The sudden rise of flaunting logos
Turning customers into walking billboards
Today, walking around town showing off a sweatshirt with emblazed Fila letters isn’t strange. It’s trendy. But, didn’t it used to be perceived as “snob” to flaunt brands? Whether it was a handbag or a car. What’s going on? And more importantly; should we all produce brand merchandise?
Pish posh is over
In the past, displaying what you spend was considered posh or even cheer arrogance. But we’re not talking about Chanel bags here. Today people flaunt T-shirts with logos from sports brands like Reebok as well as non-fashion brands like Amazon and Google. Even unfamiliar brands are cool! Although no one is paid to wear head to toe logos, people choose to look like sponsored athletes or employees. How come?
Logos were designed to make consumers connect with a brand. The packaging of Campbell’s Soup for example made the buyer aware of the brand’s name, level of quality, empathy and experience. In the 1960’s this concept moved from packaging to pop-culture. T-shirts from Coca-Cola, DHL or transparent Apple drawstring bags raised to the occasion. People scrolled down for inspiration on the logo collage that was and is Instagram and decided to love the trend. Selfies with logo shirts were shared. Even if the shirt said “Steve’s winery” or “Summer camp x 1995” the content didn’t matter anymore. The net went nuts.
This trend roots in a few simple ideas. For one thing; we live in an incredibly branded society. You see more branded t-shirts on the streets than blank ones. Why would you wear a blank T-shirt if you can wear one with a logo, a funny quote or a drawing? Also, the irony is super valuable to the wearer. How ridiculous is it to wear a shirt from say an aspirin brand? Exactly, so ridiculous that it’s cool. Leaving the obvious hangover comment up to the viewer and the fun to the wearer. The clothes we wear, display our ideas and values. They help express ourselves and help others identify with us as well.
A fourth reason is the importance of nostalgia. In the late 1970’s all sorts of brands started targeting younger consumers. Brands like Nike and Adidas were extremely wanted. Guess what? Forty years later this is still the case and it’s even hotter. Wanted by the youngsters from the seventies, and the millennials of today.
The Dutch chain store Zeeman got word of this trend and now has produced a Zeeman T-shirt line that has received extreme attention in just a few days. Shopping at Zeeman normally goes with a feeling of shame since it’s cheap and not always very fashionable. Now they launched T-shirts with funny quotes but more importantly, one of the shirts simply says “Zeeman”. Surprise or not; Instagram now is under Zeeman’s spell.
Logos are the easiest way to turn a customer into a walking billboard. Even Apple is launching a hats and caps line stamped with their Retro Rainbow Apple logo soon. It’s an affordable marketing strategy that attracts attention. Of course, not everyone marches around like a brand puppet but the majority of trend watchers do today. Brands and companies can not let it go by to turn their customers into walking billboards. Let consumers raise brand awareness for you. It won’t get any easier than this.
What we advise? A try-out! Set up a promotional merchandise budget, produce T-shirts, bags or caps with your brand’s logo and spread! A first test is to spread it amongst your own employees. Do they love it or absolutely hate it? Produce with a calculated risk. An aspirin brand might be funnier and sexier than a company that sells insurance policies.
Today producing brand merchandise is a powerful and affordable marketing strategy that works. It’s never a bad thought to give your customers some merchandise for free. And meanwhile they are displaying your logo for free as well. What’s so great about that? Well, people respond towards which is familiar to them. Whether they are aware of it or not. If you have the choice between two brands, one you’ve seen before and one you haven’t, guess what the verdict is?
So, anyone want a Brandhome T-shirt?