Promotional Apparel – Get Your Customers Wearing Your Brand!

Let us imagine that you are attending an event which is promoting a certain type of business and you suddenly read a large banner that says…”Free T-shirts!” What do you think would happen? It is natural that everyone will be drawn to this place to look into this possibility of getting a free t-shirt. This is the secret of Promotional Apparel.

Believe it or not, there are large numbers of people who simply visit these events only to collect clothing freebies. They will go to any extent to collect one, before it is all over. There are chances that this person may not be a potential customer, but without any doubt he/she is definitely going to wear this piece of clothing, eventually turning out to be a good promoter of your brand. Each time this clothing is worn and this person walks around public places, your brand, logo and company name will be on display and seen by potential customers. This is the success of achieving your objective of creating sales through promotional merchandising.

The most common type of Promotional Apparel are:

o Caps

o Hats

o Wrist bands

o T-shirts

o Shirts

o Jackets

o Sweat shirts

o Sports wear and so on…

Certain types of clothing can cost more than others. The more expensive items can be distributed amongst smaller and more affluent business people who can be your potential customers in the future.

Promotional gifts such as these need not be distributed only among potential buyers; they can also be given to existing customers as well as your own employees. This will help build a better workplace morale and give a boost to the existing relationships.

It is a well known fact that people like free promotional products, especially Promotional Apparel. Immaterial of what print or promotion it carries, people are happy to have them. Thus you, as an owner of a business company, should be able to make best use of this promotional opportunity, with a determination of making your marketing campaign a success.

Before you set foot into your marketing campaign, make a plan and have a clear goal of what you want your campaign to achieve. Decide whether your promotional product will belong to one of these categories:

o A gift

o Reward of Loyalty

o A Gesture of Goodwill

o A vehicle to communicate a message/slogan

o A walking billboard

o A source of information

Promotional Apparel can be used effectively in any one of the above categories.

In your plan also decide who will be your target group. Are they going to be potentially new customers, or are they existing customers? Are you planning to impress the recipient in such a way so that they will always have your brand first in mind when they plan to purchase next? Or is your item directed to your regular customer base? It is important that you give serious thought to these questions during the planning stage – as each situation will have a different strategy to follow.

Thereafter you also need to give some thought to the type of design you intend on printing – it could be a strong slogan type message, or a simple conversation starter or whether it is only to show your logo.

Once all these are given careful thought and you have come up with a good plan for your Promotional Apparel, you can be assured of a successful marketing campaign.

IT Usage in the Apparel Industry

The Indian Apparel and Textile industry is largely fragmented with the largest player having less than 2% of the market share. Apart from contributing the highest net export earnings (16 percent), it contributes about 14 percent to the total industrial production and 4 percent to the GDP. It is a labour-intensive industry that provides large-scale employment especially for women since it is non-hazardous, thus creating a level-playing field for them in terms of job opportunity. It is the second largest employment provider in India after agriculture. (Annual Report, 2005-2006, Ministry of Textiles).

For an industry of this stature and size, the usage of IT by the Indian apparel industry has been woefully inadequate. North American and European apparel companies spend about 3 to 5% of their revenues on IT. The Indian apparel industry in contrast, has typically invested less than 1%.

Historically there have been many reasons for this low usage.

1) Earlier most of the software suppliers in the Indian market have been North American or European companies for e.g., in the case of CAD, the earliest vendors in the Indian market were Gerber and Lectra. In 1995 CAD solutions were available for about USD 45000! Today the same solution is available at USD 15000.

2) Earlier vendors had proprietary solutions that were not compatible with other applications. Customers who bought a CAD system had to buy it from the same vendor the next time; this was used for ‘vendor lock-in’. Often this meant that the vendor had no incentive for quality support or for innovative research leading to reduced prices.

3) The small pool of professionals trained on IT applications of the apparel industry meant there were not enough people who could be recruited from the market in case someone changed jobs.

Fortunately for India, a lot has changed. Firstly, the Indian Software industry has come of age and India is widely regarded today as one among the hottest destinations for software engineering. Almost all software majors including IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have engineering and R&D centers in India today.

Secondly, the Indian Auto-ancillary industry is a close parallel. This industry has emerged as a leading sourcing destination for automobile majors. Despite the mounting steel prices and the fact that steel is a major component of the automobile cost; the vehicle costs have remained stable. Are you wondering how? Well, this has been made possible because of IT adoption by the Indian spare-part suppliers. IT has enabled the Indian auto-ancillary industry to streamline their processes and aggressively cut costs. For the Indian apparel industry to emerge as the favourite outsourcing destination for leading brands and retailers world-wide, it needs to emulate the IT strategy of the auto-ancillary industry.

Thirdly, Indian apparel companies have grown from family run to professionally organized set ups, giving more emphasis on implementing IT solutions to increase the productivity and also providing us considerable domain expertise.

Finally, institutions like NIFT, ATDC, ALT, Pearl academy etc played a pioneering role in training large number of professionals for the industry.

Many believe it is only a matter of time before an Indian company scales to become the largest software company globally catering to the apparel industry.

In this scenario, it is only logical that the Indian apparel industry is able to derive benefits of the acknowledged strengths of the Indian software industry.

Indeed it can be argued that, investment in software to create a nimble enterprise that responds to external and internal customers in real time to reduce throughput times, costs and improve quality is India’s defense against China’s huge factories that derive benefits from economies of scale. This is especially true as India is likely to continue to excel in high value added styles of smaller order quantities.

There are already a number of functionally rich, user friendly software applications available in India. For e.g., REACH CAD, REACH Fashion Studio, REACH Merchandising Manager, REACH Cut planner etc are offered by REACH Technologies and are being used by over 450 clients across the country.

We are already witnessing the emergence of companies like REACH that offer

OPEN solutions: Software applications that will ‘talk’ to applications from other vendors as well.

MODULAR solutions: Software solutions that are part of a larger suite enabling the customer to choose to deploy what is required as and when required.

EXTENDED PRODUCT SOLUTIONS: Products do not deliver value on their own. Trained professionals in conjunction with the product do. So the vendor who brings to the table the best delivery and commissioning capabilities will have an edge.

RENTALS: Customers will increasingly expect to have solutions ‘ON DEMAND’ that is they need the solution for a specific time period. They are unwilling to make a capital investment but willing to pay for using the solution on as ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ basis.

Indian apparel industry will increasingly partner with the Indian software industry in its quest to become a global player in the post-quota era.

Custom Rhinestone Apparel – A Thoughtful Gift

If you are tired of rushing out at the last minute and grabbing anything off of the shelves to give as a gift, you are in luck! You can get a gift that makes it clear that the recipient is truly special to you. Get a personalized, custom-made gift such as custom rhinestone apparel! This is a great gift idea for that special lady in your life. She will feel special and appreciated.

Women love to feel appreciated. A last-minute gift will not do. Women can usually tell when you have not put any thought into the gift that you present to them. If you want to truly dazzle her this holiday season, you can do it with a custom rhinestone shirt or a personalized rhinestone hoodie. She will know that you planned ahead and put some thought in to her gift. Custom rhinestone apparel is a thoughtful gift that is perfect for those ladies who love to sparkle!

You can customize a hoodie or shirt with just about anything. Does she own her own business? Show her you are proud of her and support her fully by purchasing a shirt complete with her logo in sparkling rhinestones.

If she has a child that plays sports, whether it is a daughter in softball or a son in football, you can purchase a custom-made hooded sweatshirt with the team name in rhinestones. She will think of you every time she reaches for her hoodie. The other mom’s will all want to know where she got such a nice sweatshirt. Who wouldn’t want to stay warm in sparkly style?

The possibilities are endless. If you have something special you would like to put on a garment in rhinestones, custom rhinestone apparel is the way to go. She will love the idea that you planned in advance to get her the perfect gift.