Grow Your Clothing Label or T-Shirt Business
With some of our best customers being small, independent clothing labels we thought it was a good idea to write an article on all the different ways we have seen these small brands to grow into something big. Starting any business from the ground up takes blood, sweat, and tears and hopefully we can help point you in the right direction to limit those tears a little! Some of these might seem obvious, but they are often overlooked and are extremely powerful tools for growing any business.
Fashion trends, the faux pas of the independent clothing or t-shirt business. As much as you would like to stay on the opposite side of fashion trends, the sad reality is that you have to pay attention to what is fashionable in order to grow your business. Even those that try to defy trends, wind up setting trends themselves. The perfect example of seeing that everyone falls into a trend is to look around at your target market. If your target market attends punk concerts, attend a punk concert and have a look around at what everyone is wearing. Odds are that they all will fall into a style, a style that you can market to. Pay attention to what is going to be trendy in popular culture as well. This autumn, Elle is predicting “The Rebel” to be a fashionable look. How can you capitalise on that with your current or future designs? Vintage and retro always come in and out of fashion, and even if your market are anti-trend you have to know when something is coming in or out of style and plan appropriately for your market.
Easily the most overlooked avenue to growing your clothing label or t-shirt business. Music is the great unifier, everyone listens to music and everyone relates to music in some way or another. Using music as an avenue to grow your label or t-shirt business is cheap, easy, and can reap huge rewards. Sponsor a band that falls into the demographic of the market you are targeting. Why is this a good idea?
- Bands and Musicians are walking talking mannequins – Give a band some free shirts to wear at gigs, in photos and videos. You couldn’t ask for more effective and cheap advertising
- People imitate – People will always imitate those that they look up to, or those that they want to impress. Having the singer of a band wearing your brand is a surefire way to get others wanting to wear your brand.
- Social Media – people take a lot of photos at gigs, and then go home and put them on facebook and tag the band or their friends in them. Your clothing label or t-shirt company have now been seen by more people in your target market than were actually at the show.
Photography – Video
This is one of the most important things you can do to help your label or t-shirt business. Having good, professional images of your products is the best way to not only make your business legitimate to your market but it can also provide that final push for someone that might not have bought. You want your products to portray something your market aspires to be like. With this, you want the photography that represents your brand to be aspirational for your market. Give them images that speak to them, grabs their attention, and makes them buy. This is especially important today when people start searching your brand from the t-shirt they saw the singer of their favourite band wearing. When they find your Facebook business page what are they going to find? High quality, aspirational, professional photos of your products or products shot in a dark room on your phone? Which business would you buy from? Photography isn’t as expensive as people think, and most photographers (including ourselves) cater to different budgets and needs. We currently offer small clothing labels and t-shirt companies a £150 2 hour shoot that can give you the images you need to push your brand onwards.
On top of this, YouTube is a tremendous resource and is one of the most viewed websites on the internet. You don’t have to go out and shoot an advertisement, but you can post video that feature your brand in some fashion. Videos from gigs of bands wearing your t-shirts. Fun, funny videos that might go viral…and if they have your t-shirts in it that gives your brand more exposure!
A lot of small businesses dismiss or overlook websites, and this is a massive mistake. Having a website today is very cheap (and sometimes free) and it is still the best way for people to actually shop and buy your clothing online. You have the advantage of being found by people across the globe easier with a website and learning a little bit about search engine optimisation. Again, as with photography, you do want to make sure that your website looks high quality and professional. People will instantly leave a website if it is poorly designed and has bad imagery.
So, hopefully we have given you some food for thought! Growing a small business is a lot of work, and we wanted to share with you what we have learned ourselves and from our customers. Do you have anything that we should have added to this?