Don’t Underestimate Custom T-Shirt Design When You Market Your Business
Small business marketing can look like a complex beast these days. For most companies, it has become an increasingly digital undertaking—often accompanied by more traditional advertising tools like television, radio, signage … all the stuff that gets your brand in front of eyes and ears. Person-to-person contact, of course, is a big tool in the box, the way you connect with customers, and the way those customers talk about your company to other people (potential customers). Don’t underestimate custom t-shirt design, that’s where printed apparel comes in: a custom t-shirt design strengthens your brand in a very human, accessible way when worn by a customer or salesperson.
Cult of Personali-tees (Custom Tees)
Here, in Wichita, Kansas, where US Logo is headquartered, we see a lot of the shirts we make on people all over town, all the time. From burger joints to churches, people like wearing brands that have interesting graphics and represent organizations they want to be associated with.
West Street Burgers & Fries with an illustration of a waitress carrying fries, a soft drink, and a burger.” />Black custom screen printed t-shirt design for West Street Burgers & Fries with an illustration of a waitress carrying fries, a soft drink, and a burger.
The thing that sets a printed t-shirt apart from other advertising is that your brand is walking around on a person. Most people take their clothing somewhat seriously; it’s part of their image, like a decent haircut. If a shirt looks cool (or the establishment it represents is cool), a lot of people will find a place for that shirt in their wardrobes. They will wear it because it tells people, hey, I like this cool company because I’m also cool.
Sure, custom tees are advertising, but no one minds wearing one if it looks good and represents a company they like.
You’ve probably worn branded tees, yourself, whether it was that Led Zeppelin number you hazily remember donning in the seventies or that Hurst Shifters tee that so nicely sets off your tattoos. These huge brands have long since made people comfortable acting as billboards marketers, and small businesses have happily jumped on the bandwagon.
Led Zeppelin logo placed in the middle, and the words ‘U.S. Tour 1975.'” title=”Photo of a psychedelic design with the Led Zeppelin logo placed in the middle, and the words ‘U.S. Tour 1975.'” />The proliferation of band t-shirts has long since made it cool to wear branded garments.
The Graphic Design Matters on a Custom Tee Design
This is important: your t-shirt must look good if you want people to wear it. Here are a few tips to consider when designing your shirt:
• In the case of a simple chest logo emblem design, it is just a matter of choosing the right colors. Any custom shirt should include your logo colors, so even a simple one should include them when you choose fabric and printing ink colors. Your logo colors should also be incorporated into more complex graphics and color schemes.
• In addition to the logo, other design ingredients may include your company slogan and web address.
• If you’re making shirts for customers rather than employees, it’s usually best to make your logo large enough to be read from a small distance.
• Keep your t-shirt messages on-brand. Sure, funny and even irreverent shirts can be very popular, but on a company shirt, any humor or philosophical thoughts should fit your company image. If you have a sassy or sophisticated brand, it’s fine to get creative with the message, as long as it’s in line with the way you want your company to be perceived.
• Take advantage of a digital mock-up of your shirt design, to proof it before taking it to print. US Logo can provide images of your shirt before it’s printed, so you can make sure the layout and colors work.
Printed T-Shirts as Marketing Tools
So how do you get your company t-shirts out to the masses? There are plenty of ways:
If you have ever worked a trade show, you know how hard it is to stand out in the crowd of exhibitors. t-shirt giveaways will bring more people to your booth, and do not be surprised if some of the shirts you give away one day are walking around on bodies the next day of the event.
If you don’t want to give a t-shirt to every person who comes to your trade show booth, run an hourly sweepstake. Get business cards or digital registrations from everyone who comes to your booth, enter them in the contest, and then contact hourly winners by phone, email, or text. This brings them back to the booth, giving you another opportunity to converse with them. It also helps you build your email list very quickly.
Leverage Your Email Lists
Contests and giveaways can also be done very effectively via email. Give away some shirts to your most loyal customers, or new customers making their first purchase, or run a sweepstakes that directs all visitors to sign up on your website when they click in the email. If all your customers are local, tell winners they can pick up their shirts up by visiting your business. Now you’ve not only gained walking billboards when they wear the shirts, you’ve also brought these customers to your store or website again. Maybe they’ll buy something.
The most important part of this type of promotion is the goodwill it generates among your customer base. You didn’t have to give them anything, but you gave them a cool shirt. Clearly, your company is very cool.
Social Media Giveaways
Ah, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter … amazing tools. This very personal marketing environment is the perfect place to deploy a custom screen printed t-shirt giveaway. Make your promotion fun, but also use it to direct people to your website, whenever possible. Even if you’re managing the entire contest on Facebook, be sure your web address is clearly visible at every stage. After the giveaways, encourage winners to post pictures of themselves in their custom shirts.
T-Shirt Days at Work
T-shirt uniforms are appropriate for some companies, but not all. If your employees don’t usually dress casually, have a t-shirt day on Fridays. Let them wear jeans and sneakers with your company tees. This builds pride and goodwill with employees, brightens the workplace, and look: there’s your brand walking around out in the world again. These employees may go to lunch or stop at the grocery store after work, and a custom t-shirt is a great conversation starter that may give them an opportunity to talk about your company.
Don’t Underestimate Custom T-Shirt Design, Quality is Important
You’ll find a wide range of quality options when it’s time to choose the brand and type of t-shirt you’ll put your message on, everything from high-quality cottons to materials so cheap and thin you can see through them. You don’t have to buy the “Cadillac” shirt brand; there are plenty of affordable brands that are very well made. But don’t buy the cheap stuff, either. If the craftsmanship of your company apparel is poor, it will not reflect well on your brand. Also, the longer the shirt lasts, the longer your “billboard” will be moving around in the world.
A Custom T Shirt is a Walking Testimonial Message
In the scheme of advertising costs, custom t-shirts can provide a lot of bang for your buck. When someone wears your company shirt at the mall, your church, taking the kids to a game, having cocktails at a bar, or just walking the dog, it’s a moving billboard. But it’s more than a traditional billboard because apparel is personal. Wearing someone’s company name on your body says, in a small way, I trust this company—an indirect testimonial from the wearer to the viewer. That kind of credibility is difficult to find with other advertising media. When you consider the low price of a custom screen printed tee compared to the exposure it will bring, it begins to look like a very cost-effective way to reach new customers and keep existing ones connected firmly to your brand.
Second Chance Bail Bonds screen printed hoodies and t-shirts – Advertising with custom logoed t-shirts can provide a lot of bang for your buck