Brick and Mortar Solutions for Business Marketing Challenges

Brick and Mortar Solutions for Business Marketing ChallengesNot all marketing challenges for companies who want to promote their businesses are best met by tweaking their Web presence. Some of the most effective solutions to the marketing challenges organizations face in building awareness of their goods and services are real-time, real-world promotional items created by brick and mortar companies. Giving away promotional apparel builds brand awareness among potential customers in a subtle, but most effective way.

 

Even companies who specialize in Internet marketing have used promotional apparel with great success. Take, for example, Sujan Patel, the founder of Single Grain, a San Francisco-based digital marketing agency. In his article, “How Giving Away T-Shirts Made Me Over $500K in Revenue,” Patel shares his story about how he used promotional apparel to catapult his startup company into one of the most successful marketing firms in the Bay Area.

 

Patel, a marketing genius on the digital front, found an ideal way to promote his online business through a real-world solution. Yet he stumbled onto this marketing idea quite by accident, according to his story.

 

In the beginning, Patel ordered t-shirts bearing his company’s logo for his own use. Although he had plenty of success in the marketing world, he wasn’t exactly a clotheshorse. In fact, he admits to being “lazy” when it comes to shopping for clothes. With his branded t-shirts, he thought, he would “never have to go clothes shopping again.”

 

His first order, he recalls, was somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 30 shirts—many more shirts than his closet could hold. He decided to give the extra shirts away, so he used his personal Facebook page to notify his friends to see if there were any takers among them. To his surprise, his supply of shirts ran out in a matter of hours. Patel’s marketing genius kicked into high gear as he sensed the momentum building.

 

When the demand outstripped the supply, he created an email list from the names of his friends who were too late for the first giveaway. He ordered a new supply of shirts, sent them to his grateful friends along with a personalized note in every package. Thanking those friends who chose to wear the t-shirts to market a business in which they had no stake was essential to Patel’s newly-hatched marketing plan. Gratitude, it would seem, is contagious—even in promotional efforts.

 

Not only did he gain a treasure trove of contact information of people who wanted these shirts, but he created good will with every personalized note. With this one move, Patel had a list of people who loved to wear promotional apparel and had positive vibes about Patel and Single Grain. The next time he created t-shirts to promote his company, he would have a group of people at the ready to spread awareness about the Single Grain brand throughout the Bay Area.

 

And so he ordered again—what he calls “Versio[n] 2.0. The second t-shirt created such a buzz about his Single Grain brand that Patel decided to launch the third incarnation of his t-shirt. This time, it was an intentional promotional effort, in a rainbow of colors and in much larger numbers. His goal: to give “a few shirts” to everyone who expressed interest. Not only did he provide t-shirts to his friends and colleagues, but he also donated some of the shirts to a charity.

 

His goal was just to develop brand awareness with his shirts with an innovative logo, and, of course, the name of the company. At this point, there were over 500 people in the Bay Area who regularly wore the shirts in public. He and his co-workers began to use the shirts as “uniforms.” Because the area in which Single Grain was located was filled with fellow startups, the innovative logo design and company name attracted plenty of attention, which brought instant awareness of the Single Grain brand.

 

Going forward, Patel tasks his design team with creating a new logo for a fresh look at least once a year—sometimes more often. With every design came more interest from his growing email list of Single Grain t-shirt fans. Like promotional wear from big companies such as soft drink manufacturers and sports teams, his shirts were developing a fan base of their own. Without a word, the apparel built awareness of Patel’s company throughout the area.

 

Not only did it create more buzz in the community from fans wearing the t-shirts, but his and his colleagues’ own use of shirts bearing the company’s logo also gave Patel and his employees more opportunities to “give [their] 30-second elevator pitch and hand out business cards…” These conversations provided even more opportunities for Patel to raise awareness of his brand.

 

As for Patel himself, he wasted no opportunities to strike up conversations with potential clients. Since he was always clad in his company t-shirt—even when working out and while doing his daily personal tasks—the entrepreneur had plenty of chances to grab new business. Plenty of it, it turns out. Those conversations about town led Patel to dig up $200,000 in new client work, which in turn, built up a network of satisfied customers who referred Patel to big-name corporations.

 

Overall, the t-shirts raked in $500,000 in new business. In Patel’s case, the growth in brand recognition produced from this promotional wear also attracted the attention of huge companies such as Cisco, Wells Fargo, HP, Apple, and more. It snowballed from there.

 

What is even more amazing is that Single Grain operates with only a tiny advertising budget—most of it spent on t-shirts. Those shirts took Patel’s company from being a complete unknown to becoming a familiar face in the San Francisco area. They built real awareness of a new, relatively-unknown brand.

 

Single Grain now attracts a lion’s share of the Bay Area’s digital marketing business through word-of-mouth and from referrals. That kind of trust came about because people developed a comfort level with the company through its having become a familiar sight throughout the city and its environs. They maintained that level of trust by adding top-quality service on top of the brand recognition initiated by the t-shirts.

 

Patel gives businesses who wish to use his formula to catapult their company to success some excellent advice. First of all, he advises, new businesses need to keep quality foremost when designing promotional apparel. After all, the apparel represents one’s company. If a company’s promotional apparel looks tacky, its reputation will take a nosedive. That’s not the kind of brand awareness a startup company needs at its start.

 

Patel chose a top t-shirt manufacturer, American Apparel, to make Single Grain’s shirts. Including the tastefully-designed logo, the shirts each cost Patel anywhere from 10 to 15 dollars. Although his budget was tight, he realized that people wouldn’t wear shirts that were uncomfortable, which bore a cheap-looking logo, or that had overtly promotional text. Because he began by creating a shirt that he himself wanted to wear on an everyday basis, Patel created a shirt that his friends and colleagues wanted to wear as well.

 

Not only were the shirts comfortable, but they were also well-designed. The shirts sported a tasteful logo on the front, a well-chosen slogan on back. That’s all.

 

Patel also advises business owners who want to use promotional wear to create brand awareness to wear the garments wherever they go. Creating opportunities for striking up conversations with potential clients is a key ingredient in the success of such a program.

 

Companies must bear in mind that this tactic will bear fruit in the long run if they are consistent in wearing the apparel. “People,” he shares, “start to get curious.” This inherent curiosity creates a drive in people to ask questions. Even if the person him or herself does not become a client, a business does create brand awareness among the general public. That awareness, in turn, leads to the sort of trust that gives a company the edge in word-of-mouth advertising—even future recommendations.

 

Patel also advises companies who market their business using promotional apparel to be sure to thank those people who wear it. Recognizing these people’s contribution to a company’s success creates even more positive feelings about the brand. The people, in turn, feel invested in the company’s success and wear the apparel more often. Patel, it would seem has found an inexpensive way to rise to the challenge of promoting a business.

 

Single Grain and its innovative founder have attracted much attention in the Internet marketing world for using brick and mortar marketing tactics to draw attention to their marketing prowess on the Web. Other businesses, both brick and mortar and online, have also experienced success marketing their services by using t-shirts and other promotional apparel to build brand awareness in customers and potential customers.

 

Matt Hunckler of Verge, a company who helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses by forging connections with resources and investment capital, says this about promotional apparel: “Great t-shirts is the only marketing expense we’ve ever invested dollars into.” For Hunckler, marketing his business is a fun, yet simple affair.

 

Verge hands out t-shirts to people who join their network of entrepreneurs, as well as to those who attend their conferences. A t-shirt with an attractive logo, Hunckler discovered, has the power to spark productive conversations about a business’ products or services. It is especially effective, he shares, if the wearer inspires others with her or his confidence. He adds, “It’s like wearing sports gear. People will only [wear] your logo if it looks good and, more importantly, believe in your brand.”

 

The president of HighRankWebsites.Com, Mike Perez, also agrees with Patel. His company, which also specializes in Internet services, has found success in marketing his company using tangible merchandise such as t-shirts. Like Patel, though, he cautions readers not to look for cheap marketing solutions. He says, “Our team wears [t-shirts bearing the company logo] all the time as well in and out of the office because they are so comfortable. If you try to go for the cheap ones nobody will wear them and it defeats the whole purpose.”

 

Of course, brick and mortar companies, too, can benefit from this inexpensive, but effective marketing tool. Cameron Herold, the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, one of the world’s largest junk removal companies, used t-shirts to market his business at a conference. Four representatives of the trash removal company wore t-shirts featuring a “huge corporate logo” on the conference floor. In the midst of a crowd of business people wearing suits, he and his company representatives stood out. He shares, “[M]any people thought there were at least twenty of us walking around because they saw our logos so often amid the masses of suit jackets.”

 

Perception, it would seem, is reality—at least in the world of marketing. The bandwagon approach is alive and well. If a company has a standout logo imprinted on quality apparel, people will notice. They will, of course, want a piece of the action. They, too, will want to wear such attention-grabbing apparel. And so a mass movement is born. A movement which any company would want to be at the center of.

 

Herold makes a great point. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel a part of a group. To belong, to connect, to be a valued part of the “in group” is a deep need for many people. To belong to a tribe, perhaps—to use the latest marketing buzzword. He refers to those who jump on the bandwagon of corporate t-shirt wearers as “a brand army.”

 

There is indeed a sort of camaraderie among those who consider themselves part of a tribe. Such a feeling builds brand loyalty—something that can’t be bought with million-dollar TV ads or a full-page spread in the local newspaper. Indeed, in Herold’s words, people become more than just “walking billboards.” They become “brand ambassadors.”

 

In all of these cases, whether the companies provided online or brick and mortar services, each of them used a real-world solution—t-shirt marketing—to overcome marketing challenges to become successful in their niches. Other businesses, too, can use branded apparel to market their products and services with equal success.

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Nova Custom Printing/Nova Disc Receives 2014 Best of Manhattan Award

Nova custom T-shirt printing awardNova Custom Printing/Nova Disc has been selected for the 2014 Best of Manhattan Award in the T Shirt Screen Printing Services category by the Manhattan Award Program.

Offering B2B custom t shirt printing since 1995, Nova happily accepts the award and thanks the Manhattan Award Program for the recognition.

Each year, the Manhattan Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and the community. These exceptional companies help make the Manhattan area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Manhattan Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Manhattan Award Program and data provided by third parties.

Michael Nova, director of Nova Custom Printing/Nova Disc explained, “The company has worked hard over many years to provide the best customer service in the industry, with particular effort on specializing in rush orders, and it is gratifying to witness all our hard work pay off with this award. We will strive to continue building our reputation as the finest quality printing vendor in the city for years to come.”

About Nova Custom Printing/Nova Disc

As director of Nova Custom Printing / Nova Disc, Michael Nova has developed a proven track record of overseeing multiple businesses simultaneously. When forming Nova Music Productions, Inc., Michael was featured in the New York Times as a pioneer in offering multiple services to independent artists in the music industry. Because of the popularity of Nova Music, Michael created divisions of the corporation that would focus on offering specific services to businesses exclusively.

Over the years, Nova Custom Printing / Nova Disc’s clients grew to include NASA, MTV, BET Networks, American Express, Google, L’Oreal Cosmetics, Halston, Diesel, Steinway Pianos, Palm Pictures, Saks Fifth Avenue, The United Way, and JP Morgan Chase Bank, among many others.

About Manhattan Award Program

The Manhattan Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Manhattan area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Manhattan Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in the community. The organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Their mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Manhattan Award Program

CONTACT: Nova Custom Printing
Email: info (at) novacustomtshirtprinting (dot) com
URL:  Nova Custom T Shirt Printing

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Screen Printing vs. Direct to Garment Printing

screen printing vs direct to garment

Screen printing and direct-to-garment printing are two very different ways to print custom designs onto t-shirts and other garments. It will be one method or the other depending on your needs, and you should understand the pros and cons of each method before you make your decision.

What is the size of your order? Are you printing a simple design with one color or a complex design with lots of colors? Do you want dark prints on light shirts or vice versa? By understanding the pros and cons and asking yourself relevant questions like these, it should be easy to choose the right process.

Screen Printing – Pros and Cons

Screen printing (also known as silkscreen) is the most common printing method with clothing, and it is popular with hobbyists and commercial providers alike. With this printing method, you create a stencil by exposing photo emulsion sheets, and then you create the printed garment by applying ink over the stencil.

This method is versatile and effective, and when done properly it can deliver great quality results that last for a long time. Screen printing is also very cost effective when dealing with bulk orders because the price gets lower as the quantity goes up.

Film processing is not the only way to make screen stencils, and it is easy enough to set up a screen printing rig at home with materials from crafts and artistry stores. If you are careful with your method you can achieve surprisingly good results with little more than mesh fabric and blocking paint.

The most significant downside to screen printing is order limitations. For screen printing to be effective (apparatus and inks cost money, and setting up the design takes a fair amount of time) there needs to be a minimum order size. This is not a cost-effective process unless you buy in bulk.

Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing – Pros and Cons

This printing method is exactly what it sounds like. The process is very similar to printing on paper with your inkjet at home; only the printer is much more advanced and uses special ink.

Direct to garment printing comes with a number of advantages, and the two main advantages are speed and simplicity.

Because garments are printed directly onto with an advanced inkjet printing process, there is very little that the printing person actually needs to do. This is unlike screen printing, which requires lots of skill and “hands on” involvement.  As a non-contact process, DTG reduces human error and allows for more accurate results (when the printer is properly used and calibrated), and results can be superior  to any other type of inkjet printer.

Because DTG prints essentially whatever you want from a digital file, the potential for custom designs and colors is quite excellent. Here you can achieve as much detail and intricacy as you’d like, and you can play around with designs without having to constantly go through the motions as with screen printing. With easy setup, this method is often best for small custom garment printing orders.

DTG has a few disadvantages. Machines are an investment, inks are expensive, and equipment maintenance is an ongoing commitment. While the process is becoming more advanced, results are still quite limited when you print light colors onto dark fabrics.

Summary

Cost-wise, silk screen printing can be more cost-effective,  but if you’re printing only a few dozen full color images, DTG is ideal. If you are printing up to six colors on six dozen or more shirts, screen printing is a good choice. If you need full color images with unlimited colors, go for DTG printing.

Of course, for the customer there is one very important factor that has not been approached, and that is choosing the right printing company. Either of these printing methods can lead to excellent or disappointing results depending on the quality of the machinery and the skill of the printing staff (this is especially the case for screen printing). So get informed and decide on the right process, but choose wisely when it comes to selecting the right company for your printing needs.  Make sure they have reliable clientele, and have been in business for many years.

 

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How Screen Printed T Shirts Can Help Charities Raise Funds

screen printed t shirts for charity

Screen Printed T Shirts have been used for many years to help get the word out to help charitable causes, whether they are specific-cause based, as in raising funds for an area hit by a natural disaster, or organization-based, to help raise funds for an organization.

Visibility is the key to any institution’s success, but this might be a problem for charitable organizations who relies solely on donors and philanthropists for funding. Utilizing mainstream advertising can cause thousands of dollars that will only be aired for a limited period of time. A good solution to this is the use of affordable printed T shirts to get your cause publicized in the public eye.

Unfortunately, naturally occurring disasters are becoming  commonplace recently.

Now after Hurricane Sandy, The recent Oklahoma tornado is the latest in a series of weather-related disasters to hit the U.S.

“The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, in the southern part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area… The preliminary rating of the tornado was at least EF4 (166 to 200 mph), the National Weather Service said.”

With global warming becoming a real problem, we’re seeing more and more of these occurring. It’s a sad situation. But people are banding together to create charities to help the victims of these disasters.

How Screen Printed T Shirts Can Help

The use of printed shirts has been employed by businesses, causes, and charitable institutions for years since it’s a more cost effective way of getting the message out. This is because shirts as they are worn give a more humanized approach to advertising. Your message is conveyed as the person moves around to do their daily routines without bothering them or paying for every minute of exposure.

People mainly wear cause shirts as a way of showing support but they may also wear them to remember their participation in an event, or as a sign of unity, as colors and uniforms create a distinct identity. It also does two things at one time, because it publicizes and clothes at the same time.

Printed Shirts for All Sizes

Creating presence for charities can be a pain due to their limited financial capacity or size. But this can be solved by using the institution’s or cause’s innate resources. Charity institutions that have volunteers and partners can have people wearing the printed shirts while taking part in events and fund-raising activities aside from giving them away or selling them.

Selling them is a great way to raise funds, because you are offering something back to people who are donating. You can offer an option where if a donor donates X amount of dollars, they get a special t-shirt as a gift.

For small charities that are less known and have fewer donors, affording printed shirts for their cause may be a problem due to their limited budget. In this case, since resources are scarce within the institution, tapping other institutions like food establishments and other businesses as sponsors is the key. By doing so, the printed shirts can be a double edged sword for the charity and the sponsors in gaining presence in their own niches.

Getting actors and celebrities to acts as spokespersons for your cause can make a difference as well, and if they can be photographed wearing a shirt supporting the cause, that can be a huge boost to your fundraising.

Depending on the agreement between the charity and the business, profit can be solely taken by charity or shared with the business. Conditional promotions that promise a certain amount for each purchase to the charity or cause are good examples of this set-up. Sometimes, the sponsor will only ask for their trademark or logo to be placed in the t-shirts themselves or in the event’s banner, this can be seen in runs for a cause where shirts are commonly sponsored by sportswear brands.

Getting psychological for  a moment, this form of promotion can take advantage of “bandwagon theory”, where the number of the majority becomes the appealing factor in people’s decision making.  This can be observed in game shows with multiple players with fixed answers A, B, and C. If a player does not know or is in doubt about the answer to the question, and there are more people who answered C than B and A, the player will most likely choose C.

The Nuts and Bolts of Screen printed T shirts

Printing shirts has evolved through the years, from hand crafted to machine operated. Traditionally, shirts were printed through stencilled designs and were pressed into the fabric by an iron, a process that can still be done today. But with the increasing demand for mass production, automatic pressers are now used to evenly apply the ink to the fabric through an emulsified screen with a digitally rendered image.

The ink used for printing on shirts may vary from water-based ink to Plastisol, depending on preference of the printer or presser. Water-based ink, as its name says is primarily made of water with suspended pigments or dyes, which is cured by drying or evaporating the water. On the other hand, Plastisol is an ink made of PVC or polyvinyl chloride that is cured through heating at a range of 300 to 330 degrees Fahrenheit.

Costs Of Custom T Shirt Printing

Lowering costs for printing can be a good way to earn more funding. This can be done by choosing to print with one color alone. The cost is lowered not only due to the reduction in the colors to be used but also in the decrease of the number of screens that will be used. This is because each color is equal to one screen, so if there are eight colors in the design, eight screens will be used.

This doesn’t mean that the appeal of the shirt will dramatically be reduced. The secret to creating beautiful printed shirts is in color combination and design. This means that it is essential to hire a good artist to render the design and keep in mind the principle of striking and neutral combination when choosing a color.

If you have a charity that needs to raise funds, printing low-cost t-shirts can help you raise more funds for your cause or organization. We have numerous charity-based organizations as clients of ours. Please contact us for more information.

 

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Promote A Book With Screen Printed T-Shirts

screen-printed-t-shirtsThere are numerous ways in promoting goods and services. It could be through radio or TV advertisement, newspapers, billboards and etc. But one the new and effective promotional tool would be screen printed T-shirts.

Screen printed T-Shirts are widely used nowadays around the globe. They are used by countless corporations, small and large businesses, schools and other organizations to promote their brand. The advantages of using screen printed T-shirts as promotional tools are numerous. It is economical, it is easily produced and it makes an ad visible every time someone wears it.

How can screen printed T-shirts help in promoting a book?

Book publishers regularly use screen printed T-shirts in promoting their books. Ordered from the right t-shirt printing company, it’s an effective tool in promoting book signing events. For example, book publishers will giveaway some custom made t-shirts for his/her fans during a book launch. This will give the fans a sense of involvement during the event. It can serve as their souvenir in attending the book launch. This can also attract more people to come and witness the event.

As a strategy to attract more people to come to a book launch, Publishers may give screen printed t-shirts for the first fans that will buy his/her book as an incentive. Everybody loves freebies and chances are they will spread the information to their other friends.

Screen Printed T-shirts for Self-Published Books vs. Major Published Books

We have to understand that Self-published books are books that are published by the authors themselves without involving any third party such as large publishing houses. While major published books on the other hand involves a major publishing company to help in selling and promoting the book. Therefore, they differ in some aspects such as having a larger budget for promotional campaigns.

Self-published books have lower budgets compared to books that are published by major publishing houses. This is because self-publishing  writers are on their own financially in launching a book, while major-published books get some financial support from a third party.

Thus, a promotional tool such as screen printed t-shirts will be very helpful for authors who opt to self-publish their books. This tool is one of the most economical ways of promoting a product. All someone needs is a good graphics artist to create a unique and appealing design that a specific market will surely love, and place an order with a custom t shirt printing company. T-shirt designs can be a book cover, the title of a book, statements or any other unique designs. The good thing about screen printed t-shirts is that can be ordered it in bulk which is very time efficient.

Furthermore, this promotional tool can also be helpful to major publishing houses in promoting their product. Given that they have a larger budget, screen printed t-shirts can be very affordable for them when buying in larger quantities. They can use it not just for book launching events, but as well as other corporate events or as prizes in their raffle promos or other advertising strategies. This can also be an avenue to remind people about the publishing company’s brand. They can put their company slogan in the design of the t-shirt as well as the company logo and the specific product that they are trying to market.

Regardless of budget, screen printed T-shirts are really affordable and an effective promotional tool for all. Just remember that ordering in bulk will get the best deal. If ordering 500 shirts or more, shirts can be printed for as little as $2.50 each. It can be very cost-effective…

 

 

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