Especially when you consider that 95% of all Americans wear t-shirts, according to several key industry surveys.
Custom t-shirts are a great way to make your brand stand out among the sometimes fierce competition out there.
Clothing makes a statement and a custom t-shirt worn in a crowded environment such as a university campus, sports stadium or community event can add personality to your brand.
Custom t-shirts are no less than a walking advertisement offering greater visibility for your business. When someone wears your t-shirt design, your company’s brand is out there, on the street, effortlessly traveling through the community wherever the wearer happens to go. It’s an extremely easy way to stimulate conversations about what you’re offering as well as providing a visual link between you and your customers and prospects. Put simply, the wearer is doing the legwork in promoting your business.
Looking at it another way, creating a custom t-shirt design is just an alternative approach in marketing your products or services. After all, marketing is the soul of any successful business venture and is vital for a number of reasons, including cultivating sales, amassing media mileage and improving your brand reputation.
By offering custom tees, you’ll have endless opportunities to promote your company, build your customer base and create excitement for your products or services.
Custom t-shirts will also give you the opportunity to expand your reach without paying anyone to promote your brand. It’s a tool to communicate what your brand stands for. Let’s call them free brand “ambassadors” and they are by far one of the most effective types of brand marketing out there.
Heck, even big corporate brands like Pepsi use custom tees for business promotions to get buyers excited about their brand.
A bit of history: The credit for the oldest t-shirt slogan print goes to the presidential campaign of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It read “Dew-It with Dewey.”
It’s a walking billboard
Billboards may be a thing of the past in an age of digital marketing, but a custom t-shirt acts as a “walking billboard”, and, importantly, at a much lesser cost than a traditional standing billboard. And just like a billboard, t-shirt designs can catch people’s eye and make a lasting impression.
Here’s an example – you could distribute your custom tees at a marathon and see how proudly people wear them as they market you and your brand as free walking billboards.
What’s more, t-shirts will be worn over and over again. That means once you get the tee out to someone, it will be seen by numerous potential customers over a period of months if not years!
Unlike a static billboard, a custom t-shirt travels as far as the person wearing it can be seen, even in places your marketing campaigns don’t usually reach.
Hard Rock Café’s familiar shirt design was launched in 1990. Featuring the logo of the restaurant and the name of a city in which one of the restaurants was located, people often collect the t-shirts without ever having even visited that specific location. We’d be willing to bet that most persons wearing a Hard Rock tee from Hong Kong haven’t actually been there.
One last thing. Visual appeal matters! According to one research finding, humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Think about that the next time someone walks past you, sporting a custom tee.
Talk about a walking billboard: In the 1950s, Miami-based company Tropic Togs acquired the rights to print Disney images on T-shirts, becoming the first business to create advertisements expressly on t-shirts. Its success eventually led to numerous brand logos and slogans to be printed onto tees the world over. Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ is perhaps the quintessential example of creating better brand awareness via custom t-shirts.
Promotional t-shirts are cheap! (No, not in quality, but in price)
As mentioned above, perhaps the biggest advantage of custom printed t-shirts is that it is a low-cost alternative compared to other conventional types of promotion. TV is most often reserved for bigger companies because of the huge outlays required, not only for the cost of time on the air, but also for upfront production costs. Moreover, if you haven’t priced a newspaper or radio ad lately, you might be surprised by their upfront costs.
Even Internet advertising can prove costly for it to demonstrate permanent results.
While these types of marketing efforts are sometimes called for, a smart business person will know that the biggest solution isn’t always the best one.
Fact is, a custom t-shirt requires minimum investment at the very beginning of the project . . . and it’s the only time you’ll have to pay.
Plus, compared to all these other types of promotion, customer t-shirts only need to be replaced as you run out, versus every month or so.
Imagine the exposure your company will receive if someone wears your t-shirt 100 different times through its life. Then consider the money you initially spent on that t-shirt. You’d probably be looking at having your brand exposed to thousands of people for each cent of investment. Name one other type of promotion that could produce such results for such a low upfront cost. Talk about your return on investment!!
Here’s a simple task to demonstrate what we mean. Next time you’re at the local mall, take a moment to look around at what everyone is wearing. Count how many custom t-shirts you see with brands like GAP or Nike, as well as others, large and small companies alike. Guess what? You’ve just been marketed to – many times over!
The bottom line? When someone puts on your custom t-shirt, they are wearing your company’s brand at all kinds of gatherings and places around town. Again, they are doing the legwork for you!
A custom t-shirt is a great conversation starter
Let’s face it, as we’ve noted, a well-designed custom t-shirt can be visually stimulating but it can also act as a great conversation starter. Do you remember a time when you or someone you knew wore a custom tee and sparked a conversation about the company? Wouldn’t it be great if conversations about your business started up all over town?
By simply wearing your custom t-shirt in public gatherings, you’ll attract people’s attention and get them talking about your company simply out of curiosity.
Talk about a conversation starter: In the 1970s, New York City had the reputation of being dirty and crime-ridden, so the city government hires designer Milton Glaser to make a new logo to help promote tourism. He designs the “I (Heart) New York logo over lunch one day, which goes on to become one of the most iconic and imitated shirt designs in history.
Who doesn’t love a freebie?
Truth be told, we all love free stuff.
Giving away your company branded t-shirt at a business conference or some special event has often proven to reach new prospects as well as keeping current customers loyal to your brand.
Most every business maintains a mailing list of customers. You might consider sending a custom tee to your mail database, particularly if you have a new logo or have changed contact information, such as a new location or a new website.
Hold a contest
If your business is brand new or you want to change your logo or contact information, you should think about a t-shirt design contest. By creating a contest for the best design and featuring the winner on your website, Facebook, Instagram, etc., customers will feel motivated to participate and to wear them.
You might also consider engaging the local media and get some extra publicity.
Once you’ve chosen the winner, you’ll want to show off the new design by printing up a bunch of these new tees and handing them out. Again, to get the most mileage out of it, post the news on your blog and social media sites.
It’s a talent magnet.
Here’s something you may not have thought about. Many companies will tell you that among their biggest challenges is recruiting new top-notch talent. So, besides helping to market your brand to potential customers, branded clothing gives you the added benefit of attracting talent.
If you really want to make a statement, you might consider having some tees printed up for your employees that include your company logo along with the words, We’re looking for some new employees. Just ask me. Just a thought.
Here’s a list of some other ways to incorporate custom printed tees into your promotional strategy:
- Give a customer a custom tee every time they purchase a pre-determined dollar amount of products. Encourage them to shoot a couple of selfies and post them wearing your shirts on their social networks.
- Use catchphrases on your custom tees. Punch lines will draw the attention of anyone reading your shirt. Remember, it’s not necessary to include all your information, just a phone number and/or web address will suffice.
- Have your employees wear personalized t-shirts. Provide employees with your branded tee and ask them to wear it on a fixed workday, such as Friday. Ask them to wear it at fun gatherings. Steve Jobs once had shirts for employees that read “90 hours a week and loving it!”
- Sponsor a local club or Scout chapter. This is a great way to promote your business without attempting to sell it. By sponsoring a local charity, event, senior home or girl/boy scout chapter, you’re involving your business with the local community. People like to buy from businesses who understand they are part of something bigger than just themselves.
- Head to tradeshows. More and more, tradeshows don’t require business attire. If you rent a display booth, wearing t-shirts with your branding is a no-brainer. You might consider sending a custom tee to promising contacts you talked with as a reminder. If you’re only attending and not displaying, make sure your staff wears your custom tee.
- Survey incentive. The average business only hears back from about 4% of dissatisfied customers. Which, of course, means you’re not hearing back from 96% of unhappy customers. If you really want feedback, ask for it! Tempt your customers to complete a customer satisfaction survey by offering an incentive like a company t-shirt.
- Customer appreciation. Customers have a number of options when they decide on a company for a particular product or service, and it’s important to recognize that they do. Custom t-shirts are a great, cost-effective way to show customer appreciation. Customers will welcome the fact that you are acknowledging their value and, in turn, they will be promoting your business locally whenever they wear it.
- A bonus gift. Maybe you have a new product you’d like to promote. Try including a custom t-shirt with your branding every time a customer buys your new product. Again, everyone loves a freebie and they may be more likely to purchase your product if they get something free along with it.
So, now that you’re aware of some of the many ways you can use t-shirts to promote your brand, why not give us a call to discuss how Excel Sportswear can fit your promotional needs to a “T.”