Looking for an extra revenue stream?
Or just ready to dip your toes in the world of online entrepreneurship?
Either way, t-shirts are always a solid choice for a side hustle.
People always need shirts, and if you’ve got some cool, clever designs, it’s never been easier to start slinging shirts.
There are tons of platforms out there that will actually print the shirts for you, including Printful and Amazon Merch.
So you’ve got tons of options for having the products made.
And if you’re not a designer, don’t worry.
You can find talented graphic designers at shockingly affordable prices using platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
The only downside to a t-shirt hustle is that the low barrier to entry means the space is pretty crowded, and it can be challenging to find ways to stand out and get noticed.
You could be facing an uphill battle, but with some perseverance and business know-how, you can be successful.
So what differentiates the successful t-shirt lines from the ones that don’t make it?
In a recent blog post, ecommerce blog A Better Lemonade Stand outlines the key elements of a successful clothing brand: niche, design, quality, and brand.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Elements of A Successful Clothing Brand
Great clothing brands are great for a reason.
Usually they do one thing very well, and sometimes they do multiple things really well.
Before starting your own clothing line, there are four important factors to a successful brand that you’ll want to consider:
Let’s dive into each one of these elements a little more below:
Selecting a specific niche is important, and many times vital, for success in the clothing & apparel industry.
Blindly trying to target large groups of people will leave you with a brand that speaks to no one.
Focusing on a specific group of people has several major benefits:
- Easier to Market
- More Affordable
- Less Competition
- Greater Customer Loyalty
Generally, clothing with funny slogans, or hoodies for men are going to be too broad to attack since the markets for both are very developed.
Niching down will help you better target your market, allow you to reach them more easily and be able to create more value for them.
For example, instead of clothing with funny slogans, you might cater to a specific and passionate market like clothing with slogans for nurses or firefighters.
Or, instead of hoodies for men, you could focus on manufacturing ultra thick/warm hoodies for people in cold climates.
Your designs- whether they’re printed, embroidered, or the design of the actual garment itself- are critical.
Not only does it need to look great, but it also needs to look great specifically in the eyes of your target market.
Ultimately, you’ll lose if your clothing designs aren’t aesthetically pleasing and relatable to the buyer.
Your designs don’t necessarily need to be complex, in fact many of the best selling clothing brands are very simple, however, they do need to connect with your specific audience/niche.
You can fool someone once, but you can’t fool them twice.
A pattern that fades and cracks or comes apart at the seams after one wash won’t create raving fans that come back and repurchase.
Not all clothing is the same, there can be huge variances in the quality of clothing items.
The quality and composition of the materials you choose will affect how the clothing wears, how it washes, how it fades, shrinks and ultimately how long it lasts.
As we mentioned above, quality is paramount to your brand and its success, so it’s important to educate yourself and choose your materials carefully.
It will always be tempting to sacrifice on quality for higher profit margins but you need to consider how the quality will affect customer’s decisions to share your brand with others and repurchase in the long run.
Many clothing brands are built on a strong brand.
Beyond the clothes themselves, a strong brand encourages and reinforces your target market to purchase, represent, share and repurchase your clothing line.
Your brand extends way beyond the product itself and encompasses what the brand stands for and the lifestyle associated with it.
You can find more great advice for starting your own clothing line over at A Better Lemonade Stand.
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