How To Grow Your Brand With Very Few Marketing Dollars

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The next time you find yourself in a crowd of people, take a minute to look at their clothing and count all of the brands you see. Nike. Under Armor. GAP. Texas A&M. Harley Davidson. All printed on a good old-fashioned cotton t-shirt. And people paid for these. Yes, people paid Nike so they could wear a shirt and advertise for…Nike. The customer is happy in a new shirt, and Nike is happy with the profits and free advertising. Here’s why you should get in on the custom t-shirt action to market your brand or business:


A t-shirt can reach a remarkable amount of people in any given day, potentially receiving thousands of views over its lifetime. That is a lot of advertisement of your brand for very little cost and effort by you. The better the design and quality, the more likely the shirt will be worn often and last longer. To better emphasize my point, there’s currently an Iron Maiden 1988 tour t-shirt listed on eBay for $150. That’s some serious staying power for a garment that my grandpa once considered “underwear”. Sell the shirts, hand them out for free, pay people to wear them at an event, or give them to employees – just get them onto people so your name can be seen.


T-Shirts can also start conversations by being shocking, clever, and making people look twice. Recently I saw a high school kid wearing a green shirt that said “Ask me about my T-Rex”, so I did. He smiled, and flipped the front of his shirt up and over his head revealing a T-Rex face printed on the other side. How ridiculously stupid and awesome. His shirt had nothing more than a simple sentence, but I not only read it, but I did what it said. You may think, “I’m an electrician. Nobody is going to talk to someone wearing my t-shirts.” That’s not true. People who need a good electrician will talk to them. And that’s a lot of people.

When Beefy designed the Team Never Quit t-shirt for Marcus Luttrell it was incredible to watch it pop up all over social media and all over the airports we traveled in as well. The Team Never Quit message quickly made it across the country with a great t-shirt design.


And speaking of taking your message across the country, clothing travels as far as the person wearing it. A friend from Facebook recently visited Scotland and was touring a castle when he saw an unexpected but familiar logo. He posted a picture of himself and another man, each of them wearing a University of Arkansas rain parka. The caption read, “Came all the way to Scotland and found another Razorback.” And they were so proud of that connection that my friend posted the photo on Facebook, added a dozen hashtags, and now all 597 of his friends just saw two advertisements for the University of Arkansas. You may not want to pay to advertise globally, but with a cool shirt, you don’t have to.


When you walk into the Apple store, how do you know who to ask for help? It doesn’t take a genius to know– you look for the men and women wearing blue shirts. When employees are wearing your brand’s t-shirts, they look uniform, professional, and like they’re part of a team. It also makes them visible to customers. If you’re looking to use t-shirts for marketing, passing them out to the public gives off a vibe of professionalism; people feel like you must be taken seriously if you’re willing to put your name, phone number, and web address out there for all to see.


Apart from blue jeans, I can hardly think of any clothing item as universal and common as a t-shirt. You have an opportunity to take advantage of that fact, so take it. Get your name out into the public where people can see it. For those who put them into their regular clothing rotation, a one-time investment which costs only few bucks will turn into an incredible marketing tool.


Andrew Brockenbush

Andrew Brockenbush

CEO of Beefy Marketing & Host of the Business Growth Hacks Podcast

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