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Top 10 Markets for Wearables

Filed under: Education, Wearables

Wearables Sales ForecastAccording to the recently released Wearables Sales Forecast, imprinted apparel is predicted to generate $6.7 billion in revenue in 2014. (That was billion with a ‘b’ just in case you were reading quickly.)

Representing roughly one-third of all sales for the ad specialty industry, I’d say promotional apparel is a pretty big hitter. And it’s only getting bigger.

Looking to score more wearables sales? Don’t miss the features “9 Things You Need to Know” and “Revenue Rev-Up,” and in the meantime here are the Top 10 markets for Wearables:

  1. Education/Schools
  2. Associations/Clubs
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Nonprofits
  5. Health Care
  6. Retail
  7. Restaurants/Travel/Lodging
  8. Other
  9. Technology
  10. Financial

15 Most Popular Promotional T-Shirts – The Countdown

Filed under: Wearables

Top 15 Promotional T-ShirtsStarting Monday, April 9, the editors at Wearables magazine will begin counting down the top-15 all-time promotional T-shirts. Coinciding with their 15th-anniversary issue, they’ll reveal one T-shirt a day for 15 business days, ending with the top T-shirt on Friday, April 27 at noon.

Keep track of the entire Top-15 promotional T-shirt countdown here, and as an added incentive, we’ve posted a T-shirt contest where you can win a $50 Visa Gift Card:

Come take part in our T-shirt countdown! Participating is easy. Just send us a picture (or post it on Facebook) of you with a classic decorated T-shirt. It can be one from our list or something else from back in the day. You’ll be entered into a random drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card. Finally, that Wham! 1985 World Tour shirt won’t go to waste.

The entire schedule is as follows:

  • No. 15: Monday, April 9, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 14: Tuesday, April 10, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 13: Wednesday, April 11, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 12: Thursday, April 12, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 11: Friday, April 13, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 10: Monday, April 16, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 9: Tuesday, April 17, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 8: Wednesday, April 18, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 7: Thursday, April 19, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 6: Friday, April 20, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 5: Monday, April 23, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 4: Tuesday, April 24, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 3: Wednesday, April 25, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 2: Thursday, April 26, 12:00 noon EST
  • No. 1: Friday, April 27, 12:00 noon EST

Tip of the Day – 5 Ways to Sell T-Shirts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

5 tips to sell t-shirtsIf I thought good and long about it, I’d really have trouble determining which T-shirt of mine was my all-time favorite. See, there are just so many and are so unique — the simple, comfy pennlive.com logoed one I wear to the gym; the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Champions one I show off from 1994; or the stylish Les Paul Gibson guitar one I wear with a corduroy blazer — it’s just so hard to decide!

What they all have in common, however, is that they just so happen to be one one of the most popular forms of promotional products, second only to the pen, according to the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study.

T-shirts have mass appeal, and their popularity continues to grow. A recent article by Wearables magazine titled “The Ever-Growing World of T-Shirts” (by Marc Held, sales director at supplier Bodek and Rhodes) discusses just how flexible and adaptable the popular apparel has become, and provides some valuable advice on how to juice up your sales with them. Check this article out now, and in the meantime here are five ideas to sell them. Enjoy!

  1. First, think ringspun cotton. Soft is in, and it will give the T-shirt a very soft feel. One of my favorites (which is usually ringspun) is the pigment-dyed tee. It’s made to look like it has been washed many times and has a faded look. I always ask people, “How many navy T-shirts do you have?” This is something different that will stand out, and it’s a great idea for events, parties, corporate wear and resorts.
  2. It’s an election year. Why not suggest American-made T-shirts? In Presidential Election years, made in America sells four times more than in the average year. Think police and fire departments, education, political clients, unions and construction workers.
  3. How about fashion? Yes, fashion is here, and lines such as Next Level, Bella and L.A. T offer great alternatives to the basic T-shirt styles. Put one of these styles on top of the order, and your customer will wear it or give it to someone who will. I suggest burnouts or tri-blends.
  4. Don’t forget about organic. We will be talking about the environment forever. When the recession hit, organic did not go away; it just hibernated for a little bit.
  5. Finally, the performance T-shirt. Polyester is a favorite among many of your customers. Polyester does not shrink or fade, and it often wicks moisture, so it keeps you dry. Plus, over the past few years, the basic poly tee has dropped in price, and most decorators can easily print on poly.

Tip of the Day – Self-Promote With T-Shirts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

T-shirtTrying to come up with a fresh way to promote your business? Consider the branded T-shirt market, where novelty always sells. “The true definition of ‘novelty’ is something fresh, new and innovative,” says Michelle Swayze, marketing director for In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494). “Some may place the old-school mentality of novelty items being fad items that quickly pass away, but that’s just not true. A novelty item can stay fresh, new and innovative for some time.”

Novelty shirts are a great way to show clients who may have stopped spending that you’re still current, fun and capable of appealing to youthful clients who are driving much of the market today. “Customized T-shirts are a great way to get the foot in the door with your clients,” says Bayo Simmons, CEO of All Fashion Services (asi/37166).

Consider a self-promotion using novelty T-shirts with an innovative design that integrates your logo and brand colors. Novelty tees are big in summer, and with Labor Day and endless company picnics, outings and events, this is a great time to remind your clients about the quality and creativity of your products. It’s also just in time for back-to-school, and novelty tees are especially popular with the school-age crowd.

From WearableStyle, vol. 123

Tip of the Day – Will T-shirts Ever Die?

Filed under: Tip of the Day

T-shirts continue to dominate the wearables marketplace. So we pitched a very simple question to the various distributors, decorators and suppliers we talked to: Can you imagine a time when T-shirts won’t be on top? The answer was a unanimous no. Here are some of the responses we received:

Hans Kinder, Visage Screen Print (asi/743250): “As long as you can buy a blank T-shirt for two bucks and print it for 29 cents, why would it drop? I mean, you can’t even get a gallon of gas for $2.50 these days.”

Adam Wright, Pulse Marketing and Apparel: “The trends will change, the way that T-shirts are cut may change, the fabric may change, the printing will change, the colors will definitely change. But I don’t see America going away from the T-shirt anytime soon.”

Cole Lohman, Target Graphics (asi/90549): “Everyone understands T-shirts. It’s a classic promotional item. And to the extent that America is becoming more and more casual, I could see T-shirt popularity and use actually increasing.”

Mark Smalley, American Apparel (asi/35297): “You can say so much with a T-shirt and a screen-printed logo. And you can still do it for an inexpensive price.”

From Wearables magazine.

Sales Dish of the Day: Upsell a T-shirt

Filed under: Sales Dish of the Day

Danny Tsai, vice president of marketing for Tri-Mountain/Mountain Gear (asi/92125), says the key to upselling T-shirts is to convince clients that plain, basic cotton tees are now widely considered “cheap giveaways” that customers are more likely to dry their car with than wear in public. “We all love basic tees, but sometimes, depending on the setting, whether it’s a corporate retreat or a golf tournament, you need something a bit dressier,” Tsai says. “That’s where performance styles come in, because they’re casual and yet perfectly appropriate and presentable for any event involving activity or the outdoors.”

Steve Garst, owner of Proforma Promotion Consultants (asi/300094), says distributors must concentrate on the fact that retail fashion tees are popular with the targeted under-30 demographic. “The 17- to 25-year-olds really like the alternative styles,” he says. “I just think they’re more familiar with the brands, and fashion tees are fit more for their body style.”

Comfort is another key to selling the more upscale T-shirts. “The finer-gauge fabrics are selling for us, along with the softer tees,” Garst says.

Selling clients on the importance of going green is a winning strategy, too, as bamboo or organic cotton fashion tees are a hit with the younger crowd. “Everyone’s green conscious, and there are a lot of good trends there, too,” Garst says. – Shane Dale

— From Counselor’s 2009 State of the Industry


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