Welp, this just got interesting!
The news came out not so long ago Nordstrom and other retailers (Macy's, JCPenny, Dillard's) are getting into the second-hand clothing market. You can read it here. At first, this just seems weird but as the times and markets are changing, companies have to shift their strategies. Although this will breed more competition for us small resellers, I for one welcome the new landscape.
This is Huge
The new players are not just your small mom and pop shops, these retailers have money and lots of it to see this strategy through. I don't think this is will be a flash in the pan change, this might play out for decades. Yes some of us smaller guys will get squeezed out, let's not even kid ourselves. Even though this market is big, it's not big enough for everyone to eat especially when these guys come to play.
However, this is not to say that EVERY small seller will lose. It all comes down to how you're going to position yourself in this new arena of second hand reselling. Sure you can get by with the same tactics you've been using but I for one am not here "just to get by." I'm here to get my portion of the market and I'm willing to put the time in doing so. With that said here's my biggest advice for everyone trying to get off on the right foot...
Branding comes down to finding your unique identity in a saturated market. Your identity needs to be remembered for you to get any relevance in any market.
Here's the Red Pill:
A majority of the accounts on social media don't have an identity. People might think that they do because they think they're naturally unique but that's far from reality. Your identity alone, for the most part, is not enough for you to gain relevance. You must bring to the market a unique one that resonates with the crowd you're trying to get the attention from.
I realized this truth when I first started out with the Prettibone Instagram page. Many of you might not know this but PrettiBone was not my first name choice, it was Round Red Rose. I tried for 3+ months to get Round Red Rose off of the ground and realized one day that what I was doing was not special in any way because I was just posting pictures of new inventory that I had thinking I was hot sh*t but soon realized that nobody gave a damn. This had to change...along with the name. This was the birth of PrettiBone.
Why Branding Matters
Branding has always been an important concept since forever but it matters so much more now because the new players are coming in with their own branding. With some of them having a brand that's 100+ years old in the making, this should tell you what juggernauts we're going against.
Branding matters because it represents trust and familiarity...2 attributes that come with time and effort on your end (sorry this isn't going to happen overnight). By having peoples' trust and recognition (familiarity), you can then shift things in your favor. For example, because people know the PrettiBone brand, this blog post will be read by 1,000+ people within 2-3 days. Without the branding, I would be lucky to even scrape 10.
Once branding is in place, you can venture out into new spaces with the support of those that trust and are familiar with your brand. I'm sure you know by now I have my sights set on a PrettiBone branded thrift store by the end of this year and there's no way in hell I would even attempt such a thing without a strong brand name. The thrift store along with other ideas I have up my sleeves will give me and my team a fighting chance in this new second-hand clothing arena.
This is why I've been building PrettiBone to what it is today and with it, I feel comfortable knowing that multi-billion dollar brands are coming for their piece of the pie. Hold up...scratch that...they're already here!
It's Not Too Late
Of course, the good news is that it's not too late for anyone to get their branding in motion. Since there are many ways you can go about this, I will not be explaining how you should brand yourself. Also, by doing so, I'm just taking the fun out of it and you should definitely find and forge your own path to branding.
Good luck, and happy BRANDING!