Marketing today is largely focused on the digital, from social media posts to online ads, but many traditional offline strategies are still effective. One such strategy is using physical items such as pens, T-shirts, and bags to advertise your brand. Human psychology remains unchanged, so people consistently love receiving free stuff—and they’ll remember the brand that it came from, especially if the brand name or logo is shown on the design.
Customized T-shirts are a favorite among promotional items because they’re convenient to produce and they do a good job of attracting attention. Anybody wearing your brand’s T-shirt becomes a walking billboard, subtly advertising your brand wherever they go. This holds true whether it’s an employee who’s knowledgeable about the brand or a potential customer who simply received the T-shirt as a freebie. T-shirts are also very visible and versatile enough to be worn by anyone, increasing their marketing potential.
Here are some ways for you to include T-shirts in your marketing campaign:
Post a photo of your customized T-shirts on social media and announce a challenge where the prize would be a T-shirt. Social media challenges are usually fun and easy. For example, you can ask them to say what they like best about a certain product, and whoever gives the best reply wins a T-shirt. You can also do it lottery style, awarding T-shirts to a few random fans who comment on the photo.
Host an event that’s related to your business, and announce weeks before that you’ll be giving away free T-shirts. To make your T-shirts go viral, give several of them to each attendee, asking them to let their friends have the extra T-shirts. The more events that you do and the more T-shirts you release to the public, the more attention your brand will draw.
Friends and Employees
Who says only potential customers can receive brand T-shirts? Leverage the power of close ties by giving some to your friends. Alternatively, welcome new hires with a T-shirt that shows they’re now part of the company. This can act as your team’s uniform when they’re outside the office, such as in trade shows or conventions. Some startups even require their employees or pay other people to purposefully walk around the venue while showing off the T-shirts.
Hit two birds with one stone by leveraging T-shirts for customer retention and brand loyalty. If you have a large supply of T-shirts, you can offer these to everyone in your email newsletter. Another approach is to send these to your best clients as a gesture of appreciation. On the other hand, this also works with angry customers, who will feel somewhat appeased, and it may even prod inactive customers to get back in touch with you.
T-Shirt Printing Techniques
The design of your T-shirt matters. It typically points towards your company or a specific product, usually by featuring the brand logo. At the same time, it should come off as fun and trendy, and a witty design might even make your brand viral! Keep in mind, though, that a design that’s simple is more cost-effective. You can create a powerful statement with only three colors or less.
But sight isn’t only what’s involved here. No matter how good a shirt looks, people won’t bother to wear it unless it feels comfortable. Scratchy material or prints that fade out easily won’t do, especially since the quality of the T-shirt will be associated with your brand.
Thankfully, T-shirt printing is practically perfected art. T-shirts that excel in both design and comfort can be easily produced through various shirt printing techniques:
This method is the go-to for T-shirt printing in bulk. Traditional and time-tested, it produces reliable results, guaranteeing a high-quality print that’ll last for a long time. While multiple steps are required for each design because colors are printed one at a time, how it works is simple—a stencil is held in place, then flooded with ink. As much as 200-500 T-shirts can be printed with only a gallon of ink. However, this is best used with designs having only a few colors, and revisions are tedious.
For more complex designs that screen printing can’t handle, dye-sublimation printing might be what you’re looking for. The entire design is printed using dye-based ink that turns to gas. It’s then heated, becoming part of the shirt’s material and turning into a permanent print. This is the best technique for all-over printing, with unlimited use of styles and colors, but the cloth should as close to 100% polyester as possible, and at least 50 T-shirts should be produced.
What if you don’t need too many T-shirts? Direct-to-garment printing would be a better choice compared to screen printing or dye-sublimation printing. This creates precise, full-color prints, and it’s capable of rendering extremely fine details. All you have to do is put a blank T-shirt through a DTG printing machine. On the flipside, it’s not recommended for mass production. The material is also very specific—it’s meant to work primarily with 100% cotton T-shirts.
Brand T-shirts can add a fun, affordable twist to your marketing campaign. Almost nobody can say no to a free T-shirt, and your brand will be attracting views on the streets, in industry events, even in parties—anywhere that people can wear T-shirts! This boosts your brand visibility, bringing in more sales and an even larger client base.