How Does the Brand Balance Creativity and Business?

#management # brand #entreprenuer #fashion industry #designer

Being a Creative Fashion Designer is something most designers aspire to, rather than being mediocre for the market. Through the combination of brand design research and development and commercial operation content, as well as the current communication between the two aspects of the effectiveness of the brand case analysis, we will explore brand building in the balance of creativity and business.

  • Topic: Balance between creativity and business in the brand management
  • Participant: LengYun Fashion Group #2
  • Time: 2021-May-23
  • Moderator Yanni – BEIJING – Buyer – Clothing design and management major graduate students, an undergraduate in English major, has passed level 4 and level 8 English certificate, and business English certificate and other qualifications. During school time, participated in the National Costume Translation Program, worked as a sales assistant for BLACKMARKET-WHITEHOUSE, a women’s clothing product in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, and received a letter of recommendation from the General Manager. Worked as a buyer intern for the J.LINDBERG brand of BESTSELLER Group.
  • Moderator Ruosan -HANGZHOU – Designer – Now is working as a designer for a niche brand company.

Brand Design Research and Development Content

1. How the Cash-Cow Production Was Made

What are the main characters of a cash-cow product?

Audience Queeni:

If a KOL wears it, it leads to more popular elements.

Moderator Ruosan:

That is the element involved in production operations in terms of company structure. What do departments do? Because the cash-cow product is not an effort on one side. Designers certainly need to investigate trends before they design artwork, which is also laying the groundwork for becoming a hit.


I feel that on the one hand is luck, on the other hand, is the operation and cooperation. Most designers don’t know what they want from consumers, and trends are a big concept. How to land a trend to suit your brand, needs to be powerful. Young designers are weak.

Audience Queeni:

I feel like I’m taking the overall direction and being keen on the market. Must pass the market test of designers, to be able to easily burst the money. Pricing is also critical, something that relies on a sense of talent. And this is also to find reference brands because newcomers are easy to start with their preferences, not from a market point of view. Designers generally like to mark new and different, are not down to earth, live in their world. The pursuit of self is different, and create redundant work.


This is in line with the fact that designers do not know the market, do not know how to sell clothes, do not understand the customer and it is just self-expression.

Moderator Ruosan:

But if some newcomers want to get to know the market quickly in a short time, what growth cheats can be shared?

Audience Queeni:

To learn more, it is best to go to the wholesale market to sell goods, but the general designer can not take this burden. Be aware that the wholesale market also has a lot of brands, from there out. You go to Nanyou to see, the country’s top quality is there. Hangzhou Four Seasons Qing can also learn style, quality is nothing but fabrics, technology, workmanship, finishing, layout, and other factors of the superposition.

Moderator: Yanni

Now a lot of good brands are made from factories. This is a growing process of the brand. And I think the designer’s idea to the most perfect realization needs to understand the most comprehensive supply chain.

Moderator Ruosan:

Go to the wholesale market to learn new popular elements, this should be what the designer must know. Here I have sorted out some points about the explosion, which we can also add.

  • Cost-effective – To do this in design, to understand competitive brands and nearby stores, from the fabric, process quality, and price advantages.    
  • Layout inclusion – Clothes that fit the brand’s mainstream consumers.
  • Popular elements to use – Grasp the popularity, design points can be used properly, too innovative clothing will be because of acceptance problems into slow sales.
  • Production delivery cycle is fast – This clothing everyone has to understand, and once the shop appeared in the explosion need to return the large goods also have to keep up.
  • Sales channels – This is very important, the style is good, no one sees it in vain.

2. Is The Newer The Design Idea, The Better?

When I first entered the company, every time the review, the director will say: “To have brand tone, you do this style is not good, this is not what you should do.” I believe that we should have encountered this situation, generally how to deal with it?


Brand tuning is a very abstract word. So how does the brand director explain this “tone”?

Moderator Ruosan:

The director of my company doesn’t know much about design, and my experience of being temporarily transferred isn’t too good, no one directs it, and sometimes I don’t know how to breakthrough. What are the inspiration channels when you generally design a diagram?

Moderator Yanni:

If the communication is too abstract, it may still be indicated by data. Try to use some specific adjectives, the more direct the better.


A better way to communicate about clothing products:

  • Try to express it with more intuitive pictures. So why brands generally use MOOD BOARD (Emotional Board) to express themselves
  • Try to use labels that are not easily misunderstood, such as “youngness” and everyone may have a different definition of “youngness” than “light tones” or “high saturation tones” and “XXX profiles”. 

Brand Business Research And Development Content

1. Fabric Procurement

Buyers communicate design solutions with designers, find the right fabrics on a cost-controlled basis, and find the right ready-to-wear suppliers and fabric suppliers.

(1) Confirm the fabric

Designers give the design plan, choose the available fabric sample card to the buyer, buyer ask the fabric supplier quotation, if the cost is too high, need to find the same quality of alternative fabrics.

(2) Confirm the process

After confirming the fabric used, and the garment supplier asked if the fabric can be used to achieve special fabric process requirements, such as hanging dyeing, folding, etc.

Audience Queeni:

Our fabrics are all the latest fashions abroad. Domestic fabrics are often not perfect because of machinery and equipment problems. The aforementioned “Is this communication method inefficient for buyers to select fabrics for designers?” “Professional designers should have the ability to communicate with fabric suppliers. And designers must learn to understand fabrics, do not understand that can only be a design assistant, not enough to be a designer.

Moderator: Yanni

Designers choose fabrics, buyers communicate with suppliers, this situation is only for the company I worked for. Our buyers are mainly responsible for controlling costs, communicating, bargaining. Designers know a lot, but the company is actually to improve efficiency, the division of labor of each person clear.


It’s embarrassing if the designer doesn’t understand the fabric. Many designers only know about conventional fabrics and do not understand the properties of fabrics, so there will be fabric and design mismatch problems. Professional designers understand a lot, including playing version, craft, which is why new people need time to grow.

Moderator Ruosan:

Many companies, including my current company, when I first went in are asking us to search for pictures as if as long as there are pictures exist this model can be operational, I would like to know other companies design inspiration process is those?

Audience Queeni:

Every company has a different gene, a different structure, a different divisional orientation, and I think your approach is common.


E-commerce mostly does this, but traditional brand companies do not operate like this, there is a chance you go to traditional brand companies to do it. Today’s e-commerce designers are not real designers, just choices and remodelers.

2. Commodity Planning

The process our company goes through is like this. This is a relatively simple approach for small companies.

The process of planning a commodity:

(1) Overstocked

The listing bands are divided according to the buyer’s plan for the store day (developed in conjunction with the series of bands in the design plan).

(2) Order meeting

According to the sales samples in the company to organize the order meeting, the buyer’s department provides a series of sample clothing supply departments under the store representative and e-commerce representative placed the order volume. After the order meeting, buyers regroup the previous styles according to the selection of the goods department and the corresponding orders, the unelected need to notify the supplier promptly to replenish the large quantities, advance and factory-prepared fabrics need to prepare plan B plan to the next season of a certain or previous best-selling model development. Commodity planning and design planning because the division of labor of the company will coincide, so we must look at it in general.


3. Design planning

Design the planning process:

  1. Planning material collection

Developed by the Design Director to study and collect planning materials for the next quarter.

  •  Series theme planning.

The theme is combined with the trend and visualized.

  • Series theme planning review.

The Design Director organizes the Sales and Merchandise departments to review the series of topics.

  • Series band development.

Once the theme has been determined, the development demand plan provided by the product department will be received, which will include bands, categories, volumes, price bands, etc. to be implemented into each series.

  • Preparation of design plans.

The Design Director will develop the design plan based on a series of topic and trend research reports.

  • Design planning review.

After the design plan is formulated, it will be reviewed in a meeting with the sales department and the commodity department.

  • Prepare the work plan of the design department.

The Design Department is divided among internal personnel according to the identified business plan.

Having said that, I’d like to ask you, how do you usually investigate trends?

Audience Queeni:

Go to the mall more, one family to visit. Just look at the first-line, second-line big brands, look at all kinds of details summarized. I feel like I just need to go around and think more. I think what to do need to use high-dimensional thinking, stand in your leader’s perspective, from the starting point of comprehensive consideration to see, to learn, to think, with this way of thinking to develop habits, will grow faster.

Moderator: Yanni

I’ll read the reports of the trending agencies. Trend agencies collect information and analyze and summarize it.


My previous company was using WOWTREND hot trends. I use the VOGUE RUNWAY app to see the various brands of the show, and also to go to the mall to see clothes.

4. Cost Control

(1) Fabric development

Establish long-term cooperative relations with fabric suppliers, establish initial trust with suppliers, strive for the lowest cost fabrics by giving suppliers a certain amount of order commitment when initially developing fabrics, and for sure best-selling fabrics, buyers should, after consensus with the trend department, prepare fabrics to the factory in advance, purchase in bulk, reduce costs, and find alternative fabrics of the same quality after consensus on meeting the basic design requirements of designers. Find the key aspects to solve from the design function to be satisfied.

(2)  Process development

(3) clear and clear expression of the designer’s demands, as far as possible the graphic and lush performance of the required techniques, following the factory’s doubts to communicate with the company’s moderators.


What the owner shares are a real-life case. But some of her practices at the company are unprofessional. For example, relying too much on searching for maps to complete so-called “designer research” work, this practice is more suitable for copy or remodelers, they are difficult to be called “designers.” But the reality is that many e-commerce designers do this.

Their merchandise plans are also extremely simple and crude. There is a big gap compared to traditional brand companies. But in reality, many e-commerce companies and small companies do.

These are not all designer issues, related to the workplace and business environment.

To tell you the truth, every time I see so many graduates, after entering the workplace was “distorted” career path, the heart feels very not taste. It’s not just designers, it’s other jobs that are similar.

If you take the first step in the workplace and follow a “crooked” (non-professional) path, it is hard to come over later. So why do many senior people prefer to hire new people? I would also like to hire rookies, from the beginning to establish the right way of thinking, understand what is “professional.” But it is not a small white problem, it’s a big environmental problem in the workplace itself. In a way, that is what I built my community for. I hope you can look at the problem as much as possible and increase your recognition.

Communication And Cooperation Among Brand Departments

1. Fabric development – designer and buyer communication

Generally, after the order meeting, the design department needs to fill in the face accessories list, and then take the face accessories list and sample clothes to the version of the nuclear process price and dosage. Finally, by the accessories procurement and fabric procurement and fabric development specialist to assess the nuclear price, all determined to be handed over to the procurement department to buy fabrics, under the big goods. How will designers negotiate with buyers when they are discounting the design results due to insufficient budgets in the process of selecting fabrics? To produce large goods when the procurement of sudden fabric change, we are generally how to solve?

Moderator: Yanni

In this case, if it is a violation of the previous agreement with the company, the factory can finally be requested to discount.

Moderator Ruosan:

Because the batch of fabrics is not the same, big goods out is not the same, change fabrics for a time do not know which well to use, sometimes not discount can solve the problem.

2. Typing Process – Craftsman and designer communication

Do you generally have any difficulties in communicating with the moderators? General designers need to finish drawing the artwork after the details are clearly marked, and then handed over to the plater to play the version, but there will also be many problems. For example, we have encountered to the plater artwork, but hit out feel wrong, also said not to come out where is not the wrong situation? How does everyone deal with this situation in general?

Moderator: Yanni

I listened to the moderator and designer communication that day, feel that designers are a little afraid of the moderator, in the design of cringe.

Audience Queeni:

Everyone is not professional is like comparing apples and oranges, can not find the reason is that it does not feel right.


It is common for designers to communicate with moderators, and it has been a phenomenon from the beginning to the present. The main reasons are the following: Many designers don’t understand the functional needs of the human body and lack a sense of three-dimensional space. A certain dress that you think you can achieve on the floor plan can also be made. And the moderator is most afraid to see this unviable design drawing. There aren’t many domestic moderators who have beauty. Most of them regard the moderator as a technical engineer. The version teacher should be an aesthetic engineer. So good moderators are still very scarce.

solution: If you want to be a master designer, you might want to be an all-rounder, not just a designer who can be “creative” and “drawing”. Playing the version is a basic skill. I think it’s hard to be a professional designer (unless you’re a genius). So designers should be able to make their versions. This will also allow you to communicate with the moderators in a more common language. 

Audience Queeni:

It’s up to you to have a keen insight, and what’s wrong with observing the details? Is it a size structure problem? Or is it a question of his version teacher’s sample version? Designers need to know something to do. Don’t necessarily do it yourself, but you know, such as shoulders, sleeves, arc how to connect to smooth?

3. Product feedback – sales department and buyer communication

The Goods Department will provide constructive advice on the purchase plan for the first quarter of the year based on the real-time sales data of the terminal stores. For example, pre-prepared fabrics according to the current sales situation are still likely to digest how much, according to this season’s sales situation will calculate the next band of stores need the number of styles.

In this objective forecast and estimation of the situation, buyers to do the current batch or the next batch to do the goods in mind.

The sales plan is another matter, belongs to test the sales ability of the company’s sales department personnel, and has nothing to do with the product.

Buyers to digest fabric inventory and style inventory will force the store to divide the goods, and sales stores will have their own KPI indicators. Because each store has its purchase amount, the store manager also has a certain ability to select goods, if the selection is not good, will also affect the final performance indicators.

Under such circumstances, we think that we must communicate with the buyer to satisfy the interests of both sides to the greatest extent possible?


When there is a contradiction in the working position, the common goal should be to take the enterprise goal as the common goal. What is the purpose of communication? is to solve the problem. So what needs to be addressed? Ultimately, it’s all about boosting sales. So how can you improve sales and do it?

The biggest problem with buying and designers, in reality, is that everyone is talking about feelings. “I think this one’s a hit”; “I think it’s hard to sell” … The question is, “What do you think?” “There should be a rational analysis of this. Take the data out to demonstrate, ask colleagues or consumers around to do product testing in advance to collect feedback, are methods.

There is a common misconception in data argumentation. A lot of people like to say, “This one sold well last year and continues to be ordered this year.” Here’s a basic logic question, which assumes that “last year sold well, this year must sell well!” But for a product like fashion, last year sold well, this year may not necessarily sell well. First, you should analyze what makes the sale so good, and then look at whether it’s an accidental factor (e.g. climate, discounting) or whether the product itself is really popular. If the product is popular, what is popular (overall style, color, printing, fabric, etc.), and then decide whether to continue to do this model or, can be slightly modified to continue the life cycle of the model.

The Creative And Commercial Balance Of The Brand

1. Brand long-term planning and short-term goals

Brand long-term planning focuses on the development and establishment of brand value, in the short term sales profits will certainly be reduced, the company’s planning should be the design department built on top of the sales department. Design-led, short-term goals for marketing brands, increased attractiveness, attention.

Brand design department on behalf of creativity, buyer procurement department corresponding cost control is the commercial operation part of the brand. When the design is above the rest of the sector, the brand is looking for a breakthrough in its value. When value accumulates to a certain stage, the brand begins to recover costs and is led by sales. The control of these two aspects will have a game process at every stage of the brand’s development. But ultimately unchanged, is in the short-term brand whether it is interests or design-led long-term development.

2. Brand operation strategy

The brand operation seeks the long-term existence of the brand, suitable for its development strategy, according to the first part of the long-term goals and short-term goals of the establishment, each department to do their part, but also need to work together. An important way to balance creativity with business is through the “contradictions” of various departments. Designers are good at creativity, and moderators, buyers, sales are partners who help designers bring ideas from heaven to earth. So most of the contradictions that co-workers produce at work are not essential contradictions, but a balanced way to make products easier to sell eventually.

The Moderator’s Conclusion

First, brand design research and development content

How the money was made

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Layout inclusion
  • Popular elements to use
  • Production delivery cycle is fast
  • Sales channels

Second, it’s usually how you communicate with the director. You can use key tag words and pictures.

A source of inspiration for designers

  • Online: wgsn, pop.
  • Offline: Mall, South Oil Wholesale Market.

Brand business operations content

First, fabric procurement

  • Buyers communicate design solutions with designers, find the right fabrics on a cost-controlled basis, and find the right ready-to-wear suppliers and fabric suppliers.

Second, trend research

  • Offline: (1) to shop to understand users; (2) to study competitive clothing, analysis of her slow-selling money to take its specialty, avoid its shortcomings.
  • Online: Each channel search map, find their brand style of pictures, analysis of what is desirable new creative points.

Merchandise planning

  • Stocking: Divided the listing band according to the buyer’s plan’s store day (developed with the series of bands in the design plan)
  • Ordering meeting: Organize the order meeting within the company according to the sample.

4. Design and planning

(1) Planning materials collection

(2) Series theme planning

(3) Series theme planning review

(4) Series band development theme

(5) Preparation of design plans

(6) Design planning review

(7) Prepare the work plan of the design department

5. Cost control

First, fabric development:

  • Fabric development and fabric suppliers to establish long-term cooperative relations, establish and supplier of the initial trust relationship;

Second, process development:

  • Clear and clear expression of the designer’s demands, as far as possible to the graphic and lush performance of the required techniques, following the factory issued by the question to communicate with the company’s moderators.

Third, brand communication and cooperation

  • Fabric development – designer and buyer communication: After the order meeting, the designer fills out the face accessories list that needs to be handed over to the purchase and then handed over to the buyer to complete.
  • Layout process – craftsman and designer communication: Designers should accumulate more experience, at the same time, they also need to understand the layout of knowledge, the two sides can better communicate.
  • Product feedback – sales department and buyer communication: The goods department will put forward constructive suggestions on the purchase plan for the first quarter of the purchase according to the real-time sales data of the terminal store, and the buyer will also have to do several goods in mind for the current batch or the next batch to be done.

Fourth, the brand’s creative and commercial balance

  • Brand long-term planning and short-term goals: Design-led, short-term goals for marketing brands, increased attractiveness, attention.
  • Brand operation strategy: The brand operation seeks the long-term brand suitable for its development strategy, to ensure that “with the least amount of money to do the best product” principle to do a good job of design and procurement of the balance and communication between the two.

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