As marketers, finding a way to get your brand in front of new customers without having to spend a lot of money is a critical goal. While the rise of digital marketing has greatly reduced costs, you can still find alternatives that are cost effective and that your customers will enjoy. You might not think starting your own product line will help boost sales much or put your name in front of new customers, however this is a great way to complement your core business and have fun doing so. Yes, producing it up front costs money, but once your customer purchases it you’re back in the black and they’re going to walk all over with your name on their chest.
Your goal should be for your products to be the ones customers look into the closet and grab first, time and time again. After all, it is free advertising once they put it on. The one question is how can you effectively sell your product line to get to this point?
We’ve put together 5 important steps to take if you want to start your own product line for your business and make it successful.
1) DESIGN SOMETHING DIFFERENT
The very first rule when debating whether to start your own product line is to make sure its specific to your brand. You should have a pretty good idea of what your competitors are doing, so focus on being different. Don’t stray too far from your identity though, because you want anyone viewing your products to immediately recognize your identity. Above all, the goal here is to think about your brand and how you can visually depict what you stand for in a simple to read AND print way. For example, if you’re looking for a great example of designing something unique then head over to Magic Hat Brewing’s store and look at their t-shirts. They’ve created products specific to their core beers which have become a hit!
2) DESIGN FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Once you have an idea for how you want to portray your brand in your product line you need to make sure this lines up with your customer’s interests and style. Above all, you want them to love your items first and foremost. Think long and hard about the type of customers you have. Do they wear clothing styles similar to what you have in mind?
You may have multiple customer profiles but try too focus on just 1 to start. There’s no point in designing multiple pieces of art if you’re unsure they all will sell. Getting them to buy in from the start will prevent you from holding inventory that costs you money. Most importantly, the goal is to get them into your customers hands as fast as possible!
3) CHOOSE THE RIGHT GARMENT
Details make all the difference. Everyone has those certain clothes in their closet that just feel a little extra soft or comfy compared to others. Selecting the right brand for your apparel will make sure customers don’t just look good wearing your apparel, but feel good too. Similarly, paying that little bit extra up front will pay off when your customers want to wear your apparel. This goes for merchandise too! Look around for brands before making a decision. Another recommendation? Go through your own closet for any items you’ve purchased from brands you follow. These garment types are great places to start if you want customers to wear your apparel.
The right garments also fall right in line with designing for your audience. Some customer types may prefer to wear a flannel and jeans. Others prefer a golf shirt and khakis. In other words, determine which route you’re going to go up front and then look for the best brand for your customers.
4) FIND UNIQUE WAYS TO SELL IT
We’re not strictly talking discounts here, but including this with other purchases, exclusive offerings, and more. For instance, maybe you package this together with a product around Christmas time. Or you could include with the purchase of a ticket to an event. In addition, combining your product line with other offerings will help to promote this during it’s beginning stages. If you’re concerned with the costs up front then marginally increase the cost of the “package” and be sure to state ALL the benefits when marketing it. Therefore, this way your customers will clearly see what they’re getting for their money. No matter your business there’s always a way to get people talking and get them wearing.
5) INCENTIVIZE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Our last step for effectively starting your own product line is to incentivize your customers. Don’t just stop giving your customers value when they purchase as a part of a package deal. For instance, incentivize them to continue wearing it! For instance, we’ve placed a few quick examples you can easily start yourself below.
1) Wear your shirt in to our store/location on [specific date] and receive 10% off your purchase!
2) Share a photo of you wearing your shirt on Instagram (or Facebook) and be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift card!
Think about a unique way to incentivize your customers to represent your brand consistently. In addition, take it another step further and think about how these loyal customers will help to promote you via advertising channels that potential new customers are using.