One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure

One Brand’s Trash, Another Brand’s Treasure is a guest post written by Blake from You Design It where they offer custom t-shirt printing. He’s a t-shirt fanatic that wants to rid the world of suits, one tee at a time.

How many of you out there have a pulse on your brand?. You know what I’m talking about, you eat, sleep and breathe your brand. If you’re talking, chances are…you’re talking about your apparel line. You know as good as anybody that you have to hustle hard day and night to succeed. T-shirt lines are a dime a dozen and only the cream rises to the top.

In the early stages of your t-shirt line, there is going to be a lot of noise you’ll have to filter through. You’ll have your lovers and haters, your friends and enemies, and plenty of know-it-alls along the way. You’ll be inspired by other brands and repulsed by others. These are all very normal situations and just a standard part of the process.

The next best thing to learning from your OWN mistakes when trying to mature as a brand, is to learn from OTHER’S mistakes before you. With the transparency that the internet now provides, you can follow the successes and failures of the brands you’re trying to emulate. But beware, because it’s a very fine line you’ll have to walk.

Let’s take this full circle and go back to the beginning. Remember the pulse question? This was where we established that you and only you know your brand the best. What works for one brand may not work for another and vice versa. Let me give you an example.

It’s safe to say that both The Hundreds and Johnny Cupcakes have seen enormous success for being different than the norm. They have both danced by the beat of their own drum by maintaining styles that are unlike any other in the retail markets. And although they are extremely different, I stumbled across an instance where they were very much alike.

There was a recent post on The Hundreds blog showing some of the samples that they tried but never put into production. The one that stood out to me the most was the Cobra Kai spoof called “Cool Guys”.

The Hundreds

It immediately reminded me of a recent release by Johnny Cupcakes with their own reference to Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai. In the post by The Hundreds, they made it clear that the samples would never go into production. Yet Johnny Cupcakes, no doubt, is reaping big sales with their version of the artwork.

Johnny Cupcakes

The take-home moral of the story is that one brand’s trash may be another brand’s treasure. The Hundreds knew it wasn’t for them, and Johnny Cupcakes felt it fit like a glove (or maybe I should say oven mitt).

You just have to cut through the noise and go with your gut. At the end of the day, your brand is an extension of you.

Comments

  1. says

    Couldn’t agree more with you. We’ve nixed several shirt ideas that I’m sure would be great for tshirthell.com but they didn’t encomopass our brand.

    I always harp on how important it is to have message in your design–at least for us it’s the only thing that seperates us from the rest. The other thing we try to focus is on who we have wearing our brand. We don’t want Jersey Shore Guidos wearing our shirts like Affliction, we want independent thinkers, guys in bands that don’t sound like Nickelback, and girls who look like they could be Suicide Girls.

  2. says

    Greta article! Branding for the t-shirt company is a must. Keeping the original style consistent throughout all the t-shirt designs it’s working well for the Cupcakes, so it might work well for your brand. Better don’t copy other brand’s designs do.