Merchandise for Dummies by Bijou
A large portion of Velvet Cartel’s business is merchandise. We supply bands, restaurants, music festivals, and car dealerships with their promotional products and uniforms. From digital printing, to screen printing to embroidery we can meet your merchandise needs. I frequently need to educate my clients on the merchandise production process, so I thought why not write a blog post with the basics. My Credentials:
I got my degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business at Texas State. After college I was hired by Southern Thread, a brand out of Denver, to help open two stores in Austin. I managed the relations between the brand and the bands that they sponsored. I also worked as head buyer for their third party women’s offerings. From those opportunities, I was able to gain so much experience in buying and sourcing process (conventions, seminars, trend watches). After that, I worked for a printing company in Austin and learned the tricks of the trade. Printing process, embroidery options, what blanks work best with which inks, pricing etc. And after that, I opened Golden Bones and was able to find vendors that normal printing companies do not have access to. And tah-dah! Now I’m here to help you!
Importance of Branded Products:
52% of people surveyed by Vista Print said their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product from them, and nearly 50% use those products daily. How did your last marketing tactic stack up against those numbers?
Increased brand recognition: A goal for any size businesses is often brand recognition. One of the biggest challenges any brand must face is to not only stand out from the competition, but also remain in the minds of customers, both current and potential. With print ads going the way of the dinosaurs and Facebook making it more and more costly to be seen, you must get creative with your marketing. Promotional products are a simple tool that can help turn your customer into a walking billboard and keep your brand on the top of their minds. BUT!!! With that being said it is important that you are careful with your selection process. You should carefully pick the items that can be used daily and are high quality so your customer will want to wear it frequently. For example don’t waste your money on a cheap, ill fitting tee that no one will ever wear.
Alternative business card: While business cards will always be an incredibly valuable business staple, promotional products are a fun, creative way to showcase your contact information. Instead of just leaving a potential customer with your business card, for example, consider leaving behind your business card AND another tangible, branded product. For instance, Velvet Cartel sends all of our clients a nice, branded note book and pen as a thank you. We also made lighters for Golden Bones since that is the most stolen and passed around item in the world.
Branded items = Beautiful Margins: We make sure to keep your costs low so if you do intend to sell your branded items you can bet that you will make from 20-30% mark up. For example a band needs to make sure that the cost of the blank and the printing stays below $7 a tee so they can make money when they sell it for $25 -$30. I suggest having a small variety in your offering that changes frequently so your repeat customers have new options to buy. Also, finding fitted blanks that are just for ladies has been proven to boost sales. Women buy more frequently and tend to buy something for their partner or child when buying something for themselves. Only having unisex tees is a mistake. That’s why we make sure to offer you trendy and fashion-forward women’s blank options.
-Screen printing takes 7-10 days to produce once art is finalized
- The quantity of pieces affects your printing price. The sweet spot is normally above 72 pieces and above (144 – 244 …)
- As long as you are printing the same art you can print a variety of blanks that add up to 72 or 144
- The more colors in your art the higher the cost of per piece
- With plasitsol style printing, if you are printing a lighter color art on a darker color blank you will need an underbase which is considered a color.
- We also offer discharge printing which is a chemical process that takes the color out of the cotton and replaces it with the ink color (which makes for a soft hand)
- You can have as many colors in your art as you want, this does not affect the price. Only the quantity of pieces does.
- We offer flat and puff embroidery
- We have over a 1000 thread colors including metallic
- Car wraps
- Guitar wraps