The 4P’s of Tees! (Part 1: Packaging)

For those of you that may have followed Iamthetrend TV live while that show was still alive and kicking, you may remember us grading and breaking down t-shirts into our 4P’s. Since we haven’t done the show in quite sometime I thought it would be great to sit down and write about the 4P’s and how you can use them as a customer and as a clothing company! I am going to break each P down into individual articles in which I am going to touch a bit on each category from both a clothing companies view and a customers view!

So what are the the 4P’s?
Quite simply the 4P’s stand for: Packaging, Printing, Price, Presentation. It is really quite amazing that you can tell so much from looking at these four categories and seeing how your t-shirts stack up. So let’s break each P down!


Packaging is interesting twist on tees that you really only encounter when buying t-shirts online. Simply packaging represents the container or envelope your t-shirts arrive in and I have also expanded it to include special goodies that the clothing company may have included.

So why is packaging important?
Packaging is not only functional as a shipping device but also can add value and brand identity to the contents in the package and your company. Packaging will be the first thing that a customer is going to encounter when their t-shirt arrives, and thus it is your first chance as a clothing company to make an impression on your customer.

I have seen a ton of really great packaging ideas from custom printed boxes shaped like pizza boxes and doughnut boxes to custom printed poly-mailer envelopes that display the companies logo. Some other creative things that I have seen done with packaging include sending t-shirts in VHS cases, tees that come in cylinders or poster tubes and others that are shipped in spray-painted envelopes. A couple months back I actually put together a YouTube video highlighting some of the coolest packaging that I have come across while running IAMTHETREND.

Now some people argue that custom mailers are a waste of time and money, but I must disagree. A great package really sets the tone for a great brand, and really gives the customer something to talk, tweet, share about. If you go out of your way to create something extra and worthwhile chances are that someone that buys that tee is going to want to come back and buy more and also share that experience with their friends.

Do I think everyone should use custom packaging? Absolutely not! Custom packaging can get very expensive and the last thing you want to do is charge your customer extra just so they can have a nice box. This is really a tough process to balance. If you are a company that is looking at using custom packaging make sure that you can do it without adding an extra cost to the customer. There are some relatively cheap alternatives to making your own custom packaging or adding extras to your package. Some of the best that I have seen is 1 Color Poly-Mailer envelopes. These are relatively cheap to make, at around $1 a piece and do a great job adding a little extra flair to your package. Also look at adding extra goodies inside your package such as stickers, postcards, playing cards, small toys, balloons, candy, buttons and anything else that is cheap and small. These little extras really go along way! And while your at it, a small handwritten thank you note or handwritten thank you on the order form really goes a long way!

In closing remember Packaging is your first chance to wow your customer and also establish brand image. From a customer’s standpoint I absolutely love it when a tee shows up in a great mailer, chalk full of goodies when I’m not expecting it! To me it’s just more bang for my buck and really creates a positive image and vibe for that company and makes me want to share it with my friends.

From a Clothing Company standpoint remember your package is an extension of your brand, but if you cant afford to do custom boxes/envelopes do something else creative! Handwritten notes, or including extra goodies in the package are cheap and sometimes free ways to leave a lasting impression on your customer. Remember the goal is to not only have your customer enjoy their t-shirt, but you also want to turn them into a repeat customer and also have them spread the word to their friends and family about your brand!

Part 2: Printing Coming Soon!

*If anyone needs a custom price on getting mailers made or printed please feel free to email me at: [email protected]*