Gleenz Tees Laptop Skins

The oh so creative Glenn Jones has come up with an ingenious idea for his popular T-Shirt designs – laptop skins! And why not, people love originality and by slapping one of these skins on your laptop you will indeed achieve an originality. Just be ready for the constant ooogling by others (because people get jealous fast when they see awesome stuff) and the tirade of “Where’d yo get that” inquiries. The Glennz skins are available now for 13″ to 17″ laptops and sell for $17.95.

I also noticed, and thought that I would point this out, that a few of the skins sport some of Glenn Jones’ older Threadless designs – like one of my faves “What Would MacGyver do?” Interesting, huh!

Glennz Tees Laptop Skins

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Linty Fresh’s Eric Terry announced the date for the 3rd of his Linty Fresh live chats. He’ll be available once more, Sunday January 25, to answer any questions you might have live via ustream. He’ll also have a special guest this time around, a friend and SEO specialist. This should be great for those of you wondering how you can best optimize your blog or online store for search engines like Google. It’s a two hour live show, so come ready with questions to ask, bring some snacks and get ready to gain some knowledge!

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Gitchers: The Free T-Shirt Site

I stumbled upon Gitchers as I was perusing the Girl In Your Shirt site, a few days ago. The concept of the site is very simple: you register and tag yourself with a few words and a category and then you wait for participating companies/brands to search out your demographic. If you match a particular demographic (i.e. age, sex, category) of interest then they may select you to receive a free company branded tee. 

Each account registered is associated with one free tee, but they say that you can register for more than one account (i.e. for you, your kid and your dog). And yes, I did say dog, apparently, some of the brands that they work with have doggie wear items as promotional items. 

Registration is quick and easy. There’s no long survey to fill out, nothing to buy and they mention that your information like email and address are protected from the companies searching the database. Companies interested in participating can also register, however, there is a 100 shirt minimum give away policy. Gitchers is currently only available to US citizens. 

If you want to roll the dice to see if you’ll receive a free targeted t-shirt, then go ahead and register from Gitchers!

Softwear by Microsoft

Microsoft has turned to hip-hop icon, Common, to spearhead their new venture into T-Shirts. That’s right, our buddies in Redmond have decided to pour a couple more bucks into trying to be hip. Maybe the Apple rebuttal commercials weren’t working and so they had to revise their marketing game plan? The new collection of tees, known as Softwear by Microsoft can now be found on the Microsoft site, though, there are no links to purchase the tees just yet (it says they will be available by December 15). The collection consists of 4 tees designed by Microsoft, dubbed “Classic Designs” and 4 tees designed by Common.

Being the Apple fanboy that I am, I would never be caught in one of these, but, I am sure that since Windows has more than 90% OS marketshare, there will be people interested in buying these.

We need Apple lead designer, Jonathan Ive, to dream up some Apple branded tee designs. Though if he did design them, they might end up being simply solid (and blank) white, black or grey tees. At least they would match my Apple gear!

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7 Awesome Tech T-Shirts

Technology is a major part of my life and has integrated itself into nearly every aspect of my life imaginable. It has even begun to seep into the clothes that I wear! Back in the day, I remember sporting my favorite Napster tee, or that hard to find Apple tee (usually gotten from an OS release). Now, many tech companies provide tees for purchase making it easy for teach fanatics like myself to show on their chest their weapons of choice. 

Here are 7 different technology based tees that reflect innovations that I enjoy to use (or visit and read in the case of Laughing Squid). I’ll focus on “official” tees for this post and do a future post on some 3rd party tees (if you know of some cool ones let me know). 

Do you have a favorite technology tee that you like to use and show off? Post a link to the shirt so that others with similar technologoy tastes can buy and enjoy!

1. WordPress. Does WordPress run your blog (I do for this blog)? Then checkout this site for a selection of official WordPress t-shirts and other merchandise. You can pick up either a red or olive green WordPress tee for £9.50 GBP. The tees are printed on American Apparel. 

2. Google/Blogger. Is Google the first thing you see when you open your browser? Are you part of the Blogger faithful? If so, then you might enjoy some official Google gear. In fact, there is a wide selection of Google merchandise available in their store, from organic tees to recycle track jackets. They’ve even got tees printed on 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. They claim the bamboo component makes it antimicrobial and feel like a mix between cashmere and silk! The Wearables section in the Google store offers 36 different products! The tees are priced between $13.50 – $20.00. 

3. Laughing Squid. This is one of my favorite blogs to visit in InternetLAND and it just so happens that the Laughing Squid’s Scott Beale sells an official t-shirt printed on American Apparel and available for 20 buckaroos! 

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I Wear Your Shirt

How does this sound for an idea: wear a different shirt every day for a year and have people pay you to do it.

That’s exactly what Jason Sadler is doing at I Wear Your Shirt. The concept is very simple, you buy a day that you would like your tee to be worn, you ship the tee out and it’s gets worn by Jason and marketed on his blog, YouTube, Ustream, Flickr and Twitter. The hope is that for a day, your tee will go “viral” and thus putting your brand or company in the spotlight for 24 hours.

I personally think that this is a great idea and even wish I had thought of it! But will people be intrigued long enough to follow Jason for an entire year? 

“Days are sold at “face value” so January 1 is $1 and December 31 is $365.” Jason has already sold out of tee days up to March 2009. That means that the starting day price is at $90+. Someone has even bought the last day of the year, December 31, 2009 for, you guessed it, $365. If you do the math, and if Jason sells out every day in 2009 then he stands to make over $60,000!

Does the price tag warrent the rising day costs? Potentially. Especially if Jason becomes an Internet celebrity and is paraded all over old media (i.e. News stations, radio and magazines).

I would definitely say that if your company has some “change” to spend then this might be an interesting way to market your product. But for the rest of you, you might be better off spending 30 bucks for a months worth of ad time on a good t-shirt blog.

PleaseDressMe Opening Sequence

Have you seen the new animated opening sequence for the PleaseDressMe show? Well here it is! It was recently posted on Vimeo by creator Jeff Peak. Apparently it was made as a gift to the PleaseDressMe guys – how cool is that. I saw at least one shirt that I own in that video, did you see any tees that you own? By the way, Episode 1 of PleaseDressMe TV was released a few weeks ago, when can we see Episode 2 or am I just looking in the wrong place? 

This is an opening animation I built for the online show PleaseDressMeTV. PleaseDressMe is a search engine for t-shirts created by AJ and Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys are quite inspiring and for that I created this as a gift. – Jeff Peak


Please Dress Me TV Animated Open from Jeff Peak on Vimeo.

Black Week at Goodie Two Sleeves

In appreciation of being featured in Indie Tee Spotlight #10 (or it could be a Black Friday thing but I’m inclined to think otherwise, LOL), Goodie Two Sleeves has announced an AWESOME sale! They will be offering a staggering 50% off your entire order. You want even awesomer? OK, the sale lasts a whole week! Want more? Every time you make a purchase your are entered to win 7 free Goodie Two Sleeves tees! The sale kicks off on November 28 and will run through December 5. 

Johnny Cupcakes Releases New iPhone Cases

Johnny Cupcakes recently released some new Apple gear, and you know how much I dig Apple gear! The new Johnny Cupcakes iPhone cases are 100% rubber and fit both the first generation and 3G iPhone. The cases sport the classic Johnny Cupcakes fork logo on the back with the classic bones and cupcake. You can purchases the cases now in Gray and Pink color options for $24. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick one of these cupcake cases up next week when I am up in Boston – you know I’ll be hitting up the Newbury Johnny Cupcakes Store!

The Return on Involvement

In this post I talk a little bit about how you can invest in being involved with social medial and your customers. The return on involvement can be a tremendous one with word of mouth being the catalyst of that return. 

These are just 5 tips that I thought to list, based on things that I have read and based on past successes. There are potentially tons of ways that you can become involved with your customer base. Attack every one of those opportunities. 

If you have additional tips on how, as a brand, you can be more involved then please list it in the comments. I will be sure to use it in a future update post!

1. Bloggers Are Your Friend. As a brand in 2008 you need to know how to maximize your presence throughout InternetLAND. One of the best ways to do this is to build relationships with bloggers within your niche. Build a list of all the blogs that you can find, within your niche, and get to know the blog, the writer(s) at that blog and that blog community. As a blogger I love it when people within my niche contact me regarding feedback/suggestions, product announcements, or requests. More times than not, I will oblige to the request and if that request means mentioning a new product that that means free advertising for the person that took the time to contact me. Now imagine if that person contacted 10, 20 or even 50 other bloggers – and at least half of those bloggers made a blog post with the request. Bloggers = free advertising.

Real World Example: This one happens all the time with me, brands send me promotional items and I am more than happy to make a quick post about the product or their sale. I sometimes even do a quick Twitter post. In fact, it usually goes a step further and I end up doing a much larger feature on that brand. 

2. People Like Free Swag. If you’ve got extra stock lying around, why not give some away. The return on that investment will be well worth it. Instead of having that old tee sit around, unpurhased and unadored, ship it off to a t-shirt blogger, hand it off to a friend or even a random person. You may even want to try and send it to a famous person that you know wears styles similar to your brand. It’s about creating buzz and involvement so when you give your free stuff away remember to mention a little about your brand, where they can get more (i.e. your online store or website), and any “new” products that you have available. People like free stuff and so when they get free stuff they tend to talk about said free stuff with family, friends, and co-workers. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and giving away free stuff will get that word of mouth ball rolling.

Real World Example: Please Dress Me is doing this now by giving away free tees daily as way to promote their new T-shirt search engine.   

3. Build Mystique. Flyers are great but they often get tossed – I’m guilty of doing that. One thing that people, especially in the 18-25 year old demographic, would be less likely to toss would be stickers. Many indie tee companies have stickers printed with their logo, brand name and address of their website. Instead of plastering your site address on the sticker, i.e. www.lintyfresh.com, why not just have your logo and brand name on the sticker. The psychology behind this tip is that people can be complacent at certain times, when you give them too much information they take it for granted and will tend to forget it. Give them a piece of the puzzle and build mystique. Provide just the brand name or even just the logo and, if interested, they will definitely (I know I would) be more inclined to do a Google search on the brand or ask around about the logo. Same can be said for other promotion materials like buttons. Make them work a little. Mystique builds interest and that interest will pay off.  

Real World Example: Never In Wonderland (NIWL), recently featured in the Indie Tee Spotlight, plaster stickers wherever they go. The stickers just say NIWL on them. All it takes is one kid to see that NIWL sticker and then Google them and then a potential sale is born.

4. Be Accessible. If you’re an indie tee brand then try your best to be as accessible to your customers as possible. You’re not a multi-million dollar company (yet) so you can’t afford to have a dozen assistants answering emails and phone calls. You need to do this on your own. You need to be committed to doing this. Creating and building a good rapport with your customers is very important for 1. word of mouth and 2. trust. Consumers, myself included, trust independent sellers that much more when they know they can get their questions answered. Imagine a potential buyer, unsure about sizing, who emails you and asks whether or not he would fit a medium or larger based on his measurements. If you don’t answer this potential buyers email that might lead to a lost sale. Answer that email and 1. the chances of that potential sale increases and 2. word of mouth (yes, again) – he goes off and tells friends that “the owner is accessible”,”I’ve talked to him”, “you don’t need to worry.” One email can impact multiple sales, remember that the next time you think about skipping or auto-deleting an email. 

Real World Example: Gary Vaynerchuk, host of the very popular Wine Library TV, is noted as answering every email he receives. If he can answer emails in the hundreds and thousands, there’s no reason that you can’t. 

5. Non-Issue Replacements. InternetLAND is a very loud and vocal arena. Make ONE customer angry and that might lead to negative publicity and the loss of multiple sales. Imagine a customer that contacts you regarding a “missing” t-shirt in his order. You can deal with this customer in two ways: 1. call bullshit and assume he is lying, or 2. take the risk on the bullshit and assume he is telling the truth. Option 1, assuming you did not offer a refund or replacement, might lead to an angry customer that expresses his anger on multiple blogs and forums with a negative review of your brand/company. You save $20 on a replacement tee but potentially lose hundreds or thousand of dollars of lost sales based on one customers angry review. Option 2, assuming you sent a full refund or replacement item, might lead to that now happy customer (whether or not he lied is a moot point) to post on multiple blogs and forums about how great the customer service at your site was. You lose $20 but potentially gain hundreds or even thousands of dollars in sales because of one happy customer (remember word of mouth?). Upset one customer and they might lead to an enormous amount of lost sales. Make one customer happy and you’ll see a return on your investment.

Real World Example: “Best Buy didn’t want to honor the sale price of the 2GB flash drive Matt ordered through their website, so when Matt arrived to pick-up his purchase, the store’s assistant manager called customer service and, pretending to be Matt, asked to cancel the order.” Needless to say, the story ended up on the Consumerist and on Digg and was seen by millions of potential buyers.