Being in the public spotlight for all of her life, the Queen of England must measure her words very carefully as she not only represents herself, and her family, but also her kingdom as a whole. Even if the concept of monarchy is literally foreign to Americans, we can look at some of her inspirational quotes and extricate pearls of wisdom which can be applied to an overarching custom apparel marketing strategy.
As the longest reigning monarch in British history, she has realized the importance of adapting to a modern world to embrace new generations. Due to her longevity and illustrious family line, she has seen many markers of what makes a person great:
“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.“
In most cases, you’ll be working with many others to market your custom apparel line. Understanding how to best utilize the resources others offer will be critical to your marketing success. You may have a strong vision when it comes to your brand but taking advantage of others specialization, experience, and objective observations can be a source of strength. Strong leaders listen to other people and learn. When people feel their opinion is valued, it builds loyalty which fosters free exchange of ideas. Nothing turns people into creative misers more quickly than when their ideas are routinely ignored.
Segueing from this insight:
“Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.”
Being opinionated and self-assured are hallmarks of people that command attention which is certainly valuable when marketing, however, keeping an open mind and ear to what your target audience is interested in is the path to success. Even if you’re in love with your latest design, if social reactions and sales are underwhelming, there’s a problem. It could be the apparel product you picked, or perhaps the color combinations. Test out different variations of the design, product, and color combinations. If it still falls flat, keep going, but in another direction. Understanding demand economics as your audience defines it will also help you price your work appropriately.
Expect to work hard at marketing your custom apparel.
“Work is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on earth.”
There is certainly something to be said about being in the right place at the right time, some successful ideas and businesses seem to have everything going for them as if the universe is magically on their side. That’s not most of us though.
Marketing can be fun, especially when you’re stretching your creativity and getting positive feedback, but the reality is there will be plenty of times when you lose your motivation. When you hit a wall, take a break, look at other successful people.
“There are long periods when life seems a small, dull round, a petty business with no point, and then suddenly we are caught up in some great event which gives us a glimpse of the solid and durable foundations of our existence.”
Don’t feel like you only have to emulate other successful ideas in custom apparel. There is inspiration in all types of industries that you can apply to your own work. The trick is applying their successes in manner that will fit your business goals.
“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”
Keep going. Marketing success is brought about by consistency. It may make for some long nights and working weekends. Pay attention to when your customers are online looking at social feeds. There are at the very least, rudimentary analytics available for almost every social channel. If you get the most reaction in the morning, then post in the morning, etc. Look at days of the week, too and save your best material for the highest chance of engagement.
Reward people that consistently support you on social channels. As the Internet and social channels become more competitive, brand cheerleaders get more scarce, so if you notice a particular person that loves what you do and shows it, consider giving them a free sample or at the very least a public thank you.
“It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”
Marketing your custom apparel on one or two channels isn’t enough. The reason being is it leaves you vulnerable. If you build your presence only on Facebook or only on Instagram, and that channel declines in use or something happens and you’re no longer able to use that channel, you’re sunk. Learn from marketing pros by subscribing and reading blog, articles, white papers, and attending seminars.
“We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep.”
Although digital marketing is an extremely important means of reaching your audience, work on building your local audience too. You are less likely to lose your entire customer base should a new search engine or social algorithm come out and this happens all the time.
If you’re lucky enough to have a brick and mortar place of business, focus on building out your Yelp and Google My Business page with pictures and well-crafted service and product descriptions. Check these often to make sure you respond to inquiries. Use a contact email address that is monitored frequently and respond promptly to inquiries. Your response time really matters as its made public. If you take days to get back to someone and others can see that, they are less likely to make their own inquiry.
These channels are also a great way to generate reviews. Don’t be shy about asking satisfied customers to review you and respond to disgruntled customers in a professional way. If you’re not sure how your response will be perceived by the public that has no background information on the reason for the complaint, ask a trusted friend to evaluate your response before posting.
“I don’t like to badmouth people. But I’m the head of a monarchy that began in the ninth century, and I’m apparently more modern than Chris Christie. Look, I know he has to appeal to the crazy right-wingers in his party, but the fact is, he’s not as forward-thinking as an eighty-seven-year-old lady who wears a crown on her head. It’s pathetic.”
Keep your custom apparel marketing fresh and relevant. Even companies that have experienced amazing longevity like Sears, Coca-Cola, and Ralph Lauren have to keep up with the changing times and bend.
[Before each of numerous portrait sittings:] “Now then, with teeth or without?”
Keep your sense of humor. Humor and music are languages that transcend all borders whether it’s geographical, age, backgrounds or genders. Even the most serious of entities have used humor to endear the public.