It's T-Time!
“Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt.” 5/7/2020 | PromoJournal Staff, Product Feature

We’ve all heard the cheeky expression, “Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt.”  Not a cap. Not a fleece shirt. Not a hoodie. The T remains king of the promotional wearable vehicles.

Self-expression continues to be highly valued; what we wear and how we look is a useful tool in telling others what we want them to know about us before we even utter a greeting.

As we crawl out of the self-quarantine darkness before we can walk and then run again, you may eventually want to create a “welcome back” promotion. Unity will be a significant theme, as well as gratitude – and a certain social warmth despite the physical distance and mask barriers.

Messages and the optimisms underlying and surrounding them will be a powerful conversation opener between you and your clients looking to create an economically friendly and memorable promotion. The T is the perfect way to go.

A trip to the supermarket, to the gas station, to the drug store will show you how many T-shirts are being worn. Gyms may be closed, but people are getting their sunshine and exercise by running, or walking. And mostly they are wearing T-shirts.

A 2019 report from the Advertising Specialty Institute noted that Millennials own five promo T-shirts, 80% of consumers own promotional T-shirts, promo T-shirts are kept for more than a year (average 14 months), 63% of consumers keep their promo T-shirts for more than a year, while 57% keep them for two years or longer. An eye-popping stat: a promotional T-shirt will generate approximately 3,400 views in its lifetime of wear.

The comfort factor of the soft cotton that drapes us as we wear a T is also more important than ever, and this is also a viable sales point.

Trends in Ts

Popular design themes as per bonfire.com include: rainbows (optimism, inclusion), animal portraits (supporting rescues), mountains (achieving goals), retro fonts looks (fashion statement), florals (growth, nature, fresh starts), and inspirational phrases (eg, “It’s a Good Day for a Good Day”).

One significant trend that end users will demand and appreciate is eco-friendly sustainably made T shirts. According to Dominic Rosacci, CEO of Superior Ink Printing (Denver, CO), “It takes 500 gallons of water to make one conventional cotton shirt. Producing nearly 60,000 shirts a month equals 32 million gallons of water passing through one small production facility.”

Colorwise, trends for Spring and Summer 2020, according to Pantone, are Flame Scarlet (bright, energetic red), saffron (muted yellow gold), classic blue (think American flag), chive (earthy mature green), and coral pink (a toned down blush).

Sales Ideas

According to FreeLogoServices, there are several ways your clients can use T-shirts to increase their exposure in their communities as well as sales.

Target inactive customers that were once frequent. Promise a T-shirt and potential discount to motivate them to return.

If you are a member of business referral organizations or the chamber of commerce, perhaps you should consider providing a T-shirt to the members to encourage recommendations, and/or as a Thank you for successful recommendations.

And as there are hundreds of styles that can be personalized to a group – such as tanks for active men and women, hoodie Ts for Gen Z, etc. – this variety emphasizes the customized approach for your business and your message.

As life gets back to a new normal, T-shirts will make a great fit for refreshing, reinvigorated promotional campaigns.

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