The role of technology has changed in recent years, surpassing its function as a convenient life enhancement and becoming a way of life that spans all fields of work and leisure. With how commonplace tech has become in business, it requires more effort to stand out from the crowd.
For entrepreneurs in industries like fashion and design, where the connection to tech is not always apparent, this task can be daunting. Here are three ways to use technology to set your business, ideas, and designs apart from others:
Develop Products of Quality
Though high-tech products come more naturally in some industries than others, most businesses can develop a product or two that feature quality technology. The key is to identify a demand, then ensure that the quality of your company’s product surpasses that of or your closest competitor. To do so, create a list of the three most important qualities your customers seek in such a product and verify that your product delivers those qualities.
For example, as the demand for portable tech increased and cost decreased, the fashion industry jumped at the opportunity to incorporate wearable technology into designs. Moving beyond the wristwatch, jewelry, clothing, and eye glasses have become common wearable tech seen daily. Current wearables are designed mainly to communicate with smartphones, but as the Internet of Things emerges, and the capabilities of wearables grow, now would be an opportune time to develop a new wearable product of quality.
Strive for a Positive Image
The most successful businesses utilize their company’s brand to generate a socially significant persona that resonates with the public. For instance, UNICEF and IKEA joined forces to engineer a child labor prevention program that aimed to prevent child labor by combatting hunger, illiteracy, and poverty, factors that lead to child labor. The furniture mogul created a positive social image, thereby promoting the company without even advertising.
Another method of creating a positive image is to utilize only professional-quality photos in promotions and advertising. A shoddy image is worse than no image at all, as customers will equate the quality of the image with the quality of your brand, product, or service. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer, though.
A new smartphone with a powerful camera, like the Samsung Galaxy Note8 can produce polished, masterful photos even in the dark or from a distance. Take photos at your next event, even if it’s a night shoot outside or in a room with less than perfect lighting, and still come away with gorgeous images that you can use to advertise, decorate the office, or on your website and social media platforms, highlighting your company culture and creating a positive image in one shot.
Use Quality Customer Service Tools
Many great companies fall flat on their faces when it comes to customer service. You can offer an outstanding service or product but if doing business with your business is cumbersome, none of that will matter. Evaluate the procedures and policies at your fashion or design company. Do you accept credit cards? Is returning a product a simple process or convoluted? These policies help shape your company identity.
One way to use technology to give you an edge over the other guy is to utilize Business Process Management (BPM) technology. Research firm Gartner found that Customer Service & Support, and Sales Force Automation are increasingly important the smaller the company is. BPM tools like those by Oracle help you streamline customer service applications and processes, simplifying and organizing procedures to allow for a more seamless and logical customer experience. When trying to stand above your competition, customer service is easy to overlook but is one of the first aspects that customers consider when seeking out a product or service.
Let Your Unique Qualities Shine
The design world is a cutthroat industry with many saturated markets. Finding a way to shine can be the difference between the life and death of a company. Showcasing your company’s unique culture serves a dual purpose in that it familiarizes your customer base with your company on a personal level and it helps them differentiate you from the rest, so try these methods of using technology to distinguish your business to see what a difference an apparent company culture can make.