How to Create a Brand Ambassador for Under $10


As technology progresses, we tend to forget about old school guerilla marketing tactics that has served us so well in the past. Despite all the PR and marketing tips I’ve heard over the years, there’s only been one tool that has consistently created die-hard brand ambassadors for my business time and time again… the promo tee.

Sounds obvious right? You’d be surprised at how many entrepreneurs do not see the promotional tee as an effective tool to generate interest and advertise a product for an extended period of time (life of the tee). Recently, the BrandMakerNews team made a small run of tees with the message “I Am A Brand”. We gave some to our friends and family, and sold the rest on our site (sorry, all sold out). We made back the money we spent to make the t-shirts and made a lot of people happy in the process. That alone would suggest our promo tee campaign was successful. But few days ago, I got another sign. A fan of the site sent us a picture of himself wearing our t-shirt in Germany. What cost us under $10 to make now has a life of its own in another country. Sure a slick advertising campaign with various media channels could have been a way more effective branding tool… but not for 10 bucks.

If you are considering a promo tee for your business, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Have a message to believe in.

Make people WANT to wear your tee by having a message they can identify with, believe in and share with others.

2. Include your logo and web address.

Use your shirt as the branding tool that it is by including your logo in a visible place. People are savvy, they don’t want to feel like a walking billboard… no matter how true that might be. Choose a sensible place for the logo and make it subtle (the back of the shirt always works for me).

3. Invest in a quality tee.

Your promotional tee should match store bought tees in quality. It may cost you a little more, but it increases the life span of the shirt  and ties your brand to quality which is well worth the extra cost. ( ask your vendor about American Apparel)

4. Find a great designer. Find a great printer.

No matter how clever or effective your message, it means nothing if it isn’t designed properly on your promo tee. Quality hangs around quality– if you find a great designer, I guarantee he/she knows a great printer and vice versa. Here’s great printer we’ve used for all our tees– King Screen, With a bare bones, no hassle, easy to use site and delivery of a quality product time and again, they get my vote every time.

Are you using promotional tees to market your brand? Share your experience and tips below…


  1. Posted July 27, 2010 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Launching a t-shirt campaign to promote your product or build brand awareness is the simple made easy. I actually did the same thing when I first launched and my tees sold like hotcakes so I love this concept!

    Since the masses may opt to rejoin the t-shirt campaign similar to the way most are using social networking to sell, sell and sell, you’ll have to work to remain distinctly different in the t-shirt promotional space. Be sure that your tee reflects your brand persona, i.e., edgy, classic, sporty, fun, casual, sophisticated, etc.

    Also note that you’re not limited to t-shirts. Look at what John Deere did with baseball caps and what the Lids stores do for brands in general. Can your logo mesh well with neon colors, which are in style again, military print or even polka dots?

    Since the goal is for people to remember you and/or your product, make your tees cool and fun, but don’t skimp on fashionable! — ie, brand mktg. mgr. @ EPiC Measures

    • Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

      Great add Isha, baseball caps are also a great way to share your brand!

  2. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    That’s exactly what I’ve been planning to do: create a t-shirt about my brand. Such an easy and fun way to get people to “buy-in” and spread the word.

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