When it comes to marketing, one thing is certainly true – word is mouth is your greatest tool. Now, it’s all very well and good for me to sit here and tell you how many more t-shirts you’re going to sell when your customers start telling all of their friends about you. The truth is though, before word of mouth can really work for you, you need to have a big enough following for that verbal viral to take effect.
They key to being a centre point of conversation is to blow your customers away with your product. As soon as you sell your first t-shirt, you’re going to want that customer to be raving on about your brand to all their friends. So, let’s think of some little things that are going to make people want to shout your brands name from the rooftops:
Have unique designs - this means not copying what every other label is doing, and making sure your designs stand out as talking pieces. Try to follow the overall trends but make sure you are offering something a little different than what’s being mass produced. Having an overall theme for your label will definitely help keep your gear fresh and interesting.
Have a quality product - the type of blank you print on, and the quality of your printing are paramount here. If you want people to say good things about your brand, you need to make sure your t-shirts are the best quality they can possibly be. Your budget will play a big role here, but I always say it’s better to push back your release and save the extra dollars it’s going to take to have your tees look and feel their best.
Surprise your customers with wicked packaging - this means putting a bit of time and love into the way you send out your t-shirts. You don’t have to spend lots of dollars coming up with the most extravagant packaging, but please put some tenderness into it! If you show pride in the way you deliver your tee, people are going to take notice. (The simplest and cheapest way to do this I think is to include a hand written thank you note to your customer).
Throw in some extras - People love getting sh** for free. It’s just the way it is. Lay down some extra money and try including some goodies in your orders. A lot of labels have cottoned onto this and it’s pretty standard to find stickers or pins in packages these days, which is awesome. Let your creative juices run free and see if you can come up with something a little quirky and different for your brand.
Be interactive with your fans - Get out there and talk to your customers, cause if you can make them feel like they are your friends they’re going to be more willing to spread the word about your brand. Remember that people like to feel appreciated, so take the time out to thank them for their support and offer special treats to your most loyal followers (exclusive discounts are always a great way of doing this.) Thanks to social media you have an easy platform to reach your customers, so take advantage and start building gaining some loyal fans.
Be nice – Your customers are really the ones who are making your dreams come true, so it’s important to go out of your way to be nice to them. Customer service is just as important when you’re running a t-shirt label as it is in any business. It’s your job to make everything about buying from you as enjoyable and stressless as humanly possible. People do really appreciate awesome service.
And lastly, always over deliver - Basically, make sure you go out of your way to make the entire experience with your brand exceed all expectations. Everything from your website to your checkout system for your online store, the speed of your delivery, your packaging, your customer service, right down to the t-shirt itself should be 100% awesome.
Follow these simple tips, and people will be talking about your brand to everyone that will listen. That’s how you can really make the most of word of mouth marketing and start increasing your fan base and ultimately, your profits.”