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Topic: Branding

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How And Where To Market A T-shirt Brand Name.

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
Six months ago I decided that I was going to start a t-shirt business.I am going to create a Brand name for my screen printed t-shirts.I took close to 60% of my 401k to start this business.My dilemma is,Where and how to market this new product to the consumers.What would be the most cost effective way to accomplish this.Also,If you have any advice on how to be successful in the t-shirt name branding.

tks
D.T

  • Posted by Ricky on Accepted
    Wow, impulse760. Talk about impluses.

    Before you spend your retirement money, please do some marketing research and draw up a business plan. Take a look at www.mplans.com for some examples. And please start looking for a marketing agency with experience in the fashion business.

    I worked in fashion for many years and I can assure you that it is cut-throat. Unless you are going to create an online business, you will have to do battle with distribution. Are you in the US? If so, there could be a merchandise mart near you where you could get yourself a showroom and/or where you could participate in a few sportswear shows.

    However, you are not alone. Just a few years ago, a young Italian guy named Matteo Cambi decided to create a t-shirt with a daisy on it. His Guru brand sold 200 000 tshirts in just one year. Now it has become a fashion brand distributing all over Europe.
    http://www.guru.it/

    Hope this is some food for thought. Good luck.
  • Posted by Harry Hallman on Member
    I assume to get the most distribution you will sell to retailers. For most part you need to let them see the shirts. There are many apparel shows where you can take space and show your line and take orders.

    Which are best for you depends on who your customer target is. Check out the web sites of these shows to see what I am talking about. www.trafiktradeshow.com and show.magiconline.com. Also like Ricky said local marts might be helpful and a web site is essential. I would sell direct as well.

    Harry
  • Posted by Ricky on Member
    . . . please also take a look at this thread about starting a fashion label:
    http://www.marketingprofs.com/ea/qst_question.asp?qstID=7295#47286
  • Posted on Accepted
    I do not know if you are planning on just a local market or larger, but if you are considering a larger market then the internet is definitely the way to go.

    Bill Gates said "There will be two types of businesses in the future. Those on the internet and those out of business."

    I am not an expert on introducing a product into the marketplace, but an idea for keeping the customers you gain as well as building loyalty and getting them to spread the word to their friends, is through permission-based e-mail. If you have a website (or will have) find a way to gain their e-mail address. That way you can drip email on them from time to time to keep them in the know.

    One thing you have to be sure of when you do e-marketing is that it has to be 100% permission-based. You have to let the people know up front that you will be sending them e-mails with updates and special offers. That way they do not unsubscribe. And don't bomb them constantly with e-mail. Once or twice a month is plenty.

    There are companies that specialize in e-marketing that are extremely affordable and will handle all of the e-mailing for you so you can focus on your business. Here is an example of a company that can do that: [URL deleted by staff]
  • Posted by MonMark Group on Accepted
    It would seem to me that right off the bat, you are making critical mistakes.

    STOP NOW! Regroup!

    If you did not perform your market research, and did not create a solid business plan, which includes intelligent marketing strategies...STOP NOW.

    You do not want to waste all of your 60%...regardless of what dollar figure is attached to that percentage.

    The "T-shirt" business is highly competitive. Regardless of where you are, geographically...it will take a substantial investment to understand the market, and create strategies that will just begin to introduce you into it, let alone provide you with any visibility.

    If there is a professional sporting team or teams in your city, they already have a vendor, and they have negotiated the lowest price the vendor could afford. If you are to compete with them, you are already in the hole.

    When we take on a new account, we ask a few simple questions. Perhaps you can ask yourself:

    Who is my target market? How much money will it take to research my market? How much will it take to introduce my company to this market? How much will it take to open my business? Do I have enough money to sustain absolutely zero dollars in revenue for at least 3 years? What do you believe is your differentiator? Is market success based upon price, service, quality, or a combination of the three? How do you intend to compete?

    The list of questions goes on, and on. Depending upon your answers, more questions are formulated...and, so on. From these answers, and your budget, you begin to create a business plan/marketing strategies. What you may learn is that the market is too crowded, and that it will take more money than you have, or will create within the initial three years to sustain a successful business.

    I would be interested in knowing your answers to these questions, and what you believe about going into the business once you have performed initial research, based on what you have learned from this forum.

    If it is not too much trouble, please share what you learn by contacting me off-forum...or, type away on-forum and share with us all. My information is available by clicking on my name.

    Wishing you the greatest success, of course.

    Randall
    WMMA
  • Posted on Accepted
    I can give you 2 successful case studies- 2 organisations that succeeded against branded players in the t shirt business.
    Tantra is India's answer to 'Just Do It'. It's not a brand, it's an 'anti-brand'. A non-stop soap opera which encapsulates a 5000-year old culture and makes it buzz and sizzle for today's generation.
    Check out this link:
    http://www.tantrauniverse.com/

    Also http://www.peopletree.co.uk/about.php

    The experts have already told you about the need for a proper business plan- there is no underestimating the need for this but decide on your product- create that first. Pilot it, test it, improve it. Once you have a good product- then look about the best way of mktg it.
  • Posted on Accepted
    While not an expert on the rag trade, I have some impressions about the T-shirt market as a consumer.

    The largest part of the market is commodity - an impulse sale, typically attached to an event, visting somewhere ("I have seen Toronto in the dark"), going to a gig ("Arctic Monkeys"), or a slogan that grabs you. It is all about time and place, and therefore about distribution. Being about the distribution of a largely undifferentiated product, where distributors have a few million examples to choose from, it is also about price. Dirt cheap, in fact.

    Alternatively, it is about selling direct over the Internet, or via direct mail, or e-mail, or setting up your own market store, or whatever.

    Alternatively, you have a designer range of T-shirts that people "will just die for". Now you are in the fashion industry, and that works in ways mysterious to me.

    If I were you, I would go two routes. I would go out onto the Internet, and find ways of getting an image of your most popular T-shirt in front of people. This will probably mean employing the infamous banner ad. It will also mean approaching people with websites that have reach, probably any website that will have you and will not charge you much. Anyone can buy a T-shirt, and they are an impulse buy. Context is not essential, although it can help.

    To do this, of course, you need to know which your best T-shirt is. That requires at least the minimum of market research - standing on a street corner for a day in a few different cities attacking passers-by, sending out an e-survey. It need not cost a lot, perhaps $1,000.

    I would also link my T-shirts to another Internet vehicle, such as the e-card. Use the free e-card facility, buy the T-shirt. Alternatively, offer an e-postcard sevice using your T-shirt images.

    A final route is to design bespoke T-shirts for clients, such as corporations for events. This would mostly take you into the sales promotions market which is equally as grim as the commodity T-shirt one, but if you have a bit of flair, you may have an edge.

    One huge market which is mostly untapped is the owners of websites. Offer customised designs for anyone who has a website and seems to be in business. That gives you at least ten million potential customers to go for, easily accessible, before you get into the merely hobbyist sites. We might even consider it ourselves. If you are interested, feel free to visit us at [URL deleted by staff]
  • Posted on Accepted
    impulse760,

    I agree with all previous posts, but wanted to add one point which I don't think was made yet.

    In addition to Design (i.e. graphics) and Distribution, what consumers look for in T-shirts are Quality and Color.

    Quality assures the consumer that they will enjoy wearing the T-shirt for a while - conversely bad quality might kill a "face-to-face" sale just at the impulsive moment the consumer is ready to buy.

    Color refers to the T-shirt color (except for white of course) and here we're talking about color quality - i.e. colors that resist fading and stay true wash after wash.

    If your T-shirts incorporate these attributes, I would make a big deal out of them if I were you, to differentiate yourself from the other players in the crowded market you are entering.

    Hope this helps,
    John
  • Posted by garimakapoor227 on Member
    I think the best way to market your t-shirts will putting your t-shirts in some marketplace where people can see a collection. Most of the t-shirt manufacturers you this to make their brands popular among customers. I would suggest you to checkout http://www.koolkart.com/clothing/women/tshirt to see the range of retailers they have another one is shopo. threadless etc.

    Thanks
    Garima

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