For five straight years, the Advertising Specialty Institute or ASI has found T-shirts to be the top product category for promotional products, based on a sales report from distributors in the US.
In 2018, logoed T-shirts were the most popular products with the largest share of distributor sales at 15.1%, followed by Drinkware category with a 9% share. [Source: ASI]
Having the largest share in the distributor sales means that lots of companies and organizations consider t-shirt marketing worthy of their investment.
Why You Should Use T-shirts in Your Marketing Campaigns
So here’s why you should launch a t-shirt marketing campaign to boost your brand awareness and ultimately drive confidence in your business:
#1. Branded apparel, including T-shirts, delivers the most impressions
Why wouldn’t T-shirts be a popular choice among companies and organizations? Among all promotional products, apparel such as outerwear and t-shirts has the highest reach or impressions throughout their lifetime. T-shirts have an average impression of 3,400, based on ASI’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study [Photo Source: ASI].
#2. Promotional T-shirts have tremendous staying power
According to ASI’s study, 63% of consumers keep their promotional T-shirts for over a year. 47% of those consumers keep the items for over two years!
And to continue the impression chain, the same study found out that 65% of consumers give their T-shirts away to another consumer. Because consumers find T-shirts useful, they stay in consumers’ wardrobe for up to 14 months on average.
#3. Branded T-shirts are cost-effective promotional products
Think about this — branded T-shirts that consumers wear are like walking billboards. Your company logo goes with them everywhere. Because of its relatively high reach, a T-shirt that costs $7 will cost you only 2/10 of a cent per impression!
Ordering in bulk lowers the cost per piece, which then helps you save more dollars and ultimately increase the CPI of your branded T-shirts. [Source: ASI]
#4. Promotional items, including branded T-shirts, enhance brand loyalty
In terms of brand recall, 85% of consumers worldwide are able to recall the advertiser who gave away promotional apparel such as a shirt or a hat.
The 2017 Consumer Study conducted by the Promotional Products Association International or PPAI found out that 83% of consumers are more likely to do business with brands from which they received promo products.
#5. T-shirt marketing gives you room for creativity
T-shirts are popular promo items, but not so many organizations work on making their T-shirt campaigns unique. The popularity and accessibility of T-shirts to companies and organizations has made giving away of T-shirts a commonplace. Don’t let this kill your creativity.
With some creativity, you can make your marketing campaign engaging and your brand memorable.
[Image source: The Wearable Movie, Coca-Cola]
Boost Your Brand Awareness Through Custom Branded T-shirts
Here are five ways to help you boost brand awareness and drive consumer confidence in your business:
#1. Reward your best customers
Most businesses are focused on acquiring and converting leads into customers, but they often forget that engaging with their current customers also has tremendous benefits.
Why not strengthen your relationship with your current customers by rewarding them with free T-shirts? You could give custom branded T-shirts along with other simple promo items. They’re spending money for your products or services, so for sure, they would appreciate your efforts in showing them your appreciation for doing business with you.
Rewarding them with free T-shirts would not only strengthen your relationship, but also give your brand an extra boost in terms of brand awareness. If they wear your branded T-shirts and someone who’s unfamiliar with your brand asks them about your business, you’re sure they’d be ready to give their positive response, especially if you’re providing them with excellent service.
Action Point: Check out your current customer base. Start figuring out which T-shirt design and quality will make them feel appreciated and willing to walk around with your logo on their T-shirts.
#2. Wear your branded T-shirts during street campaigns
You and our staff should always be wearing your custom branded T-shirts every time you’re sponsoring street campaigns or any marketing events outside of your offices. When people see you as a team wearing the same branded T-shirts, they become more curious about your brand.
Plus, wearing the same custom branded T-shirts makes your staff feel like they belong, which then motivates them to work together as a team.
Action Point: Aside from your company logo, your business website should also be displayed on the front and rear side of your branded T-shirts. People commonly look up online any brand that catches their attention. Don’t miss the opportunity of getting searched through by not displaying your website address on your branded T-shirts.
#3. Give away logoed T-shirts to participants when sponsoring events
Find local events in your area and sponsor them. Look for charity fundraising events that align with your company’s mission to expose your brand to relevant market. As an event sponsor, you could give away logoed T-shirts to the participants and everyone involved in the event.
Of course, your own staff who will represent your company should also be wearing the same custom branded T-shirts.
Action Point: Search for a local charity fundraising event that is currently looking for sponsors. If you don’t see any charity event, you could host your own event!
#4. Host a social media competition
To keep your social community engaged, why not give away custom branded T-shirts designed for the competition? Your goal could be to increase brand awareness, increase brand engagement or generate leads for your business.
You could bundle these branded T-shirts with other custom products as prizes.
My best advice here is to ensure your branded T-shirt and other custom prizes are “Instagrammable” as you would want the winners to share in social media their experiences in the competition and how they feel about their prizes.
Get ready for some traction if your winner goes all in in promoting your brand after winning the contest.
This requires some serious planning and execution to get the best results, so take the time to plan your contest mechanics and strategy before running the campaign.
Action Point: Determine if hosting a social media competition will help achieve your marketing goals. Go to the drawing board and start planning. Making this work means you’re able to integrate traditional marketing (T-shirt marketing campaign) and digital marketing.
#5. Leverage influencer marketing
If you’re from a business-to-consumer or B2C field, leveraging influencer marketing could work well for you. Reach out to social media influencers — could be bloggers or vloggers — that your target customers look up to. Ask them if they’re willing to work with you in a marketing campaign.
Send them branded T-shirts that they could wear as they promote your products or services.
Make sure your social media posts are optimized to maximize your partnership with social media influencers. The most critical part of this campaign is your choice of influencers. You should vet on them and see if your mission or values align and if their “tribe” consists of your ideal target market.
Done right, influencer marketing integrated with the classic T-shirt marketing campaign will do well for your business!
Action Point: Is there any social media influencer that you think could help you reach the right audience? There could be many of them. Do your research and see how leveraging influencer marketing tied in with T-shirt marketing could boost your brand awareness.
Your creativity is the limit
There is no limit to what you can accomplish by integrating the use of custom branded T-shirts with your overall marketing strategies. Your budget is not the constraint here. Why? You can buy T-shirts in bulk and save hundreds of dollars in your marketing spend. So it’s just your creativity that will limit your results here.
Here’s an example of a successful T-shirt marketing campaign by Coca-Cola in 2013, The Wearable Movie:
And if you’re not inspired yet to try leveraging T-shirt marketing in your next campaigns, check out how Sujan Patel made over $500K revenue by giving away branded T-shirts for his company, Single Grain.
There are so many other ways that you can leverage branded T-shirts to boost brand awareness and drive consumer confidence, including the following:
- Wearing branded T-shirts in trade shows
- Encouraging everyone in the office to wear custom branded T-shirts during outing or team building activities
- Wearing branded T-shirts whenever you or your staff attend conferences or client meetings
- Wearing your comfortable branded T-shirts as a uniform within the company premises.
Whether you’re a small business or a big brand, T-shirts will be a significant part of your marketing campaigns.
It may be too common these days, but as marketing professionals, you should always explore new marketing opportunities that branded T-shirts could do to boost your marketing metrics and skyrocket the marketing ROI for your company!
If you need more ideas on T-shirt marketing campaigns, contact us: email@example.com
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