Promotions, promotions, promotions!
Updated: Sep 28, 2018
The product was moving along, I had a Trademark and a Logo that were published (I was certain no one would challenge them) and the product was working through it’s third iteration. As I described earlier, there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” when it comes to bringing a product to market! I could not hurry the design process or the USPTO publication, so I decided to focus on promotional items!
We wanted T-shirts that would be attractive but were also going to be great marketing tools. After some thought, we decided to have the SeaClutch and the website on the front of the shirt on the left chest. The back of the shirt would have a large, full color picture of our logo as well as a slogan that Lisa came up with: “Your world, our touch, SeaClutch”. Here is the actual logo.
I thought it was going to look awesome! I went to the internet and researched promotional items and discovered that there were hundreds of companies that offered online printing services for a very low price. After reviewing several of them, I found one that I felt had the best prices and an online “build your t-shirt” application. I thought this would be easy and sat down to “build my t-shirt”.
It wasn’t easy. They charged by color! And since the beautiful SeaClutch logo had many colors, each shirt was going to be much too expensive to use as a promotional item. I now know why so many logo’s are just one color!
After thinking about it for a day or so, I decided to go to a friend of mine who owns a local graphic business. He specialized in marine work (changing names on boats, pictures for the transom, etc.), but I knew he also did other sign work and I was certain he would know something about t-shirts. When I discussed it with him, I was surprised to discover that he used to own a t-shirt company and he could certainly help me out! He explained to me how the process worked, what my options were and what he would recommend for colors. I was ecstatic! He told me to send him my artwork and he would work up something for me in a few days.
I sent him the artwork and within two days he had a great design. The per unit price was higher than I liked, but it was a unique design and I wasn't at this point able to buy in significant bulk. We emailed back and forth several times finalizing the design and determining the t-shirt types and colors. Within two weeks we had everything finalized and decided on an initial order of 144 shirts in a variety of colors, sizes and types. Two weeks later I went to his shop to pick the shirts up, and they looked fantastic! I was so excited that I asked him to design a koozie using the logo so we could order that too! He said he would have that in a few days.
Now that I had these shirts, I realized I needed to set up an online store! I also thought that setting up the store would help me determine the best way to market and sell the actual product.