October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 O C T O B E R P R I N T W E A R || 51 I f your current thinking on branding is slapping a logo on the left chest of a sweatshirt and sending your customer off to the company picnic, you might not be as current in your thinking as you should be. It was business writer, thinker, and management consultant Peter Drucker who said, "If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old." These days, trying to sell embellished apparel the old way is a guaranteed disaster. The way customers think, the approaches we have at hand to reach them, and the way they ultimately buy are different from the way things were a decade ago. These days, engaging your customer, rather than selling to them, will be a key to the success of your business and theirs. Following are a handful of possibly new ways to consider your product, understand your customers' needs, and come up with ways to fulfill them. BRANDS WITH CONFIDENCE It takes a big brand to be able to poke fun at itself. Remember the old Absolut vod- ka ads? The image would always be the same shape, of the Absolut vodka bottle, but would become fascinating, whimsical, elegant, or comical when constructed of items other than glass. Your brain told you it was the Absolute bottle, but you were entertained by that month's interpretation of it. While most brands are usually loath to alter their logo in any way, every once in a while, just to make a point, the statement can be so bold and powerful that it is worth the suggestion. Another approach might be to suggest adding a slogan or verbiage that defines a special event, or combining a corpo- rate logo with a stock design that Altering logos for spe- cial events or chang- ing a brand's visual in a thoughtful way can have a major impact.

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