Promoting a newer business can be hard. You'll likely struggle to get your name out there, let alone be considered as a top choice for the product or service you're offering.
On top of that, when you're starting out, you likely won't have a massive advertising or marketing budget. In short, promoting smarter (rather than harder) is essential, and one of the most cost-effective choices is custom apparel.
(Even if you don't have a business, don't stop reading just yet! Some of this advice applies to other organizations, too -- such as charities, sports teams, schools, and more!)
"Would my business benefit from having customized apparel?"
Somewhat longer answer?
The benefit depends on the type of organization you have. (And I'll discuss specific examples later on.)
Much longer answer?
The largest benefit might be for local businesses, particularly ones in industries that tend to have engaged customer-bases (meaning fans instead of just customers) or for companies with public-facing employees.
If you have employees wear custom sweatshirts or custom t-shirts when working at job sites (instead of at your company), anybody looking for a company that performs that service will likely pay attention.
Likewise, awareness can be built by the number of impressions. While somebody can see an advertisement or logo once and it might make a large enough impression to prompt an action (such as looking up the business or visiting/calling it), that's usually reserved for people specifically looking for a product or service. The average person is going to need to have an awareness built over time -- ie, seeing something related to your organization across multiple occasions.
While awareness is an important part of building a long-term brand, your focus may instead be on immediate results. Luckily, custom clothing can work for both. If somebody immediately needs what you're offering, that custom t-shirt or sweatshirt might serve as a call-to-action. However, if it's not something they need, you still might leave an impression that helps you in the future (even if it's just name recognition where a person recalls hearing about your company before, which can make you seem more trustworthy).
"But what are logo sweatshirts?"
They're sweatshirts... with a logo on them!
"Why put a logo on a custom sweatshirt?"
An organization's logo is an instantly-recognizable symbol associated with their brand. Think of the Nike Swoosh, McDonald's Golden Arches (a.k.a. the "M"), or Disney's Mickey Mouse ears -- all of these brands have iconic logos that most people know at a single glance. These logos reinforce their respective brands, keeping them in customers' (or fans') minds.
And, with other brands, it goes even deeper. Think of Gucci. Calvin Klein. Tommy Hilfiger. Popular fashion brands where fans pay for the privilege of being identified with that brand. Or think about any major sports team. Again, these are examples where fans care so much about an organization that they're willing to pay money to wear that brand's logo -- basically paying to be a walking advertisement.
While your company likely isn't anywhere as famous, you can tap into that same promotional tactic by having your own custom clothing.
"Okay, but why a customized sweatshirt?"
There are a few major advantages to a custom sweatshirt or hoodie.
First, it's outerwear -- meaning that it's the layer of clothing people will see in colder weather.
Second, sweatshirts tend to be longer-lasting than other kinds of apparel. The thicker fabric usually means they'll wear out more slowly and gracefully.
Third, custom sweatshirts and hoodies can be worn more frequently without seeming odd. Because they're an outer layer, they don't need to be cleaned as often.
Fourth, they have a higher prestige value -- yet are available at a reasonable price. For example, pictured above is our "Wow! What an amazing bargain!" best deals custom sweatshirt. This crewneck sweatshirt is unbelievably affordable -- in fact, the price is so cheap, you might wonder if there's a typo. (But no, that's the price! AND the BDC80 sweatshirt is available in 23 colors!) Considering it's not much more expensive than a higher-end custom t-shirt (and is cheaper than many of the really expensive custom tees), the BDC80 is a very budget-friendly choice -- and not even the only very-affordable custom sweatshirt we offer.
In short, there are a LOT of great reasons to go with custom sweatshirts... and it makes even more sense for some companies.
Which organizations (or industries) benefit the most from custom sweatshirts?
While most businesses benefit from custom apparel, some companies and organizations will see a much larger potential return depending on the industry. Here are just a few of those examples.
Contractors, handymen, repairmen, painters, and anybody working outdoors (ie, using sweatshirts as work uniforms)
Sooner or later, everybody needs a contractor. Even if you're naturally handy, you'll probably want to call in a plumber, electrician, or other specialist for certain tasks.
Although these blue-collar professionals are very much in-demand (especially now), building up a reputation can be difficult. However, one of the easiest ways to promote your business is to have employees wear custom sweatshirts and other company-branded apparel. Not only will this advertise your company at the job-site (while making your organization look a bit more professional), your logo will be on display at anyplace your workers might visit between jobs.
There's even a chance you might gain a potential customer's attention when you stop to get gas or even a cup of coffee. Think about the possibility -- a simple stop could wind up getting you a big job!
And if you don't have any employees yet, there's no reason you can't take advantage of custom sweatshirts. Instead of giving them to your workers, you can ask friends and family to wear them around.
Restaurants, bars, and various eateries (ie, branded sweatshirts)
Whether it's a place they love visiting on special occasions or a hangout several nights a week, most people have a favorite restaurant or bar. And although many patrons' appreciation is expressed just through repeat visits, you'll sometimes get super-fans who'd enjoy wearing something with the eatery's logo or name on it.
When you operate this kind of a business, you have a few choices where custom clothing is concerned. Some restaurants and bars sell custom merchandise, which offsets their cost so they're basically getting free advertising. Of course, if your business is really awesome -- or you have a cool logo -- that custom apparel might actually be a source of added revenue. Our friends at Blue Ridge Beer Garden (seen above), which you'll definitely want to check out if you're ever near Hendersonville, NC, sells tons of hoodies, etc, so it's an additional income stream for them.
Not a big enough name where you can just sell your apparel (yet)? You could try running giveaways or partner with radio or tv stations to hold events.
However, besides customers wearing your clothing, it's something you can give to employees, too. Custom t-shirts and polos can be used to identify workers. And, if you offer outdoor dining, your servers could use customized sweatshirts or jackets during those cold winter months.
Companies providing a luxury product or service (ie, promotional sweatshirts)
Whether it's a ski resort, country club, golf club, or a spa, some businesses are beloved for the services they offer. Even better, these companies are in a place where they can actually sell their custom apparel since many already have gift shops -- meaning your custom sweatshirts may even net you a profit.
Schools, camps, or anything involving kids (ie, youth sweatshirts)
Children can have a boundless enthusiasm. If you work with children (the literal kind, not just very immature coworkers and customers), they can be the most enthusiastic promoters of your organization.
While this can be a huge benefit for private schools, public schools might benefit, too, if the custom sweatshirts are sold as part of a fundraising drive.
Keep in mind if you're taking children on a trip, having them be identifiable is incredibly helpful for keeping track of everybody and ensuring nobody gets lost. Or different colors could be used as an easy way to sort grades or groups. On top of that, custom sweatshirts and other apparel are a great way to build a sense of community, instill a team spirit, and promote inclusivity.
Sports teams (ie, team sweatshirts)
You don't have to be a major franchise to have fans who want to show their support for your team. Whether minor league or even a youth league, fans love wearing clothing with their favorite team's logo on it.
And, thanks to the magic of customized apparel, your team doesn't have a massive name to feel like a big deal. Custom hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and even hats are available to teams of all sizes.
However, even beyond the fans, having additional clothing options for the athletes themselves -- and everybody else associated with the organization -- helps them promote the team even when away from the field. And while a personalized sweatshirt is great, team logo sweatshirts more than get the job done.
Fitness, health, and wellness industry (ie, athletic sweatshirts)
Whether teaching yoga, martial arts, or dance, odds that a lot of your business revolves around word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals... and there's also a chance your students are pretty passionate about their hobby. Custom apparel -- like sweatshirts and t-shirts -- are a great way for those students to show that appreciation in public and hopefully act as a conversation starter that can grow your business.
+Some examples of businesses that might benefit from logo t-shirts, logo sportswear, and logo sweatshirts include:
-Martial arts -- Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Muy Thai, Kickboxing, MMA (Mixed-Martial Arts)
-Dance instructors and studios -- Ballet, Ballroom Dancing, Competitive Dance, Hip-Hop, Tap Dancing
-Recreation centers -- YMCA, PAL (Police Athletic League)
-Mind-Body Exercises - Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong
The other great thing about using custom clothing to promote these kinds of businesses is that the apparel can also act as a retention tool, reminding your students (and clients) of your business and fostering a much stronger connection so there's more of a community feeling -- something people want to actively participate in.
Charities, fundraisers, and other non-profits (ie, volunteer work sweatshirts)
A major challenge for any charity is raising awareness for a cause. Custom sweatshirts and other clothing is great way to broadcast what a charity aims to do while showing visible support.
Just like with some businesses, charities could sell custom clothing as part of a fundraising effort. Beyond that, it's often an essential for volunteers -- especially if they're working outdoors during winter or have to travel (such as for an organization like meals on wheels).
Of course, the logo sweatshirts volunteers wear should be different than what's available to the public (if you have them go to the public at all) so your workers are easily identifiable.
5 things to consider when looking for logo sweatshirts
Picking the perfect sweatshirts for your design doesn't have to be hard. You can start by thinking about the following questions.
#1 - What's your custom clothing budget?
Custom sweatshirts cover a very wide price range, with entry-level options whose price is comparable to higher-end shirts all the way up to hoodies that are around the price of lower-end custom jackets.
A lot of this decision will likely come down to what you're planning on doing with your custom sweatshirts. If you're selling them to customers, you could pass along the expense by charging a bit more. Likewise, if you're giving them to workers, you might want a higher-quality logo hoodie or sweatshirt because it'll look nicer and last a bit longer. However, if the custom sweatshirts are being used for a giveaway or provided to workers likely to damage them, you may want the most affordable option.
And, when it comes to cheap custom sweatshirts -- or, more specifically, cheap custom crewneck sweatshirts -- it's hard to beat the previously-mentioned BDC80 (available in 23 colors). When you also consider the option for free shipping, it very well might be the cheapest, good-quality logo crewneck sweatshirt around.
#2 - Full-zip vs pullover hoodie
The question of whether you go with a pullover or a full-zip custom sweatshirt or hoodie may come down to budget. After all, a zipper makes a garment more expensive.
While a zipper might not always be a huge price jump, an increase of even $5 will add up -- such as an extra $60 when you order 12 custom hoodies or $480 on an order of 96.
What are the advantages? Pullovers are cheaper, provide an uninterrupted design space on the front of the sweatshirt, and will provide better insulation. However, they're less convenient to put on and take off.
Zip-ups, on the other hand, will have a zipper splitting the front of the custom hoodie in half, which limits what you can do with a design (such as sticking with just a left-chest logo). However, they're are a lot more convenient to wear (and there's no potential embarrassment in taking them off where the material pulls at your clothing underneath) and the sweatshirt can be worn unzipped (so as not to get too warm).
So, how much is a zipper worth? The answer can depend on who's wearing the hoodie. Although a zip-up is a premium, the recipient might be more likely to value and wear the customized garment. And, for some uses, a zipper might be expected.
By the way, if you're looking for a great full-zip hoodie, be sure to check out the Gildan Heavy Blend Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt (18600, available in 17 colors, it's a fantastic 50/50 cotton/polyester blend that you can get either screen-printed (great if you want a giant logo on the back) or embroidered (which is great with a left-chest logo)).
#3 - The material
Some sweatshirts are designed for warmth, others are designed for performance (such as offering moisture-wicking fabric).
Cotton, for example, is a warm fabric. By increasing the amount of cotton in a sweatshirt -- whether it's increasing the amount in a blend or the overall content -- the garment will be substantially warmer.
Besides cotton, the other extremely common fabric is polyester, which is a man-made material. Although not as warm, polyester offers moisture-wicking performance qualities, making it great for athletic wear (whether it's custom sportswear or exercise clothing).
Most custom sweatshirts will feature a mix of the two. One of the most common is a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend, but you'll also see 80/20 cotton/polyester blend sweatshirts (like Independent Trading Company's amazing Midweight Crewneck Sweatshirt (seen above, the SS3000 is available in 14 colors as a print or by special request as an embroidery).
#4 - Garment color
The colors you choose have a direct impact on whether your logo gets somebody's attention.
Different colors can leave wildly different impressions. Blue and green, for example, have a calming effect -- and are considered some of the big comfort colors. Meanwhile, reds, yellows, and oranges are thought to conjure more active emotions. And bright colors are inherently more eye-catching than dull ones.
Conversely, some color sweatshirts are more likely to be worn than others. Various heathers -- like athletic heather -- tend to be popular. Likewise, black sweatshirts (and other garments) tend to be more popular than white.
However, it's more than just picking a color you like, you'll want to choose a garment color that works with your design -- otherwise your design could be overwhelmed by the sweatshirt's color.
Depending on your design's colors, some options may be entirely off the table. In other cases, your logo's colors may strongly contrast the garment's color, ensuring that your design really pops.
As seen above, a white design on a black hoodie is a classic combination. The effect is absolutely eye-catching and I imagine most people would take notice of it right away.
The other benefit to going for a strong contrast is your message will often be easier to read, even when the font is smaller. And, of course, logos will likely stand out a lot more in the viewer's mind.
In some cases, you might decide you're better off picking a duller color hoodie so your design stands out more and can catch people's attention. However, if the colors in your design are darker, duller, or more subdued, you can achieve a stronger contrast if you pick a brighter color sweatshirt.
The custom t-shirt seen above features a black design on a pink shirt, so you have an attention-grabbing garment color along with a very strong contrast -- or, in other words, it's a memorable example of custom clothing.
#5 - The custom sweatshirt's extra features
Many sweatshirts and hoodies feature a kangaroo pocket, but what if you want a bit more?
While you likely won't have anything like an interior media pocket in a custom sweatshirt -- zippered or otherwise -- that isn't to say some sweatshirts and hoodies don't have extras.
The Cornerstone Heavyweight Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt with Thermal Lining (CS620, available in 4 colors (including the duck brown seen above)), for example, features an interior zippered pocket.
There are many neat premiums like that, although they aren't for everybody. However, if you want your sweatshirts to be valued -- whether you're selling them to fans or giving them to employees (or possibly even brand ambassadors like influencers) -- these could be a great decision.
When investigating the best value on customized apparel, you don't have to look further than Bolt Printing
Let me clue you into something -- Bolt Printing offers some of the best prices on custom apparel that you'll find on the internet, as well as incredible quality, top-notch service, and lightning-fast turnaround times (in fact, we offer next-day turnaround!).
Does it get better? You bet! Bolt Printing also offers free shipping! Although these orders aren't eligible for next-day turnaround (only paid-shipping has next-day turnaround), you can save a bundle by buying in advance and, even without next-day, Bolt is usually faster than those other guys. (Learn about our next-day turnaround.)
So whether you need custom sweatshirts, hoodies, beanies (yes, we have AMAZING beanies at AMAZING prices -- usually much, much lower than the big-name custom apparel companies), custom t-shirts, or anything else, Bolt Printing should be your first stop. And, with our quality, speed, and service, we'll probably be your last stop, too!
Customize your own sweatshirt or hoodie (or anything) today!
Our online design studio makes putting logos -- or any other artwork -- on custom sweatshirts easy. Just upload your artwork, place it where you like, add notes for our team (if needed), and... you're ready to go.
Don't have artwork? No problem! Bolt Printing has an extensive clip art gallery where you're sure to find something you like.
Bolt has it all -- convenient design studio, expert customer service to help you every step of the way, low prices, amazing quality, AND lightning-fast turnaround times.
So, I have just one question: What are you waiting for?