Q&A with Tara Lauren on the Process Behind Their Successful Brand Positioning
Last week I spoke about the importance of carefully considering your value proposition in order to best position your brand for success in a crowded market. This week we’re sharing our Q&A with Tara and Shaina, the ladies behind Tara Lauren, a brand we’ve been following for some time and which, I believe, embodies the principles of success discussed in my previous blog post. Their process is combination of careful thought, creativity, and use of data - the kind of stuff that creates real and lasting brand loyalty. The Tara Lauren brand stands as proof that you don’t need unlimited resources to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build loyal fans.
How did you go about constructing your visual identity and your online voice?
We did a lot of mood boarding and market research, and thought a lot about how we could best portray our unique style and voice, but most of it came natural to our personal style and vision.
What were your sources of inspiration?
It’s funny because a question we get asked all the time is, what inspires you? But it’s often difficult to answer because it’s never really definite. It’s more about a feeling, a mood, a personality we want to portray. The Tara Lauren girl is so fun and trendy but also very feminine and big time romantic. She’s an individual and wants to express that especially on her wedding day when all eyes are on her. We think a lot about who our bride is, how she lives her daily life.
Is your digital voice deliberate or just an extension of the way you talk?
We’re very hands on with how we portray the brand and run our own social media. We believe in being genuine and putting a real face and personality to the brand. Our digital voice is always the way we personally talk because we run our own socials!
Did you research existing bridal brands, decide who you wanted to emulate or be different from, or was your process all about creating a brand that fits your own style?
Thinking about it now, it was a bit of both. Shaina and I both grew up in the bridal world since our mom owned a bridal shop throughout our childhood, so we innately grew up with a strong awareness of the existing bridal brands and trends. The research initially wasn’t deliberate, but a natural result of our environment. We used to attend bridal market with our Mom and helped her with the buying, so really our experience started more so on the buyer end at first. That helped immensely with knowing what brides were actively looking for. The TL bride stemmed from us wanting to create a brand that we felt served an aesthetic that wasn’t out there but we knew there was a market for. At the time, many alternative brands were beginning to form and we felt we had a unique voice to contribute to this area of bridal. In short, we weren’t seeing enough of the effortless, unfussy, beautifully made ethereal styles that we ourselves would want to wear. There weren’t many accessible luxury bohemian lines out there and we knew our vision was strong enough to fulfill this market. I never really envisioned I would be doing bridal when I first left for design school, but when I realized how creative you can really go with it and how many brides were out there looking specifically for something different and so willing to push the boundaries to express their own individuality I ran with it.
How do you manage to stay authentic (staying true to your original mission) while also evolving your brand? And do you have your target bride in mind every step of the way when you're designing, styling and sharing your collections online?
We trust our instincts when it comes to big, scary decisions and use that to guide us as we grow the brand. When something feels wrong, it usually is. Navigating through all of the changes we face as we develop the brand, this is something we always listen to. We are always thinking of the bride and what we can do to improve upon the next collection. You have to be open to feedback and we listen to a lot of feedback from both stores and brides. Visiting our stores in person whether it be here locally in California, Toronto or however far it may be it is so important to us. We believe strongly in maintaining a personal presence behind the brand, we never wanted Tara Lauren to be a faceless name. Whenever we can make it to a trunk show, we will do our best to be there. Interacting with the brides is such a fun treat for us because we so often are doing things behind the scenes. But the best way to connect to your customer and understand them is to talk to them. We feel lucky to be in an industry where we get to work with so many incredible and diverse women, and knowing that we are helping brides feel completely themselves and confident on such an important occasion is the best perk.