I have just spent the afternoon looking at shirts and t-shirts and polos and ….. You get the picture. I am trying to get a quality shirt or rather let’s say polo shirt for the company. This can be worn on Fridays for dress down Fridays and also for events. As a tours and travel company we end up doing a lot of events outdoors, at golf, on group holidays etc. Having a branded shirt is a great way to get your brand out there visually. But that’s if you do it properly.
I was actually discussing this issue with the guys who came to show me their merchandise. Their shirts are high quality, expensive but worth the price. We want a great shirt that doesn’t fade after one wash (many) or tear (many). Actually the horror stories are many. I was even being told about companies where they have stores full of shirts that they can’t give out because the quality came out so bad. Then there are CEO’s who can’t wear the shirts of their own companies because they think the quality is horrible.
My friend Paul wrote an article about giveaways and how most shirts end up being used as pajamas. I agreed at the time. I am at a stage in my life where I rarely wear t-shirts, maybe because of those issues mentioned. Shirts that fade or stretch. I am not small so when a shirt that’s supposed to be large ends up as an XXL there is a problem.
Last week though I was travelling to Tsavo. There was no water in Kileleshwa – the news said that there was some sort of problem. I had done a trip to the coast the previous week so all my favourite clothes (my Sundays bests) were dirty because there was not enough water to do laundry. So I think aha I can do shirts and polos. Then I realise that I gave all my t-shirts to my sister. So I have to borrow a t-shirt or two to complete my wardrobe.
Then when we went on the trip I noticed another blogger had a great t-shirt. It was a branded shirt. She said she has had it for a couple of years. It hasn’t faded. It’s still beautiful and classy. And it’s not being used as a pajama top. Now here is great branding at work and it speaks for the company as well.
These two incidents made me realize that yes we may take t shirts as a small issue but t-shirts and polos have different roles.
- They give a relaxed feel to weekends. Most weekends people like wearing t-shirts while carrying out their activities.
They are great for activities. Think running, walking, crawling, playing football, rugby etc.
They are great when travelling. Shirts are so comfortable for travelling. If you get good quality ones they don’t wrinkle as much and so wallah traveling wear.
They are the attire for the common mwananchi. That guy who works at the mjengo, the mama mbogo, the sales people who walk around, they are worn a lot by merchandising people. Let’s just say they are business attire for a whole range of professions.
If you design a good shirt, whether it is in high quality (corporate) or medium (promotions/events) or low (mass market) it will be worn. But if your shirt is boring, unappealing, unattractive and low quality then no one will be caught dead wearing the shirt (unless it’s those guys for mjengo) they wear anything.
So the secret lies maybe in determining what you want that branded shirt to be before you make them. If you want it to worn more outdoors then you better make sure it is a shirt that’s worth wearing and looking at. I may not like wearing t-shirts now but I love reading the messages on t-shirts and looking at the images. So make your shirt is one of those that when it lands in your house people are fighting to own it. Then you can be sure it will not end up as a pajama top. Unless it’s a lady who wants to wear her man’s great quality shirt to bed.