brand first on their own.
The tradeoffs are significant, though. Unless they have experience with retail, they should be prepared for low margins and rules like the need for unlimited right to return goods and the right to pay less if the products are ever marked down.
Not only that, but their products are at the mercy of the store selling staff. Will they know how to best position, sell and merchandise your client’s products?
This is where a tandem approach of their own web store as well as retail will benefit. If consumers cannot find the style or size they want at retail, they can always order online.
Remember that they must have a fair amount of different products to offer. That’s because once a consumer gets emotionally involved with a brand, they want to buy more of it. Retailers generally won’t carry a line without a decent selection and variety.
Finally, what is the brand story? Who does the clothing speak to? What does the brand say about the buyer. Many fashion brands fail because they pick too narrow a niche, lack a clear identity, have no unique value, and lack a consistent story,