April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 31 of 68

2 0 1 9 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 2 9 and hard goods categories. We also have the ability to offer the widest variety of finishes on any particular item. But what does all that variety mean to the person that we are selling to? I would suggest that we are competing for a number of things. Unlike Netflix, I don't think we can have the laser focus of compet- ing only for screen time. And the answer is different for a few different customer types. For those of us with a clothing line, we are competing for closet share. How much of the closet do we own in any given household? What about our brand makes people want to wear it? Dial in the details of what your brand stands for and how your decorating technique can add to that brand story. If we are in more traditional markets where heat printing is used to decorate uniforms and spiritwear, what are we competing for? We are competing for the identity and pride that comes with belonging to a team. Knowing that should influence the approach that we take to heat transfer design, heat transfer placement, and product groupings. For instance, if your offering or pitch can show that by choosing your business for uniforms and team identity products, then you get a leg up on the competition, which is just focused on selling some shirts or decorated items. Maybe your heat decorating business is focused on printing at events. This limits your po- Opposite: Heat printing is diverse, but it's also a highly competitive market. (All images courte- sy Stahls') Above: Producers with a clothing line compete for closet share and are stacked against both wholesale competitors and retailers.

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