We know you don’t want the silver medal. (Who does?)
At Scrappy Apparel, we believe in going for the gold. Today, we’re going to share how you can become #1 in your custom apparel niche.
Too many brands make the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. They burn their marketing budgets in an attempt to appeal to the masses.
Instead, you should find a niche market and monopolize it. That’s the key to building an engaged community and selling thousands of products.
First things first. What is a custom apparel niche?
A niche market is a small group of people who want a certain kind of product. Think of your custom apparel niche as your own little corner in the industry. Within your space, there is less competition and more opportunities to sell your products to potential customers.
OK, but what’s the point of focusing on a niche market?
You might be thinking, “Everyone should wear my custom apparel!”
We agree, but especially if you have a new custom apparel brand, you have to niche down before you scale up.
It sounds contradictory, but hear us out.
The benefits of focusing on a custom apparel niche are twofold:
1. It positions you as a leader in your industry. Your brand will be top of mind with your target customers.
2. It allows you to better serve your target market. By understanding their needs and wants, you can create the exact products they’re looking for (which they’ll happily pay big bucks for).
With a clearly defined niche, you will skyrocket customer loyalty and build a community around your custom apparel brand.
While your competitors spend thousands of dollars on marketing, you’ll be able to sell products without spending as much money or resources.
The key is to speak to your customers in a way that resonates with them.
You know the saying, “Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one?”
Well, niching down is so effective because it allows you to target your message to a small group of people and really speak to them instead of making blanket statements that could apply to literally anyone on Earth.
(Nothing against blankets, but they have no place in your marketing strategy.)
Here’s how you can define and dominate your custom apparel niche:
1. Put your thinking cap on and start researching.
Evaluate your competition and see if there are any niches they are neglecting. Your goal will be to fill a gap in the industry by completely saturating it with your brand.
As you creep on your competitors, look at their social media platforms, websites, and even brick-and-mortar stores (if they have them).
Look at who their customers are. Are there any groups of people you don’t see wearing your competitors’ apparel?
2. Based on your research, make a list of potential niches to focus on.
Brain dump all your ideas—the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’ll narrow down your list in the next step.
3. Think strategically about the potential niches on your list.
Let’s look at the following factors:
- Profitability: Is there a demand for the products you want to sell?
- Sustainability: Do you see yourself creating apparel for this niche long-term? (Hint: if it bores you to death, it’s not the one.)
- The size of the market: You want a big enough group of people to sell to, but not a market that is oversaturated.
- Whether the niche market will spend money on custom apparel: The niche you choose may affect your pricing.
- Your ability to reach people within the niche: Which social media platforms do they use? Where do they hang out? You want to choose a niche that is accessible for you to market to.
4. Choose your niche.
This is an important step, but don’t stress too much about it. Your niche isn’t set in stone. You can change it later as your brand evolves.
5. Based on your chosen niche, get super duper clear on who your target customer is.
- What’s their name?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
- What do they want?
- What do they need?
These questions might sound silly or irrelevant, but they’ll help you understand your customer better so you can sell to them more effectively.
The more specific you can get, the better.
6. Figure out what problem your custom apparel solves for your target customer.
Now, you might be thinking, “I just made a dope t-shirt. I’m not sure what problem it solves.”
This is where psychology comes into play. Dig deeper to understand your target customer. Why will they wear your custom apparel?
- Will it make them feel more confident?
- Will they feel like they’re part of a subculture or community when they wear it?
- Will it make them feel good?
- Will it save them time?
- Will it save them money?
7. Create products that fit within your niche and solve your target customer’s problem.
You might have to get creative with your product offerings.
If you’re targeting a specific subculture, for example, you might want to consider creating other products in addition to t-shirts. (Think hoodies or hats!)
8. Promote your products like crazy!
Your avenues of promotion will depend on your target customer, but here are a few ideas to get the gears turning:
- Social media: Post content on the platforms where your target customers hang out. Tailor your messaging to that one specific person you defined in step #5. This year, many social media platforms are prioritizing short-form video content, so we recommend focusing on that format for the best results.
- Word-of-mouth: Get people talking about your brand by offering incentives for referrals, such as discounts or free products. Also, don’t underestimate the power of online word-of-mouth—you can run an influencer campaign or create an affiliate program to reach even more people within your target market.
- Events: These could include online live streams or in-person shopping experiences. The key is to host or participate in events that will bring you closer to your target customers.
Be creative and think outside the box. There are a million ways to promote your brand—it’s up to you to find the ones that work best for you.
9. Keep an eye on your competition, but don’t worry too much about what they’re doing.
Keep your eye on the prize and don’t get too distracted by what other people in your industry are up to. After all, your goal is to dominate your own niche, not capture the flag from someone else’s place in the market.
10. Allow your brand to evolve and adapt.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying. The world is constantly changing, and so is the market. It’s important to stay flexible and be willing to change with the times.
As you scale your brand, you’ll need a custom apparel partner that can keep up with your growth.
At Scrappy Apparel, we have the bandwidth to produce thousands of garments for your brand using the highest quality fabrics and inks.
Your order will arrive on your doorstep looking exactly like the pre-production layouts you approved. No delays. No missed deadlines. No horror stories.
If that sounds like a dream come true, let’s talk about your custom apparel project: