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Yes! I really think you should look into this further. I don't know if you're already a member of pet/animal/dog lover forums, if not sign up and start lurking/contributing, and try to pick up on if this is a good way to go.I've been thinking of integrating matching human/dog t-shirts. That could differentiate my brand
just wanted to say....this post is great. @Xeon not sure if you're a copywriter/ marketing pro, but if you are and I ever need one im coming to you lolThanks for the rep, @MJ DeMarco!
Insane how they can even sell a t-shirt for $6. Even if one were to order 500 pieces of each design, there's a limit to how low the cost of goods per piece can go down. T-shirt blank + screen-printing cost (some designs have 2 colors = +$$) + neck tags + manpower / misc costs + cost to acquire a customer etc.
These guys feel a lot like Ivory Ella. Even the design style, company mission and the way they market the goods is the same! Maybe they're owned by the same guys. I remember Ivory Ella founders saying they want to get into other animal niches.
Instead of selling them as commodities (6DollarShirts) or making it charity-based, which feels overdone to me nowadays (IvoryElla/Pawz/Animal-Hearted).....I've 2 ideas.
The basic is this:
Come up with a story --- > Give that story one mission ---> Build a brand based on that mission
Note: The 1st idea below is a lot harder to execute than the 2nd one.
Your Original Story : Your fond moments with your terrier, who crossed the rainbow bridge some time ago.
Your Dramatized Story : You've a Yorkshire terrier, who watches TV with you, who watches you mow the lawn weekly, who loves to cuddle with you. Then, one morning, you and your wife came back home from work.....only to find the door opened.....and Rusty gone.
In sadness, you started having hallucinations of Rusty every day and at work.
You watch TV, and you thought Rusty is next to you, and you touch him, only to realize it's your wife.
You mow the lawn, and you hear a dog barking, only to realize it's all in your head.
You start looking for Rusty daily at the carpark, the nearby school, the grocery, the pub, the gas station.....you even see a psychiatrist.
That's your story (to put this on your website, you need to re-write it properly).
Your Story Mission : To never rest till you find your beloved dog.
That leads to your branding below....
Your Brand Name : Give your brand a name. E.g: WhereIsRusty, WheresRusty, WheresMyPup, WhereIsMyDog, MyLostRusty, ILostMyRust, ILostRusty or ILostMyDog....
The Execution :
1) All marketing collateral (logo, website) needs to be FUN and PLAYFUL. This cannot be marketed in a sorrowful or sad style (more on that at the bottom).
2) Get a logo made from Upwork/PeoplePerHour. No Fiverr. Logo should have 2 colors or less.
From your logo, pick out one of the color as your brand color.
2) You can keep the existing designs you've. On the sleeve or bottom hem of the t-shirts, get a woven label sewn in either of those 2 places. The woven label will say "WhereIsRusty" or "WhereIsMyDog".
This label must be clearly visible and distinctive. There's a few good suppliers in China and also the US itself who can provide these labels. All your t-shirts and products need to have this "signature identifier".
Or better still, make it a patch instead of a woven label.
3) Website : Website needs to be redone to tell your new story. The website and marketing materials.....everything will now revolve around your story. The website banner will show you or some actor posing comically, such as looking into the back of a van with a confused expression (tip: there's some good student photographers in California from what I've seen, but you've to find them on IG).
T-shirt should be visible in your shots.
The top banner of your site can say something like:
---------------------------------------------(just an example from the top of my head, I'm sure you can come up with better ones)
Is My Dog At Your Place?
I'm coming over. Meanwhile, shop my dog t-shirts.
Throughout the website, show pics of you/actor in various interesting locations finding your dog. You bending down to look under the car. Looking under a woman's skirt. In the pool. In the cemetery. At the beach. All about the content.
4) On social media (Instagram/FB), post daily pics of you in your t-shirts, in various poses doing different things, while looking for your dog . Get about 30 photography shots done at the start of the month, drip post 1 per day, with a witty caption. Follow all the dog lovers near you (LA?), some will follow back, then expand from there. Then, either run paid shoutouts on big dog accounts or use tools like Infinicore (I just discovered this in a FB group).
Post on Pinterest as well.
5) Run FB/Instagram ads with a simple text on the ad that says : Where Is Rusty? / Where Is My Dog and drive them all to your site.
6) Collab with Instagram influencers in your niche. Get them to repost your photo content with captions for their followers to read. Example:
"Have you guys seen this man before? I think he got desperate trying to find his lost dog. Link in bio."
The idea behind all these is to get fellow dog lovers/owners to jump onto your "one-man movement", which is you on a neverending journey desperate trying to find your dog.
During the journey, you come across interesting things in life or happenings (show all these in your photos.....can be real or posed).
Hook people, take them on an BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE where you try to find your imaginary dog, and then show them your t-shirts (no discounts or "mega sales").
When you've taken them on the adventure and they can related / identify to your story, price will be a lot less of an issue (unless the t-shirt is $545, but that's another story).
Some people might say "Hey, you're a scammer! Your dog is dead long ago and you're making all these up"
You tell them "But I'm playing with my dog's paws now. Oh, he's telling me the food's cooked. Be right back! "
In other words, in this story, you have gone insane / schizo after your dog left you.
You've become the sick guy who's obsessed about dogs, and thus having a dog tshirt store is only natural.
Play that up and play along!
With these, you can build a fun brand. This is why I mentioned above to keep all marketing collateral and website/brand fun and upbeat.
The potential customers HAVE to know that this is all made-up and games, without you telling them this!
I've mentioned KJP.com a few times before. This guy is an extreme example you can study from.
He's selling clothes and anchor bands. You can easily get these stuff at Aliexpress or other online sites.
But this motherfcker build an ENTIRE WORLD around the clothes he's selling.
Did he shout at you and say "20% OFF STOREWIDE AND BUY MY DRESSES"?
NO, check out his Instagram. He PULLS YOU into his beautiful world far away from mundane everyday life, takes you on a f*cking adventure, you got sucked in and became PART OF HIS WORLD, and now you're a lot more likely to buy from him if he asks you to! I know I would! If I buy from him (even if the products are made in china), I would feel EXTREMELY GOOD inside!
There's a lot of details in terms of execution which I have not listed here, it would take days, so I'm going to move on to the 2nd idea. This one is easier to do.
Some time back, Twitter had this viral movement going on. See below:
Replace sex with dog.
Make these, put these as cards and show them on your site in a masonry grid layout like Pinterest (I think Shopify has plugins for this).
Day 35 without my dog : Flirted with the photo on the packaging at the pet food aisle
(I'm not a witty guy, so you can do better than this)
You may run out of ideas after a while, so you can :
1) get user-generated content for this (this case is a good candidate for giveaways on IG and encourage others to join in)
2) use this as a supplement WITHIN Idea 1 above to increase the fun
3) expand it to other animals
4) post it once every 3 days (Day 1, Day 3, Day 5...)
5) use it in other ways as a content marketing tool to build an audience and drive sales.
Hopefully, all these ideas will spark your imagination a bit.
Everything above is just 5% or less of the whole process, the execution is what makes the thing successful....because you still have to make the website look right, get the photography right, get the content right, get the branding right.....each of which, if done wrongly, will break the entire thing.....
Btw, one shop which I bought dog t-shirts from earlier this year.....they announced that they're closing down. After 1 year in business. They even have professional product photography of models, and they even got featured by one small-time celebrity at one event. Yes, and they run a lot of DISCOUNTS after DISCOUNTS, SALES after SALES every time. Every day is sales and discounts day LOL
6DollarShirts say this on their site:
No, f*ck them and their $6 shirts.
You'll steal their girls and wear their shirts!
Thank you for providing a forum where I'm able to get real, honest feedback. I've learned a lot. Time to implement!So glad to see that this post was genuine and not a backlink/SEO scheme.
A lot of folks post here to say "Hey, whatdya think?"
But they're not looking for feedback, they're looking for SEO/link juice.
@Deangiroir thanks for being genuine.
Thread marked NOTABLE, some great feedback here in a saturated, low entry business.
Thanks @Roli! I've got a lot of work ahead but this forum has set a much needed path forward.Yes! I really think you should look into this further. I don't know if you're already a member of pet/animal/dog lover forums, if not sign up and start lurking/contributing, and try to pick up on if this is a good way to go.
When you're ready, you'll have a good audience to test your first products on.
Also check Google trends and get some of the free Amazon tools that allow you to track sales of doggy clothes.
My instinct is that whippets are the most popular to clothe, because they're so small and skinny, and have ultra short hair. I see a lot of whippets around my way with winter coats and jackets, some even with little doggie booties!
Keep going, I think with the right tweaking this could turn into a nice little business. Just make sure your brand is strong and stands out.
Good advice @B. Cole - of course. I always like your posts.I didn’t catch all of the replies in this, but my take when I clicked on your link -
Name is awkward and generic, it could be a furniture or department store name.
T-shirt plus dogs - “T-Pup” ? Blah, something simple like that.
Logo needs some work - font is very dated, the dog symbol apostrophe is dated and doesn’t fit well in the logo.
Good luck man, look forward to seeing it grow.
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