I Want to Create My Own Clothing Brand
Rep’ Your Values With Unique Styles
What makes you more than just a t-shirt?
A brand is nothing without a good story to back it. More and more customers are looking for meaningful businesses to purchase from that they can make a personal connection to. Consider how you can intertwine a cause or purpose into your brand that aligns with your customer base. Additionally, customers are looking for authentic brands to buy from that are original and unique. Ask yourself these questions: What is special about my brand? What will motivate customers to purchase from me?
Who is your target audience?
You have to know who you’re selling to in order to market correctly and reach your largest target audience. So you need to think of who your brand appeals to. What are their likes and dislikes? What do they stand for? Are they from a certain region, age group, or profession? Combine all this information so that you can better craft your look and message.
What do you want to accomplish?
A good business sets short term and long term goals. What is something you want to accomplish this month? What about next year? Some brands put a portion of sales toward a cause or charity. Maybe you’re looking to raise a certain amount of money. Other goals could be to sell a certain amount of items, gain a certain amount of followers on social media, or simply commit to marketing your brand several times a week.
What type of items will you offer?
When you think of a brand you probably think t-shirt, and you can absolutely build your brand solely on garments. Don’t forget tank tops, shorts, jackets and dresses all have possibilities too! Maybe you’re not into the garment market and are focusing on caps, bags, or shoes. There’s really no end to the possibilities. However, you will have to consider where you’ll be getting the blank items from, their fabric content, and where there’s available printing space.
What colors and styles represent your brand?
A brand is recognizable without explanation. Having cohesive designs, products, and marketing help reinforce your brand. Select a few designs, logos, and typefaces that match your brand style and appeal to your target audience. Maybe you have a business mind but lack the artistic hand. That’s ok! There are plenty of graphic designers you can hire to create your logo. Be sure to license your designs so your brand can stay an original in case anyone tries to copy you.
What should I invest in?
The first thing you’ll need is a digital cutter. Cutters range in size from large format to small desktop cutters. Your choice on the matter is personal preference. If you plan on selling large volumes of your product, you will be better off spending a little more on a heat press and quality HTV in the long run. A heat press makes for quick production times and longer lasting transfers. In addition to a cutter, heat press, and HTV you will need these tools: Siser Weeder or exacto knife, heat transfer cover sheet or parchment paper, and extra blades or cutter accessories. Depending on what your pressing you may also need a heat transfer pillow. See how heat transfer pillows can be of use to you.
How will you make a profit?
Calculate your costs for equipment, blank items, tools and accessories. This will help you determine your prices. If you’re designing, cutting, weeding, and applying the transfers by yourself be sure to factor in your time for the cost per item. Some small business owners set an hourly rate for themselves to ensure their time is valued. Don’t forget if you’re doing online sales you’ll need shipping materials. Those don’t come free, so include them in your budget as well.
Where will you sell and how will people know about it?
The biggest, cheapest way to get your name out there is through the internet. Social media like Facebook and Instagram can build a brand alone, but if you really want to make an impact you need to cross market through several channels. Be sure to follow and post brand specific things only so that your personal brand doesn’t get muddled with your personal likes. Additionally, a website where customers can interact with and learn more about your brand can help them feel connected to you and encourage their purchases. Whatever marketing avenue(s) you choose make sure to keep it consistent and on brand, so your followers can recognize you.
How will they receive your product?
Ultimately, you need to connect with your customer and make a lasting impression. Packaging is your last chance to do so. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the packaging! Anything that sticks out to your customer will help them remember your brand, and we all love a personal touch. Since you won’t be there to personally thank them for their purchase as they open it, make sure your packaging gets the message across. If they can see the care and time you put into the packaging they might just show it off to their friends or followers!
Who else is doing what you do?
While your brand may be special there’s probably a few other brands out there that specialize in the same thing you do. It doesn’t hurt to investigate those businesses and take note of what they’re doing that seems to be working or not working. Of course you don’t want to directly copy from any of these businesses because brand authenticity is key to success. Instead, look for ways you can make your brand more distinct. HTV gives you the power of personalization, so don’t forget to heat print branded tags inside your items or offer to customize items for an additional fee.