An Armenian fashion company has achieved a 25% increase in turnover and a 30% increase in customer base, thanks to business advice provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with funding from the European Union under the EU4Business initiative.
As part of its Advice for Small Businesses programme, the EBRD supported LOOM LLC, a woman-led enterprise, specialised in fashion knitwear and apparel production, to develop its branding and promotion strategy for improving market performance.
The company started its activities in 2014 with small production of knitwear apparel products. Operating initially in the provincial cities, the company managed to expand operations into the capital Yerevan.
For a short period the fashion brand managed to gain the trust and loyalty of clients due to its uniqueness and quality of products. But despite the rapid growth in turnover within the first year of operations, the company still struggled with brand awareness and lacked proper visibility in the market. A major part of sales was generated mostly through word of mouth and social media channels.
At the same time, the company was considering market expansion with the intention to export abroad, focusing on Russian and Europe markets.
The management realised the need to develop a comprehensive corporate branding and promotion strategy, for more professional visibility materials, as well as a website, to promote their products both locally and internationally, which is where the EBRD and EU4Business stepped in to help.
Based on the client’s business needs, the EBRD connected the company with a local consultant specialised in branding and e-marketing services, helping them to:
- Implement a detailed market study to define key market trends, specific needs, most efficient corporate positioning and brand identity;
- Develop a brand management and communication strategy;
- Design and develop corporate and brand identity elements;
- Design, develop and implement a professional corporate website.
The new branding and promotional materials along with online digital presence, helped the company to increase awareness and to attract new clients with a 30% increase in customer base and 20% rise in sales. The company started exporting to Russia and opened a new concept store.
Satisfied with the achievements of the advisory project, the company continued its fruitful collaboration with EBRD and EU4Business, joining a business coaching project under the Women in Business Programme.
EBRD Advice for Small Businesses
The EBRD Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded in the Eastern Partnership countries by the EU under its EU4Business initiative, aims to promote good management in the SME sector by providing assistance to individual enterprises, helping them to grow their businesses. It supports SMEs to make structural changes and develop new business skills, helping them to thrive and compete in market economies. The programme also enables SMEs to access local consulting services on a cost-sharing basis by providing grants of up to €10,000.
The Women in Business programme is also funded by the EU under EU4Business, and helps women-led small and medium-sized enterprises to access the finance and the know-how they need to grow. The EBRD provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to develop women-led SMEs, alongside business advice to help businesses become more competitive. The programme also offers training, mentoring and other support to enable women entrepreneurs to share experiences and learn from each other.