When you’ve decided to make (and sell or give away) t-shirts to promote your brand, you need to confirm first that you really understand your brand and yourself. Before you move on to the secondary steps of brainstorming, designing, and printing t-shirts, you need to start at the foundational level: your brand, and going to an even more foundational level, yourself. Since you would hope your brand would be a reflection of who you are, you have to work on making sure you don’t jump the gun to designing your t-shirts without considering how they reflect yourself.
In Order To Create A T-Shirt, First Create Yourself
Do you remember the old line by Carl Sagan, a wry & witty observation, in his PBS series Cosmos? He said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe.” In other words, if you really want an authentic brand, you have to go back really far and go down really deep to find out who you are and then create a brand that reflects who you are. Only then, can you make a t-shirt design to reflect that brand.
Promoting Your Brand
If you want people to identify with your brand, and then wear your branded t-shirts as a result of their strong emotional and personal identification with your brand, then you’ve got to become your own personal brand. You want people to identify with you. When they identify with you, what the shirt looks like doesn’t even matter, because they just want to be close to you and show other people that they like you. It’s about liking you, so what is it about you that makes people like you? What makes you unique?
Some of the business and political greats, men like Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Mark Ecko, Steve Jobs, and Jim Henson, understood how to craft their personal brand very well. In order to elicit such strong emotional reactions from people – and to make their words more powerful, their products sell better, and their brand more loved – they had to become the brand.
Everything these great men said, sold, or marketed was so desirable because of who they were and how strongly people identified with them.
Successful entrepreneur Mark Ecko says that how people look at you, feel you, understand you, and make assumptions about you are all part of your personal brand. Whatever your product or service, you are the one selling it.
When you’re trying to make your t-shirt designs stand out, and to promote and reinforce your brand as well, you need to do two things:
- To people who know and love the brand (which is a reflection of you), it should be clear what the shirt represents and make them want to wear it.
- To those who aren’t aware of your brand, it should be interesting enough to pique their curiosity and make them want to wear it.
You don’t need to think about a million different things, or get lost in the details of typefaces and colors, or get bogged down in the myriad iterations of your t-shirt designs. Of course, you need smart, creative, and capable people coming up with these designs. But, you need to make sure that they are well informed about your brand. That is all you need to do. This is because their designs should reflect your personal brand.
What T-Shirts Are And Aren’t
T-shirts aren’t just…
- A fast way to monetize your blog
- Money-making venture
- Very fun to make
- A community builder
- A brand builder
- Very fun
T-Shirt Designs Will Sell Themselves If You Sell Brand First
If consumers already identify with, know and love your brand, then t-shirts are going to sell themselves. remember, it doesn’t matter so much what you’re T-shirts look like. What’s more important is having people like and respect you, and them wanting to let others know that they like and respect you.