The Power of Branded T-Shirts
Why do we get so many orders from businesses who are kitting their teams out with branded T-shirts? It’s probably because our customers are clever. They recognise the instant hit that comes with the sense of professionalism, the team spirit and the opportunities to advertise that come with the humble tee.
What is Branding and Why is it Important?
Most people recognise branding as the logos and names the companies give to their products and ranges. But it’s much deeper than that. Branding speaks about the values and strengths of your company, and when it’s done well it can trigger an emotional response that leads to a purchase – or even a lifelong relationship.
It’s why top companies spend millions on it every year. They’ll put their branding through the mill, subject it to focus groups and go to great expense to shave the edge off a letter or change its colour to a barely distinguishable degree.
Most important of all, it’s the company’s opportunity to tell its buying public what it stands for and what it offers. It bypasses the filters of opinion and delivers the message straight to the customer.
If you’re an established company with a marketing budget, you’ll probably have your branding sorted. But did you ever consider that it could extend to your employees as well as your vans, website and stationery?
If you’re a public-facing business, which includes anything from a nail bar to a plumber, why not kit your staff out in branded T-shirts? When you think about it, you’re using your staff as walking advertising space. You can use T-shirts to advertise seasonal offers or sales, or simply use them to present a united, uniform team that will instil confidence in your customers.
You can even put a call to action on your T-shirts – “Ask me about our service contracts”, for example. As long as your staff members are briefed on the offer being advertised, it’s a great way of starting conversations that lead to sales. Large supermarkets and other retail outlets do it all the time, but there’s no reason why any business can’t get a piece of the action.
If you’re starting out and working on your branding, you could be at an advantage if you consider your branding’s “T-shirt-ability” in the design process. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than this thread on Quora, where people discuss the best startup T-shirts. There are some great examples there.
If you have misgivings about the concept of treating your staff “like billboards”, it’s worth noting that if the T-shirt is smart, stylish and well designed, you’ll usually get good buy-in from staff. Many are glad that they don’t have to go to the trouble and expense of buying clothes for work (for their top halves, anyway). But you could offer an incentive to staff who wear the T-shirts, or even commission for leads they gain through offers advertised on their tops.
Did you know that you can even make your T-shirts interactive? Anyone can create a QR code that links to a website and customers with smartphones can scan the code to be taken to a special offer or info site.
There are even augmented reality T-shirts that appear to come to life when people with the appropriate apps point their phone cameras at them. It’s probably more powerful as a conversation-starter than a passive advertising opportunity, but when you start thinking big, you realise that your employees’ T-shirts can be great marketing and PR tools.
A Look that Suits the Job
The classic tee is and unmistakably informal garment, unfussy and easy to layer. It’s perfect for a cool, young business such as something creative or for restaurant or café staff. With a little branding, the look is complete.
For a slightly more upmarket sector, a polo is generally considered more appropriate, the collar lending the tee a smartness and the heavier fabric helping to keep a more ironed finish. For the ultimate statement, an embroidered logo says quality, and it’ll last longer too.
The choice of T-shirt is just as much a product of your branding exercise as the design of the logo, so choose well – and don’t hesitate to ask us if you need any more information.