Let's Go to the Mall
2. Gain inspiration from retail trends
Ashley Nielsen, marketing coordinator for S&S Activewear, Bolingbrook, Ill., pointed out that basic, crew-neck tees remain popular, but retail trends are gaining popularity among end-buyers with larger budgets. "Those [shirts] that are more retail-oriented and fashion-forward are really what customers are wanting as long as they are OK with the higher price points," she said.
Scult agreed. "We are constantly evaluating societal and fashion trends to recommend new approaches of cut patterns and color ways," he said. "For instance, we just introduced a relaxed fit women's collection that is now trending, and washed colors that meet seasonal preferences are suggested to our clients."
3. Sell outfits, not T-shirts
Nielsen suggested ways to bundle tees with other promotional wearables. "A great way to bundle T-shirts is to sell them with another product, specifically headwear or fleece," she said. "Bundling products together really drives home the promo and gives customers the option to wear everything as an 'outfit' or wear the items separately."
4. With imprints, "light" matters
Not light as in light colors, but as in actual weight. "Regardless of what material or technique you are using it's important to use a process that isn't going to be too heavy for the product, otherwise the decoration won't turn out as you had hoped and certainly won't withstand multiple washes and wears," Nielsen said. She offered examples. "Sublimation is great when you have a higher polyester fabric," she said. "Silk screening is done on higher cotton fabrics."
Another way to overcome heavy, stiff art is to use organic inks. "We only use super soft organic inks where you can't tell where the T-shirt stops and the printing starts," Scult said. He added that Golden Goods also has room for hem tabs, locker patches, embroidery, foiling, and a custom inside neck.