April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 6 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 9 querque' added inbound marketing traffic and direct response to our outbound pro- motions making a perfect storm that saw us doing more patch work very shortly after the post. Once we had more patches out to cus- tomers, our ability to do small-run patches in-house coupled with our commitment to stitch quality and word-of-mouth referrals eventually made us the choice for short-run, quick-turn patches for New Mexico's bur- geoning TV and movie production scene. Though the full flourishing takes time, it's the first post that starts your consistent habit of sharing your work, and it's the first step to building a reputation. Whether you employ the most low-tech methods or the latest app, nobody can see anything you don't share, and what you promote has the best chance to gain prominence. The first step in marketing will always be to show the work you want to sell in ways intelligible to the people who may benefit from it in the places where they are likely to see it. Think of the spaces in which you engage with current and potential customers. Are you showing them the work you want to sell? If that's patches, do you have sample emblems prominently displayed in your showroom? Are you consistently sharing and showing images of patches in your so- cial media marketing? Do you use patches in your employee apparel or your daily workwear? Have you included patches in recent marketing materials? Are they pres- ent on your webpage, or do you have a blog post featuring them and their uses? If you can't answer yes to a number of these ques- tions, how do you expect a customer to consider patches an option? "THERE'S NOTHING NEW ABOUT MAKING PATCHES. EVERYONE KNOWS WE CAN DO THAT." We can't assume that what we find self-ev- ident is either obvious or important to our customers. The best assumption is that they need guidance for every purchase. At the worst, we may over share, but at the best, Erich's Embellishments EMBROIDERY I knew when we first ventured into sublimation printing in-house that the technique wouldn't make sense to everyone. I wrote articles to explain the benefit of sublimation to the customer. Above left: In order to secure an order of traditional marked up garments, our company offered a solution to replacing and covering incorrectly colored embroidery from an existing shop. Above right: Although a somewhat lacklus- ter sample, the ability to make a few patches on short notice and present a finished product on time for film- ing made us the provider of patches like this to AMC's Better Call Saul and brought a higher margin than tradition- al pieces we created. Left: The 'patch as appliqué' method can be a valuable solution when saving a wrongly deco- rated but costly item like this relatively expensive weather-resistant blanket set.

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