The history of T-shirts is symbolic of the evolution of society. Originally an undergarment with a practical and hygienic purpose and not meant to be seen, it has since “come out” as a declaration of rebellion and comfort. That might seem a contradiction of terms, but it is strangely appropriate to characterize T-shirts.
T-shirts are now classic casual wear and a popular way to express opinions, take a stand, set a trend, or draw attention. If you really think about it, that’s what most businesses do. Consumers expect brands to rise up for something or help a cause, and most (55%) are willing to pay the best price to support a company that shares their values.
That is why custom promotional T-shirts can be a valuable asset for businesses. There’s even a term for it: T-shirt marketing. Let’s take a quick look at this trend.
Getting your target market to pay attention is getting harder. An average of 96,000 new businesses spring up every year in Canada, probably more since the pandemic began. Providing your employees or customers with a custom T-shirt that embodies your brand message is an excellent and subtle way to create awareness.
You can do this in two ways. One is to generate interest around your brand by running a contest where people can win free swag, AKA T-shirts. Another is to focus on the T-shirt itself by designing one with an inspirational, funny, or quotable message. People might even want to buy them if you hit just the right note. Don’t forget to put your branding!
The beauty of using T-shirts in marketing is people tend to hold on to them for an average of 14 months. They also wear them all the time when they go on errands or visit friends and family. All that exposure is costing you nothing. What could be better than that?
If you’re seeking inspiration on what to use for your T-shirt marketing, you can find many online. You can also dream up something of your own or have someone else do it for you, especially if you want bulk custom t-shirts printed for your business. It pays to be creative or have someone come up with something witty and memorable for your brand most of the time.
When you build a community, you create loyalty. Custom T-shirts are a great way to create an identity around a community of like-minded people.
Say your company spearheaded a 5K run to support a local charity. An excellent way to commemorate the event is to have T-shirts made with all the signatures of those that participated. Better yet, have one made with a photo of the whole gang and how much money you raised together. Everyone who gets one will feel valued as they should be, and the goodwill it creates is priceless.
Increase Revenue and Customer Retention
Everyone loves freebies, and giving away custom T-shirts for a minimum or specific purchase is an effective strategy to increase revenue. Giveaways are also an effective way to acquire new customers and retain repeat purchasers.
For example, if you’re introducing a new product in your store, bundle it with T-shirts with an image of the product and “I got one!” as the text. To create more value for the freebie, limit the availability of T-shirts or even label them with the size of the print run. If FOMO marketing statistics are anything to go by, your new product should be flying off the shelves.
The Bottom Line
T-shirt marketing is not a new concept, but like email, it continues to be effective and has a high return on investment. If you have a small business with an even smaller marketing budget, consider using bulk custom T-shirts to acquire a competitive advantage. The only thing you might lose is anonymity.