What caught my eye the other day, is a business that is trying to make a launch–with t-shirts ready to sell. Are they a t-shirt company? Not exactly.
One thing when starting a business is to get your product out there. If you’re an apparel or t-shirt company, by all means, go ahead and start posting t-shirts on your website for sale. When I started Cakes a Go-Go, I started with the development of bakery items. I did not begin with calling screen printers for t-shirts, that’s for sure. I began with cupcakes, offering the service of custom cakes, cookies and other pastries. Those are the essentials of the brand. When I started to develop the concept of the brand, I started conjuring images of classic bakeries, finished off with a retro feel. Even my cupcakes are named after classic actresses or relics from popular culture, so I added quirkiness to my branding palette.
Quirkiness, a product line, a logo and colors should be the package deal to a branding palette. I used my two favorite colors, pink and teal (how retro!) for all design and print marketing collateral. I use the spectrum of teals and pinks for anything. The walls were painted in lighter colors while the official logo has darker, richer colors that would look great against a black t-shirt (haha!).
What else goes along with the brand?
How are you going to problem solve when it comes to an issue with a customer?
Of course, we don’t want it to happen at all, but mistakes do happen. We’re human, after all. You need a plan to deal with these situations. Do you offer a refund? Credit? Ignore the customer and hope they just disappear? (However, that last one may prohibit your business from going any further!)
Have you taken note of your customers? What are they buying? Have you noticed a median age? In a bakery setting, I notice different walks of life everyday, so I take note of buying patterns and what they request.
The worst thing to do is before you open business is offer up “branded” material. Nothing can be more embarrassing than realizing your customer base is completely the opposite of what you intended.