Promotional t-shirts are a great product to carry your marketing message all over town, but anyone can hand out a t-shirt at a trade show, festival or event. In fact, companies are handing out so many in the tech community in the Bay Area that retail casual clothing sales have dropped in recent years.
There are a few key components to using promotional t-shirts in ways that go above and beyond the normal (excellent) value of a generic hand out. First, you need to decide what your goals are and choose the right product. Second, create a design that will meet those goals and be desirable. Third, deliver the shirts in a way that makes an impact. Let’s talk about some unique delivery methods for promotional t-shirts.
Unique Uses For Promotional T-shirts
Welcome Gift: Apartment, vacation, B&B, and owner rentals have an opportunity to leave a welcome gift for renters that will keep paying marketing dividends for years. Likely to be worn as a memento of a trip, a promo t-shirt will be a surprising and valued welcome gift.
Invitations: Create buzz for your next event by designing a cool image and using it on promotional t-shirts as an invitation. Giving t-shirts as an event momento is great, but providing the gift in advance can help build anticipation, momentum and interest.
Packaging Filler: Sure, it’d be cheaper to use peanuts, but if you’re already paying the shipping cost, why not include a piece of marketing genius and keep your product in place and safe at the same time?
Milestone Prizes: Create a series of designs that designate achieved milestones in your company and then only give these shirts to those who achieve the milestone. Tip: creating a cool design and using a high quality t-shirt will help make this a coveted item. Making the milestones both difficult to achieve and high in perceived value in your company culture will increase the value of both the shirts and the achievement.
Gamification campaigns: Leave promotional t-shirts hidden in locations around town to create a community-wide treasure hunt for your marketing items. Include a tag telling the finder that it’s a free gift and link it with a social media campaign to share the discovery and build awareness.
Ticket to Entry: Have a multi-day event going on? Use promotional t-shirts as the ticket to get in and build awareness around town as those coming and going are seen with the shirts. Have a really cool design and you’ll drive ticket sales just to get a t-shirt. Make the shirts an annual affair and collectible. Award prizes for the best image of collections posted online leading up to the event.
Display: Do you sell or display wearable accessories of any kind? Do you create seasonal window or in-store displays? Use stuffed tees as mannequins, use them as backdrops or display stand covers. Create a seasonal color or design theme and give away the tees at the end of each season.
Product Insert: Include a t-shirt as part of your product. Particularly useful for brands with high ticket products and high consumer identification. Don’t let a sale go by without including a way for your customer to show off that they own your product.
Business Card: Are you in a business phase where your biggest aim is to build awareness and legitimacy of your company, cause or product? Print your contact info inside (or your website on the outside) a cool promotional t-shirt and hand them out everywhere. Get people familiar with your name.
Referral Driver: Don’t just give people a shirt they can wear, give them one or two they can pass along. Create a way for them to get credit for sales made through the shirts and let them do your marketing for you.
Combine the right shirt, the right design and the right campaign and promotional t-shirts can be a hugely effective promotion for your business, event or cause.
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