Marketing a T-Shirt Line
Marketing a line of t-shirts is no different from marketing any other consumer product. The main difference is that creating a t-shirt line seems easy, entry barriers appear low and from a quick look, it seems like a lucrative business. But it is a competitive business and one that requires a product marketing strategy just like any other consumer product.
We read in industry publications that the success rate for new t-shirt lines is less than 1% and those who eventually are sold by retailers may face a less than 1% chance of seeing reorders.
T-shirt lines are not different than other products you consume. Just think about the car you drive or the cell phone you use. If these companies had an idea for a new product and just jumped into the design phase without proper market research they will have horrible success rates as well.
Marketing is not promotion. The idea that you will build a cool product and then with some word-of-mouth, some promotion, and some luck it will just take off is what has kept the 1% failure rate intact.
The way to break into any competitive field is to listen to the market. Listening to the market means observing the needs of the market and then filling those needs. Before we can fill in market gaps it is a good idea to ask a few philosophical questions.
1. What is your vision? Having a clear vision will help you open up decision doors. From the point that you first envision your T-shirt line, you will be faced with a constant chain of decisions. Having a clear vision will help you judge the quality of your decision and will give you the confidence to keep going.
2. What is the Purpose of your line? Your line needs a philosophy or mission for “being” in business, in other words, your business needs a purpose. This purpose can easily drive success and the need to contribute to making the world a little better or more fun. If you look around, you will see how the most successful companies do have a purpose.
Purpose doesn’t have to be a serious boring thing. It can be a celebration of your values or a vehicle for promoting a lifestyle.
Identifying your purpose will help you define your target segment and audience. You will naturally know who your users are, and you will be in a good position to understand their needs. In turn, this will give you ideas for product modifications and adjustments so you can produce a product that is needed in the marketplace.
3. Who are you selling your line to? Here is where having a clear purpose helps. You want to find a match between your concept and the store concept, which in turn should match your audience. The clients that enjoy and prefer that store or that would feel curious to walk in if passing by.
Uses a tried and true framework to follow as a guide to building successful products. It all starts with the understanding of the Market. What are the market segments and sub-segments? Who are your users? Who are your competitors and much more?
At the retail level, you are not selling directly to the end-user. You have to sell your line to the store owner or buyer so you need to understand their needs and problems. Even if you think that your line has a wide appeal, you are selling to a single individual and building a long-term relationship. The more that you understand the buyers the higher the likelihood that you will produce products that they will need. You need to consider culture, lifestyle, income, and climate to make sure that you have a strong match with what buyers need.
What if you want to sell directly online. Then you do need to think about your target audience even more. Create personas. Imagine who will buy your line and define them on paper.
New Mom’s Ages: 25 – 35 Education: High-school/College Income: 25k to 45k years
Think about other sites or magazines that target a similar audience. Magazines have their reader demographics nailed down with great precision. Here is a trick. Look at the advertising specs to define your personas. Look at how the magazines communicate to their audiences and emulate their approach. You don’t have to spend millions in market research and analysis if you learn from the work done by successful publishers.
Remember that your online store is no different from a retail store where user experience counts a great deal. You want to know your visitors well to connect with them with every detail, color, and word you post.
Once you have a strong vision for your line, a defined purpose, and a good understanding of your target audience you will be able to form a solid product positioning for your line and hugely increase your chances for creating a successful and long-lasting t-shirt line.
T-Shirt Screen Printing Services
T-Shirt Screen Printing is what we do best!
This is why our work can be found in dozens of prestigious museums and cultural institutions as well as the global non-profit community. Over the years our work has also been featured in top retail brands. Advertising agencies, branding companies, and guerilla marketing firms have also employed our services on behalf of emerging brands and corporate clients.
Unlike many companies who offer tee shirts and other wearables printing, all of our work is done in-house in our state-of-the-art facility. Working directly with us, as opposed to a broker, has many advantages such as better communication, faster delivery, and more attention to your individual needs.
When the quality of your products along with high caliber customer service matter most there is no better choice than working with a Screen Printing Specialist.
What makes us better?
Our state-of-the-art facility utilizes four 12-color automatic presses, 3 hand presses (for specialized print placements), and three BROTHER GT782 Direct to Garment Digital Printers. All of our equipment is operated and maintained by an experienced team of professionals who take great pride in the quality of their work. They have years of experience, an eye for detail, and a shared interest in making each and every job the very best it can be. Many of our team members have worked with us for many years and with time they have become specialized as 12-color printers, hand printers, ink mixers, screen makers, and Direct to Garment printers. Every member of our team is invested in your project which translates to the utmost excellence in quality control.
What makes us different?
Over the years we have developed proprietary techniques for reproducing fine art, photography, and highly detailed graphics using up to 12 spot colors, 4-color-process, simulated process, and DTG printing with outstanding results. We have also developed the very best methods for printing on black tees including the use of discharge inks.
As early adapters to aluminum frames for conventional screen-printing, direct-to-screen technology, and DTG printing we have consistently stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest technology that our industry develops. All of this as well as our ongoing commitment to being the very best printers in our business and our excellent customer service make us printers worthy of consideration for your next project.
One visit to our facility and you will find us to be one of the cleanest, most well organized, and safest shops you have ever toured. We consistently surpass the rigorous workplace and quality control standards set by some of our most demanding clients. These standards include quality, safety, reliability, and efficiency as well as our employee health and environmental practices.
What can we do for your t-shirt or wearable printed program?
Custom Screen Printing
Metallic and Shimmer Inks
In addition to our printing services we also offer custom t-shirt fulfillment of your order from folding and poly-bagging to hang-tagging and labeling as well as shipping worldwide.
Digital-T Shirt Printing
Direct to Garment Printing (aka: DTG printing or Digital T-Shirt printing) is the latest method of printing on t-shirts, fleece and most types of fabric using dedicated inkjet technology. DTG printing utilizes highly specialized, water-based inks that print directly into the fiber of whatever fabric is being printed. Our three state-of-the-art Brother GT782 printers are capable of printing to any color fabric by printing a white under-base when needed (similar to conventional screen-printing) before printing in a 4-color-process format. A white under-base is not required on white fabric as well as some lighter color fabrics.
DTG printing offers many advantages over screen-printing including live pre-production computer previews as well as the ability to print intricately detailed images either as a one-off sample or in volume. This approach to printing offers our clients a very cost-effective method of printing any quantity. It also carries a huge advantage over screen-printing as far as setup charges are concerned. There are no color separations, films, or screens needed for DTG printing thus reducing pre-production charges to next to nothing. This represents a huge upfront cost saving to you.
What makes us better?
We were the earliest adapters to the Direct to Garment Printing arena and over the past 10 years, we have developed several proprietary techniques and methods allowing us to print magazine-quality prints to any color fabric with ultra high resolution, incredible detail, vibrant colors, and a soft hand.
The Director of our digital department has spent hundreds of hours over tens of thousands of prints perfecting his technique and is very passionate about his work and the impact that it has on our clients. This experience has enabled us to avoid many common pitfalls and mistakes when it comes to dealing with complicated images. This represents a cost savings to our clients as it avoids wasteful and time-consuming experimentation.
Dedication and passion
Attention to detail
These are the hallmarks of our 10-year involvement with DTG printing.
What makes us different?
Our extensive experience and proprietary processes, setups, and printing techniques have all contributed to our industry-leading reputation.
Our prints have served as examples of what is possible with this technology. To exemplify this point, on numerous occasions the Brother Corporation has sent their research and development teams to our shop to observe their DTG printers in a real-world setting, but most important to see how our unique set-ups and processes are extending the quality capabilities of these printers, impressing the technicians that developed them and prompting them to ask us about our methods. The answer as to how do we achieve these extraordinary results?
Digital T-Shirt Printing or Screenprinting?
People often ask if Direct to Garment Printing printing will ever completely replace conventional screen printing. In my opinion that does not seem likely in the foreseeable future. Instead, DTG printing will stand alongside screen printing as a valuable and viable option for those clients and those projects that require this unique style of printing.
Our ongoing involvement with Direct to Garment Printing printing will continue giving us the opportunity to impress artists, advertising agencies, brand managers, museums, and a wide spectrum of clients with our ability to offer extraordinary quality, custom services, and professional accounts management.
Let us amaze you as well!
Are you looking for a screen-printer that can expertly package and ship your projects anywhere in the world after they have been printed?
Then you have come to the right place!
In addition to our high quality screen-printing and Direct to Garment printing services we also offer several post production services such as label removal/replacement, hang-tagging, folding and poly-bagging, polybag stickering, custom packaging as well as shipping internationally.
How can these additional services benefit your next project?
By eliminating the stress of dealing with multiple vendors to accomplish these various tasks.
By providing you with one person to contact throughout the entire process.
By streamlining your accounting through having to pay only one invoice instead of the bookkeeping nightmare of dealing with multiple invoices.
Knowing that your goods will be properly labeled so as to easily identify the contents of each box makes your project look more professional and your life considerably easier.
Completing a project does not stop with the printing. Often times that is only the beginning. We have over 28 years of experience managing both small and large projects from printing and packaging to shipping to multiple locations globally.
Please feel free to consult with me should your printing and fulfillment needs require a project manager with my expertise.
Product Fulfillment Services Include:
Museums & Fine Art :: T-Shirt Programs
Our shop earned a reputation as Museum Quality Screen Printers with our unique ability to reproduce fine art on t-shirts. Be it the work of a master such as Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Van Gogh, or logos, exacting attention to detail and to the original artwork requires printing that is exceptional.
Museum t-shirts can range from reproductions of fine art to support an event or exhibit, to those that showcase the museum’s architecture (sometimes referred to as “archi-tees”), as well as logo-driven tees that support the branding and promotion of the museum itself. These various design possibilities will clearly appeal to different buyers, yet one thing remains a constant…the quality of the t-shirt itself, as well as the quality of the print, must be very high in order to represent these world-renowned institutions.
I have consistently earned the trust of many museum buyers by providing them with highly personalized services, in addition to my understanding of the art world and my ability to communicate well with artists, art directors, and graphic designers.
Often times museums choose to work with brokers that provide their gift store with a wide array of products from coffee mugs to books (lots of books!), posters, and postcards in addition to printed tees. Most often those brokers will have a variety of vendors at their disposal which could potentially create quality issues. That being said it is important to consider that the one product out of this varied mix that will receive the most long-term exposure and attention will inevitably be a t-shirt. Therefore, as a museum store buyer, it is important to align yourself with a qualified direct source printer and an in-house professional account manager, who can walk you through the various printing options that will best satisfy any given project.
Throughout my 25-year involvement working with museums around the world, I have arrived at a more complete understanding as to how best to service your unique needs. Today I bring this knowledge and experience to bear when working on museum t-shirt projects. As your project manager, I am involved in the entire process of printing your tees, from the initial conversation to working with my staff on press checks as well as final print production to making certain that your project(s) are expertly printed, properly packaged, correctly labeled and shipped on time.
The relationship that you develop with me as your Screen Printing Specialist will guarantee that the quality of the work you demand will surpass your expectations of quality and service at no additional cost. Exhibit after exhibit. Event after event.