…..Lessons learned from years in the business
Every year, promo caps are our best selling item. But, from experience, we know that 80% of the caps we sell are worn for a day (if you’re lucky), and then put in the bottom of the cupboard and never seen again. Follow these steps to ensure ongoing brand-building value from your promotional caps. Don’t forget: you can also ask our team of ‘Product & Branding Specialists’ to guide you through this process.
1. Buy Quality
For less than a dollar, you can upgrade from a flimsy unstructured cotton cap to a heavy brush cotton or truckers cap.
Custom caps are great promotional items because they are usable and practical. This only holds true when they are, in fact, usable and practical – the quality and construction of the caps have to match the intended use.
If the caps are of poor quality, it renders them almost useless.
It’s worth it to upgrade
For just a little more, it’s easy to step up the calibre of your promotional caps and get a real return on investment. If branding is your aim, you’ll want customers to associate your brand with value.
While all promotional items should be well-made, you’ll have a bit more leeway with a non-usable item – flyers, business cards, etc. – than those that are designed to provide real-world convenience.
- Here are some of the things to keep in mind regarding branded caps:
Hats are tied to fashion, so they need to be nice if you expect customers to wear them in public
- Your brand is on the embroidered hat (name, logo, slogan or website), so everyone who sees it will form an impression based on its appearance
- If the hat is flimsy and causes discomfort or inconvenience, this can be tragic and backfire on your marketing efforts
- When done correctly, promotional caps can turn customers into walking ambassadors of your brand
If you’re a surf company, that is easy. However, if you’re in farm supplies or IT support, this is a bit harder. If your brand name and logo reek of ‘dork,’ then jazz them up, or use a slogan or catch-phrase instead.
Just because you put your brand name or logo on something, doesn’t make it attractive. It’s not to say that your concept is flawed, but promotion is all about recognising the best (and most effective) delivery methods for any given campaign.
Does your logo spark excitement? On a collection of embroidered caps, is it something you would want to wear (if it wasn’t your company)?
Consider the specs:
- Number of colours
- Easy to view from a distance, or containing fine details
- Recognisable at first glance
- Does it pop out from the rest of the cap
- Do your branded caps look salesy or gimmicky with more (or less) than the logo itself
- How much space is required to fit the promotional content on the hats naturally
After making an honest assessment of these basic points, ask yourself, “What’s the minimum amount of embroidery needed to effectively get the message across?”
3. Talk to your supplier
It helps to have years of experience and knowledgeable expertise in your corner when branding clothing items.
The idea of “cool” can be subjective, but a seasoned professional, such as our team at Payless Promotions, can readily spot marketing (fashion) mistakes in the making – helping you adjust course.
What might look great on coffee mugs could require some rethinking on custom caps.
Customers Avoid DORKY Promos
Devoid of fun, adventure or intrigue
Obviously a marketing ploy, with little relevance
Requires too much thought to make the connection
Key purposes of the branded item are lost (i.e. an unstructured, unfashionable custom hats)
Yields little value as a stand-alone product
Your current provider will be able to spot the aspects of your brand that can jazz up your promotional caps with flair. Alternatively, you can always consult with one of our experts here.
4. Get Modern
If you are still wearing a legionarres style cap, then ask your business partner or assistant to take over at this point. Some modern fashions are trucker caps, snapback caps, flexfit caps, and black caps with white or black branding.
You must get with the times or get left behind. It’s a harsh reality that can’t be phrased any more gently. Promotional garments, including embroidered hats, need to be up to speed with the latest fashion trends – or, at minimum, fit within the scope of what most people are wearing.
Flexfit and snapback caps are always a popular option, and when nicely branded, these can be a safe bet.
New trends are emerging all the time. Stay ahead of the curve by checking the latest offerings from your supplier.
Avoid purchasing more than you plan to distribute within a reasonable timeframe (lets say a season or two). This way, you won’t have piled-up branded caps that are out of style.
Keep it Evergreen
Your logo should stand the test of time, and your branded slogans should, too. But, it’s more important to make sure that any time-sensitive data is avoided.
Ensure that website addresses, phone numbers and other contact info will still be valid in the near future.
5. Don’t Forget Your Target Market
Let’s not take things too far – your early 1900s facility or divorce service are not ready for a snapback style cap. Just be sure you are targeting your hats to your market, and not to yourself.
Knowing when and how to keep things light and playful is a skill, no doubt. Levity in promotional products that don’t match the theme, image or persona of your brand/service can do little good for your prospecting efforts.
A small amount of research (even a search engine query or two) can reveal vital details about your target demographic.Tailor your custom caps to them – in terms of design, hat selection, build quality, and message.
Picture your target market actually wearing your caps – is it believable?
If in doubt, give us a call or email to determine which promotional hats are the best fit for your organisation.
6. Explore Branding Options
Caps are traditionally embroidered, and to be honest, it still looks great. However, consider exploring other options. We offer full-colour heat transfer, badging, and a range of embroidery options including Raised 3-D and Metallic.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up – a touch of creativity does wonders for your brand, and suppliers of promotional products are offering more choices than ever before.
Why not surprise future clients with something new, or even just newer.
Take your branded hats further than the competition with some out of the box thinking. Capture light with the unique effects of Raised 3-D, or show off your access to stunning new branding technologies.
In addition to branding options, rethink placement…
Don’t go straight to front and centre
It’s cool these days to move branding away from the front centre of the cap. Think about branding on the bottom-left or right of the front panel, or even on the side or back of the cap only.
When combined with the previous 4 steps, you can truly bring out the best of your brand through your next order of custom caps.