7 T-Shirt Promotion Ideas To Help Increase Brand Awareness

t-shirt promotion ideas

Looking for new ways to get your brand out there in front of more customers? These 7 t-shirt promotion ideas are just the trick.

T-shirt marketing is tried and true. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. One report notes that the custom t-shirt market size is predicted to grow to USD 7.5 billion by 2028 (up from 3.6 billion in 2020). And they attribute the bulk of that growth to the ever-increasing use of t-shirts to promote brands.

So let’s dive into 7 t-shirt promotion ideas that will help you get more eyes on your business.

7 T-Shirt Marketing Ideas For Your Business

#1 Give Shirts To Your Customers

Word-of-mouth advertising is still the best way to get new customers. When a friend or family recommends a business, people are much more likely to trust them.

And t-shirts open up communication to that recommendation.

Imagine a classic dad, poised over the grill at his 4th of July barbecue, lawn-stained New Balances tied tight, and your plumbing company’s t-shirt catching the grease from the sizzling burgers he’s flipping.

If just one guest happens to have a plumbing problem on the back of their mind, odds are good that your business will come up. 

Multiply that by a few hundred t-shirts scattered about the region to loyal customers and the investment will quickly make up for itself.

#2 Give Shirts To Your Employees

If you’ve got staff working for you, free t-shirts are a great way to increase company loyalty while also spreading your brand.

The principle is exactly the same as handing them out to customers. More eyes on your logo means more potential word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

#3 Give Shirts To Tangential Businesses

By “tangential” we mean businesses that are loosely tied to your own. You might share customers but probably don’t steal customers from eachother.

So, for example, if you are a roofer, a hardware store could be considered tangential to you. They aren’t going to take your customers away. But someone with a gaping hole in their roof might visit a hardware store while they are considering DIY solutions.

The strategy, then, is to work with tangential businesses to cross promote each other. You outfit their employees with some nice t-shirts promoting your brand in exchange for some mutually beneficial advertising on your part (heck, maybe even more t-shirts!).

You could just give the shirts out for staff to wear casually on their own time. Or you could organize a promotional day when all employees are expected to show up t-shirts blazing.

#4 Give Shirts Away At Membership Organizations

Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce often host pitch events or meet-and-greets. These are a great opportunity for you to give away branded t-shirts.

Not only are you likely in front of the ideal people to become walking advertisements for you, but a giveaway is going to draw eyes to your booth. And positive attention is always good for branding.

#5 Host A Social Media Giveaway

People love free stuff.

And they love contests.

Especially if you make them easy to enter.

Social media provides the perfect opportunity to make a t-shirt giveaway go viral. Make the requirements simple: “Share this post and comment  why you need a free shirt” is a lot easier than “Show up to our live event at such-and-such time and stay till the end”.

People will share and comment to get a t-shirt. They probably won’t carve time out of their schedule for one.

You can also run a giveaway to get people to post pictures in your t-shirts. For these, the prize has to be something big, generally a service or product that you offer. Maybe a free engine tuneup, for example, if you are a mechanic.

With this method, you will have people clamoring to figure out how they can get your t-shirts, which is just more buzz for your business.

#6 Sponsor An Event

If you have got the budget, consider sponsoring a local event. It could be anything from a little league game to a conference. Whatever you are able to afford.

Sponsoring alone will provide you all sorts of advertising opportunities, but think specifically about how you can work t-shirt promotion ideas into the equation:

  • The first 100 attendees get a free t-shirt at the door.
  • The team/band/etc. wears your shirts instead of their usual garb.
  • Throw (or launch) t-shirts out to the crowd.
  • Run contests that include t-shirts as a prize.

#7 Sell A Limited Edition Run

T-shirts can be expensive to just give away. You do have to see t-shirt marketing as an investment. Brand awareness isn’t quite like a pay-per-click campaign. You can’t instantly track your ROI.

However, one way to advertise with limited costs (or even a profit) is by selling t-shirts.

Marketing your own t-shirts is beyond the scope of this post, but here is one strategy you can use to help drive sales: produce a limited edition run of shirts.

For example, if you are celebrating your 10th anniversary as a business, you could print just 100 shirts to mark the occasion. Make them unique by using the company’s original logo design and you have just increased FOMO exponentially.

You can sell the shirts at-cost to increase the likelihood that people will buy them while still making just enough to break even.

Make Sure Your T-Shirts Put Your Brand In The Best Light

Of course, all these t-shirt marketing ideas are worthless if the shirts you are giving away don’t actually attract attention or portray your business well.

If you aren’t satisfied with your existing t-shirt designs, or if you don’t even have one yet, you need to invest in quality. Legiit is home to many experienced t-shirt graphic designers who can help promote your business.

Browse their services today to find the talent you need to build your brand up the right way.


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