Branded apparel is a great way to spread the word about your company, but it’s important that you approach this type of marketing with plenty of forethought. If you don’t think about your plan carefully, you may find your apparel falling short of the mark. Get the results you are after by avoiding these five common pitfalls:
1. Inconsistent Brand Image
While it’s great to have some fun with the design of your apparel, you need to make sure that you’re still sticking with your overall brand image. If all of your marketing materials feature the colors blue and green, using colors like red and yellow shirts could be a poor and confusing choice. Over time, your customers will come to associate certain images, styles, and colors with your company. Stick with something along familiar lines to get the most impact from your branded apparel.
2. Clothing that Targets the Wrong Market
Define your target audience clearly before you decide on a certain type of branded apparel. If you’re targeting casual travelers, a baseball cap is a great choice that will probably get a lot of use on the road. However, a baseball cap won’t reach out to high level executives nearly as efficiently. Where are you hoping to have your branded apparel seen? Polos are likely to make it into business casual attire for the office or out onto the golf course. Tee shirts are a good choice for casual weekend wear.
Think about your market carefully and choose apparel that will appeal to them. Don’t go for a hundred of the cheapest option when you aren’t going to reach the right people. It’s far better to invest in a smaller number of high end shirts if that’s what will appeal to your potential customers, than to get more of an item that just won’t work for you.
3. Ordering too Late
If you’re ordering branded apparel for a special event, set your budget, create the design, and get your order in as early as possible. Don’t wait till the last minute to decide that you want branded apparel to hand out at the next convention. If you have only days or weeks until the event, you’ll be forced to rush your order and risk a completion date that falls after the event. Always think ahead about when and where brand apparel will make the best impression so you can order on time.
4. Failure to Properly Plan
It’s easy to slap a logo on a hat and hope for the best, but this is a major marketing mistake. Think about how you plan to use your branded apparel and order colors, sizes, and quantities that are appropriate. Are you ordering shirts that promote a single event, or choosing generic apparel that’s good for years to come? If you’re handing shirts out at an event you’ll want a broad range of sizes. If you’re ordering apparel for your employees, it’s best to have them fill our order forms so you have the appropriate sizes for everyone.
5. Failure to Send a Clear Message
Branded apparel is designed to send a specific message. Before you place your order, you need to think about what that message is. Do you want your customers to perceive your brand as friendly and funny? Come up with a great joke and design humorous tees that will get people laughing. Are you interested in sparking conversations about your newest product? Send a free tee with pre-orders that promotes that product to get your buyers talking about it with new potential customers. A simple logo and basic design can work for some purposes, but it’s best to really think about what you’re going for before you order.
When you think through these points ahead of time, you can head off the major mistakes that marketers make with branded apparel and achieve stunning success with your next campaign.