I have always been a big fan of branded swag as a way for companies to spread the word about their product. Many people don’t know this, but my very first enterprise was a t-shirt company I started in high school. Since then I have probably designed 100 shirts to promote my companies and clients of my companies.
I like to think I have a sense of humor, so most of the t-shirts have included some sort of novelty slogan or saying, usually on the front of the shirt. I thought I was a damn marketing genius, but times are changing. The explosion in social media has transformed the way marketing should be done, right down to the very clothes on our back.
A few months ago we had a party called IZEA Geek Out as part of Barcamp Orlando. We gave our employees and attendees IZEA t-shirts to wear at the party and posted signs all over the office asking people to tag their photos and upload them to flickr. We had some awesome pictures taken, but as I went through them I realized I was a complete jackass. The t-shirts were cool and the people loved them, but where was the branding? Were does it say IZEA? Nowhere.
Why? The IZEA logo on both these shirts is on the back. While it is true that we benefit when someone wears these shirts out in
public, people rarely see the back of these t-shirts in photos. This is a huge mistake in the world of social media marketing.
People are postings millions of photos every day to their blogs, flickr, facebook and photobucket. These pictures are branding opportunities for companies (and bloggers) that recognize them. Your logo should be bold, front and center for everyone to see. I learned my lesson after this event and vowed to always put the IZEA logo on the front of the shirt, where it belongs.
Fast forward to IZEAFest. I went back once again and looked through all the photos, many of them from well-known bloggers. One of those bloggers was John Chow. John Chow loves t-shirts and honored us by wearing one our ours during this event. He also wore another branded t-shirt, photos of both of these are below:
Photo Credit : BenSpark.com
Photo Credit : Zengrrl
I actually like the “I’m Blogging This” t-shirt from our friends over at Market Leverage. If it weren’t for this thing called social media marketing I would give it a thumbs up. The problem is that more people will see this shirt online than they will in real life, and there is no way for me to know that this is a Market Leverage t-shirt. Big mistake.
If social media and swag are part of your marketing strategy don’t be a donkey (like I was). Resist the urge to put something clever on the front of your shirt. That is prime real estate… get that logo out in front, make it clear and visible for every photo.
If you like this post please hook us up with a Digg!