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  • Suzy Wakefield

How Cheap is Cheap Enough



๐–๐ก๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ.


I recently joined a gym after many years of working out at home and outdoors. A few factors influenced me. I got hooked by the shiny new toy idea that I saw it would be, my love of working out most every day of the week, and the convenience of an easy walk from my house, With the idea that I like to #buylocal outside of my incurable Amazon addiction. But thatโ€™s another story.


After much anticipation, I walked in on day seven after opening and proceeded to cancel the same day. Why you might ask, did I make such a drastic and quick decision? Well, itโ€™s because I know a little something about how this story goes. I have seen the red flags way too many times in our industry with brands whose focus is not where it needs to be.ย 


Here are 3 takeaways from my experience and how they pertain to our world of fashion design and development. I want to make sure that you see the red flags too so that you can prevent them from happening in your brand.ย 


๐Ÿ. ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐Œ๐€๐Š๐„ ๐€ ๐…๐€๐๐‚๐˜ ๐ˆ๐‚๐ˆ๐๐† ๐”๐๐“๐ˆ๐‹ ๐˜๐Ž๐”โ€™๐•๐„ ๐๐€๐Š๐„๐ƒ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐‚๐€๐Š๐„.


Months before its opening there were amazing promises of complimentary massage chairs, infrared therapy ( whatever that is) and the like to draw potential members in. These sounded like great additions to a normal gym experience. Unfortunately, after walking in on the first day, I came to realize they were not meeting the basic standards. There were no towels. There was no shower soap and there were rolls of paper towels with some nondescript spray to clean the equipment.


The gym had every machine one could want, a smoothie bar, weights of every sort but there was no sense of who they were catering to. The everyday athlete, the weight lifter, or the newbie trying it out. The bottom line is that more is not always better and neither are the fancy add-ons. What is better is a quality product. As a mentor of mine used to say, a bargain is only a bargain if you are getting more than you pay for it. Not to mention that for someone like myself who was not joining because of the bargain in the first place, it was doubly disappointing.



๐Ÿ.๐๐€๐ƒ ๐…๐Ž๐Ž๐ƒ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐“๐„๐‹๐‹.


In retrospect, for all the money that they paid multiple groups to stand outside every weekend in the months before opening, they could have put this into the real product which was the gym experience to make it better. (I could have given them a good resource for said towels ๐Ÿ˜‰)


Of course, you need to market your products. And you need to build anticipation for your brand. At the same time, that hype should not preclude your time or efforts to work on making a superior product. This is a common story in every industry. A recent one in the world of fashion was the demise of a fast fashion lingerie brand. They talked so much about the founder, the stories, and the range of sizes. Yet missed the one fundamental that brought it all together. The product was terrible even for the age group and sizes that they were targeting.ย 


๐Ÿ‘. ๐–๐‡๐€๐“ ๐’๐‡๐„ ๐’๐€๐ˆ๐ƒ


Maya Angelou said it best.ย 


"๐ˆ'๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐š๐ข๐, ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ข๐, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฆ๐š๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ."


I felt cheap. Honestly, I did, and even while I was breaking a good sweat I couldn't get away from the feeling of this. That sweat could have also been because the space was incredibly warm from the minute I walked in. Additionally, the top of the waste paper basket was dirty. There was no one in sight cleaning anything. And it was quite empty for being prime time on a Sunday morning. All these and more rubbed off on the way I began to feel about myself in this atmosphere.



My story has a good ending though. While I had a visceral Hell No to that place, my inner fitness pal screamed a big Hell Yes to joining another. So I immediately began to think of options that I had not considered and would make a decision to join one of them.ย  Sometimes you have to waste some time and money on the duds to find the diamonds.ย 


๐๐จ๐ญ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ ๐‹๐ข๐ง๐ž -ย  ๐€ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ-๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ญ ๐š ๐‡๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐˜๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž!


๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ.


So, there you have it โ€“ 3 strategies for preventing a quick exit from your customer. If you have any questions about a specific quandary in your own fashion design or product development consulting journey please reach out. We are happy to help.ย 


Need to supercharge that knowledge into easy-to-apply wisdom? We're here to lend a helping hand. Get on our calendar for your complimentary 30-minute chat. And if you like what you are reading and want to learn more? Follow us on Instagramย or LinkedIn.



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