• Anne Heaney, Director

The need for speed: Capturing today's fashion consumer

Being on trend no longer guarantees sales and profitability in the fashion sector. In minutes, consumers can spot, own, and share a trend on social media, from any corner of the globe. As a result, hits can sell out rapidly, while misses do not move, even with heavy discounting.

The traditional product-development model can be slow. When we looked at differences between top and bottom performers, we found that top performers routinely use market insights very early in the product-design process and can have products ready for purchase in weeks, not months.

Fashion has become a winners-take-all business, where size or heritage matters little. Over the past decade, the vast majority of fashion companies have battled to barely break even, while the top 20 percent have delivered all of the industry’s economic profit. What accounts for their success? There are two striking differences:

1. Top performers use data analytics when developing concepts and planning lines—the heart of the creative process. Under performing companies tap data much later in the process, only after they have developed the product.

2. Top performers make speed to market a top priority and get faster and faster.Top-performing companies can deliver product to market in less than six to eight weeks. The typical lead time in the industry is more than 40 weeks—far too long to stay ahead of consumers.

Companies often complain that they are stuffed with data but starved for insights. Buying Intelligence delivers to our customers a view of the product choice in the market by category and price giving insights and signals to the opportunities for the brand.

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