Graphic tee shirts have existed since the 1950s. Prior to this time, tee shirts were undergarments. Movies starring Marlon Brando and James Dean, however, turned these undershirts into fashion statements. Soon after it became acceptable to wear tee shirts visibly, political campaigns and companies like Disney began creating custom designed tee shirts to promote candidates and brands. It was only in the 1960s that tee shirts came to be viewed as a form of artistic expression rather than a promotional item.
Custom designed tee shirts, whether in the form of heat pressed tee shirts, laser engraved tee shirts, screen printed tee shirts, or embroidered tee shirts, are still one of the most common promotional items used by businesses to promote their brands. There is good reason for this. Surveys by Identity Works reveal that over 90% of consumers keep promotional items because they are useful and there is no more useful item than a tee shirt.
Here are four ideas for using custom designed tee shirts to promote your brand:
Print Your Logo
The first idea that always comes to mind when using tee shirts to promote your brand is to print your company logo on screen printed tee shirts. Your brand is the shorthand that consumers use to identify your company, your goods and services, and the values your company embodies. The purpose of brand promotion is to strengthen the connection between your company and your branding. The idea is that your company should spring to the consumer’s mind when the consumer sees your branding.
Depending on your customer base, you may want to give away screen printed tee shirts for free rather than selling them. For example, if your business is B2B, you can give branded tee shirts away at trade shows or distribute tee shirts to your salespeople to give away during sales calls.
If your business is more B2C, you can consider giving tee shirts away to customers. For example, a “free tee shirt” day could drive customers into your shop. Similarly, giving away screen printed tee shirts at public events such as street fairs, sporting events, or farmers markets can promote brand awareness and draw new customers to your business.
You can also consider selling branded tee shirts to customers. It may require more than just your company logo on the shirt to get customers to buy a tee shirt and become a billboard for you. However, many companies, such as Disney, Starbucks, and Nike, are able to do just that.
Sponsor a Charity
One way to promote your brand and your company values is to sponsor a charity and produce screen printed tee shirts that promote both you and the charity. These promotional items can be given away or used by the charity to raise awareness or sold by the charity to raise funds.
Co-branding screen printed tee shirts with a charity also promotes your company’s ideals by building an association with the charity’s values. For example, if your restaurant associates with a charity that promotes hunger awareness, you and your restaurant become associated with ending hunger and raising awareness.
Commemorate an Event
Whether it be a historical event, like the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, a company event, such as a corporate merger, or a holiday, such as Veterans Day, screen printed tee shirts that commemorate an event along with your branding can be a good way to promote the brand and the event. For example, giving away company branded tee shirts at a parade on the Veterans Day is more effective if you commemorate the event — Veterans Day 2020 — along with your company branding.
Create a Uniform
Creating a uniform can both create team unity and promote your brand when your employees are seen by your customers. When the public views the uniform, it can build an association in their eyes between the business and the brand.
There are many ways to promote your brand through custom printed tee shirts. Giving away tee shirts as promotional items, sponsoring a charity, commemorating an event, or creating a uniform can all help build an association between your brand and your business in the mind of the consuming public.