Everyone Loves a Free T-Shirt, Right?
Have you ever turned down anything that was free? Probably not, but better yet, why would you?
When something is free no time or money is put forth from the receiver, thus, the feeling they get when acquiring something that is free, like a T-shirt, is just that much better than the satisfaction they would of received if say they themselves spent $15 on a brand new shirt.
Now to better simplify and explain this concept, put yourself in this situation:
You are at Panera, out to lunch with a friend, when all of a sudden one of the workers comes to your table offering you a free sample of one of their new pastries the only thing better than free? Free food.
Now either one of two things can happen.
- You take the pastry, try it, and love it. Now every time you head into Panera you pick up that pastry. You now have a new favorite treat and Panera has gained a regular sale on a product. It’s a win win.
- You take the pastry, and don’t care for it.
You didn’t like it, oh well. You had no expectations so when you realize it something you don’t like, its no big deal. Most importantly, you spent no money it.
The point of all this is to establish that free is effective.
People love free stuff, they may not have any use for it, but when it’s free they will take it.
When it comes to businesses, many like to participate in free giveaways for their current or potential consumers, and the most popular items to give away are usually t-shirts.
Promotional t-shirt printing is big business nowadays, accounting for 30% of total promotional product sales. Almost everyone has at least one piece of promotional printed clothing in their wardrobe. Whether people end up wearing them to bed, out to run errands, or to the gym, they are essentially a personal advertiser for the brand or product that is displayed on the T-shirt.
Sujan Patel, founder of Single Grain- one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies, was able to generate over $500K in revenue just by giving away promotional T-shirts. One simple tactic that Patel implemented was giving some of his companies promotional shirts away to friends, who wore the shirts to their jobs. Some of who had positions at companies like Apple, Google, Wells Fargo, and HP. Sooner or later someone would as them what Single Grain was, creating brand awareness, which led to about 30% contribution to Patel’s 500K returns.
Now obviously free shirts may not have the greatest ability to reach a wide audience such as a billboard may, but nonetheless, it does help to establish a closer bond between a company and their customer.
Major events are the perfect places to target specific demographics. For instance, if you happen to own a business that specializes in pet grooming, it would be really beneficial to hand out free embroidered shirts at a local dog show. It is the simplest and cheapest way to scope out potential customers and get them thinking about your business.
So look at it this way:
1 person is given a promotional T-shirt.
That 1 person exposes that T-shirt to 100 people.
If you give out 100 promotional t-shirts and each one of those shirts were again exposed 100 times by its recipients, you will have gained thousands of impressions with just 100 items!
More impressions equal more business.
L.J Market Research even conducted a study and found that 52% of participants given a promotional item eventually did business with that company. The other 48% said that they would be more like to do business with that company in the future because of the gesture.
Keep in mind since humans are creatures of habit, it is harder to convert someone into a new client rather than keeping a current one. Offering something like a free T-shirt is a means of opening lines of communication. They are also more efficient because unlike a pen, T-shirts have the ability to be exposed to hundreds of people each time it’s worn. Even though people may not know what your brand is, getting your name out in the world creates familiarity and makes more people likely to give your business a try and, ideally, turn into long time customers.