Let's Go to the Mall
T-shirts are the foundation of the wearables industry. We've been writing about them for years, and you've been selling them even longer than that. By now, we know T-shirts really well. We know that polyester doesn't have to be scratchy and heavy, that imprint options differ depending on the fabrication of the shirt, and that the basic crew-neck tee will never go out of style.
That's all well and good, but what happens when your client wants a T-shirt to outshine its competition or win over a new consumer market? How do you tweak your T-shirt promotions so you are not recycling outdated ideas?
You can find inspiration by heading to the shopping center closest to you and visiting stores geared toward your client's target market. Does Ann Taylor have a special display of scoop necks? Perfect for that "Women in Business" event your client is throwing. Is American Eagle showcasing thick necklines? Good to know for that middle school promotion you are planning. Is Rag & Bone stocking up on tight tees for men? Good thing you saw that before doing the standard beefy tee for that fraternity party. The list goes on. But before you go anywhere, read the tips on the following pages.
1. Wearability matters more than fashion or cost
Adding the word "fashion" to a product name does not make it fashionable; the use by the person wearing it will do that. Jeff Scult, co-founder of San Francisco-based Golden Goods USA, prefers to focus on the impact on the wearer rather than the idea of fashion. "As a 20-year branding veteran, for me the word 'fashion' is just an ambiguous attribute that sounds superfluously fancy," he said. "[I] would rather focus on the consumer benefit that is tangible." He added that creating a shirt that an end-user wants to wear all the time is more beneficial to your client than blindly following the latest trend or picking the lowest-cost tee. "The Q&A of 'What's the cheapest shirt in your closet?' 'It's the one you wear all the time' is the secret sauce to promotional marketing success," he said.