Marketers have no shortage of promotional products from which to choose when they want to increase brand awareness. The possibilities number in the tens of thousands. While it’s good to have options, the more there are, the more challenging it is to pinpoint the item that will make the biggest impact.
Every situation is unique, and what yields the best ROI for one company may not work as well for another. But in our 20+ years of experience providing marketing support for a variety of businesses, there are a few that we’ve identified as generally performing well. If you’re struggling to decide, you usually can’t go wrong with branded garments.
This article details our thoughts on why branded garments are a smart marketing investment for companies. We’ll also share tips and advice to help you get the most out of your next branded garment order.
Branded Garments Get Heavy Use
Promotional products are definitely not created equal. The hits will be used for weeks or maybe even years. The duds will quickly be forgotten or discarded.
Think about any tradeshows you’ve been to. Promotional products are everywhere! Which items were you happy to snag and use? Which items did you take but never really use? And finally, which items did you pass over? We’re going to assume you and your colleagues were more likely to take home and wear a T-shirt or hat than grab dime-a-dozen items like keychains or cheap pens.
Even if a company’s logoed garment doesn’t become someone’s favorite, odds are it will still get worn plenty. Evenings, weekends, at the store, out for a walk. There will be ample opportunities for your brand to make the rounds via garments to garner exposure for your company.
Apparel Provides a Uniform, Professional Look
One of the ways a company can reinforce its team dynamic is to provide employees with branded apparel. Whether it’s dress shirts, polos, pullovers or something more casual, outfitting your employees with logoed gear will create a uniform look throughout the workplace.
When all employees are wearing company colors and the company logo, even if the garments aren’t identical, it reinforces your company’s brand and culture of professionalism. This won’t go unnoticed by employees or the customers who interact with them.
Another bonus of providing company-branded apparel is that it saves employees money and preparation time. When you have a uniform look and a selection of established garments that can be worn to work, employees won’t need to buy their own clothing for work or spend a lot of time contemplating what they should wear.
It’s Popular for Promotions & Giveaways
We don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that everyone loves a good garment giveaway. If you were offered a free T-shirt or hat, would you turn it down? Even if it’s not something you really need, our hunch is you’d accept and put it to use.
Giving away branded garments helps expand the reach of your brand and generate interest. If someone sees your logo and recognizes it, it will get them thinking about your company and the products and services you offer. If they don’t recognize it, they may ask the person wearing the garment about the company featured. You never know, these scenarios may be the spark that eventually leads to a new lead and maybe even a sale.
Here are some examples of ways logoed garments can be incorporated into promotions and giveaways:
- Tradeshow giveaways – You could offer a different garment type based on whether someone is a customer or a lead and how hot of a lead they are. We cover this concept in our article Top 47 Tradeshow Giveaways.
- Prizes – Higher-end logoed apparel such as jackets make enticing prizes. You could give them away as part of a contest or drawing. This could be a great way to gather lead information.
- Loyalty rewards – You could send customers certain branded garments as an extra “thank you” when they reach various purchase thresholds.
- Sales promotions – There are all sorts of promotions you could come up with that include branded garment giveaways. “Free hoodie to the first 100 customers this month” or “Get a free hat when you spend $100 or more” are just a couple examples.
- Holiday/birthday gifts – When holidays and birthdays arrive, you can show your customers and employees you care by gifting them a branded garment.
You Have a Variety of Options
When branded garments are your promotional product of choice, your imagination can run wild! Between garment type, brand/style, material, color, design, and decorating method, the possibilities are endless.
Consider this sampling of options:
- Garment Types
- Short-sleeved T-shirts
- Long-sleeved T-shirts
- Dress Shirts
- Hooded Sweatshirts
- Garment Materials
- Eco-friendly (100% recycled cotton, for example)
- Decorating Methods
- Heat Transfer
Branded Garments are Budget-Friendly
In the grand scheme of business operation and marketing investment, branded garments are fairly budget-friendly. Considering that you are likely to buy in bulk whether you’re purchasing for employees, leads/customers or both, your cost per garment will be reasonable.
From a marketing perspective, it’s a low-risk proposition with the potential for high rewards. The brand awareness and recognition generated by garments could be substantial. And if it isn’t, well, at least it wasn’t an enormous expense, and people will be thankful for the free gear. Using company apparel for marketing also is a simple proposition. You purchase, you distribute and you hope your brand awareness and sales grow. There’s no burden of having to put together a complex strategy or make constant optimizations. It’s just simple, effective marketing.
Tips to Get the Most from Your Branded Garment Order
Like any good buyer, you’ll want to be well-informed before you place an order for branded garments. Don’t buy on impulse. Planning and research will help you get the best return on your investment.
Our experts would like to offer these tips for getting the most from your order:
- Order in bulk to get a lower unit price
- If you anticipate garment needs throughout the year, try to plan ahead so you can place one or two large orders instead of several small orders
- Utilize the same garments for both employee and customer use, if possible
- To reduce decorating costs, keep it simple
- Minimize the number of imprint colors
- Minimize the number of imprint locations
- Take advantage of sales
- Suppliers occasionally offer reduced-price garments
- Digitize embroidered garments ahead of time to speed up production
- Digitizing takes 4-5 days off the turn time
- Make sure your garments and decorating methods pair well
- For example, cotton/polycotton is best for screen printing. On a fabric like polyester, the dye doesn’t absorb well and can “migrate”
- Be flexible when possible
- You may be able to save money and get your garments faster if you are flexible with your selections and are open to alternatives
- Work with an experienced decorating company
- Production experts will use their insight to help you save money, get your garments faster, get a higher-quality product, etc. when possible
* Note: At the time of writing, supply chain issues have greatly impacted garment suppliers. Prices and turn times have deviated greatly from pre-pandemic expectations. If and when things return to “normal” remains to be seen.
Want to View Your Options?
Now that you’ve increased your knowledge of branded garments and how to get the most bang for your buck, you can proceed with your next order with confidence. Have additional questions or want to learn more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us. You can also view our online wearables catalog to see the vast amounts of garments we can provide for you.