Seth Godin – “Is it a t-Shirt Brand?”

person wearing a black flowered tshirt“Not all projects become t-shirt brands, nor should they.

The risk is in thinking you’re building one when you’re not. T-shirt worthy brands are a very small subset of the whole.

The question is: Would your customers want to wear your logo on a t-shirt?


If you’re creating identity, possibility, connection and giving folks status, it’s easy to see how you could build a t-shirt brand in just about any field. Of course, no t-shirt brand is for everyone, that’s part of the point.” – Seth Godin

Seth got me thinking, so I jotted down a few notes on branding you might find helpful.

Do I need to build a brand for my business?

That depends.

If you’re simply providing a good service at a good price, then maybe you don’t need to spend time building a brand.

Then again, if you want to build a stellar reputation and become the ‘go-to’ business for your niche, then branding can be incredibly important.

A strong brand can help distinguish your business from competitors and make it easier for customers to remember and recognize your products or services.

Here are some reasons why building a brand can be important:

Differentiation – A strong brand helps your business stand out from competitors and makes it easier for customers to identify and choose your products or services.

Think of Coke vs the store brand of cola. Coke needs their brand to create the loyal following and charge more. The so-called store brand isn’t really about branding, but about offering a lower price than the brand name.

Trust and Credibility – A well-established brand can convey a sense of trust and credibility to customers, which can be important in building long-term relationships.

In information marketing, your brand is often your own personal name, but it could be a business name of your choosing.

Loyalty – A strong brand can help build customer loyalty and increase the likelihood that customers will choose your products or services over those of competitors.

Think about Apple iPhones. In reality, they aren’t all that different from android, but they can charge more because of their name the loyal following they’ve built.

Recognition – A well-known brand can increase recognition and awareness of your business, which can lead to more customers and greater success.

Remember the “…for Dummies” series of books? Almost anything you wanted to learn was offered in this series, such as Nutrition for Dummies, Astronomy for Dummies and Excel for Dummies. You knew exactly what you were getting when you saw that word “Dummies” and the yellow cover.

Overall, building a brand can be an important part of growing your business and establishing a strong presence in the market.

Times when building a brand may not be important:

When operating in a niche or small market, word-of-mouth referrals and a strong reputation within the industry may be more important. Then again, you still need to be called something, and most likely it will be your own personal name.

When selling generic or low-cost products and the emphasis is on price and convenience rather than brand recognition. These are the ‘store-brand’ products and for the life of me I cannot tell you one single ‘store-brand’ name because they simply aren’t memorable, nor do they need to be memorable.

When operating as a reseller or distributor for established brands, building your own brand may not be necessary. Then again, shoe stores that sell Nike still have their own brand name such as The Foot Locker. Of course, if you’re selling these name brands on Amazon or at the local market, you won’t need any band name at all.

When launching a short-term project or campaign such as a single one-off product that you plan to sell like crazy and then close the doors. Then again, if it’s a good product then you might want to name it something that can be the first of a series of similar products, or even use your own brand name to begin building some recognition for future launches.

How can I build a brand name on a budget?

Branding on a budget can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible. Here are some tips to get you started:

Define your brand – Begin by defining your brand’s values, mission, and unique selling proposition (USP). This will help you develop a brand identity that is distinct from competitors.

Use a short, catchy name – You might feel like they’re all taken, but if you get creative you can find a name that people will remember.

Identify your target audience – Who is this brand for and how will it appeal to them?

Develop a strong visual identity – Create a logo and visual elements that are consistent across all of your branding materials, including your website, social media, and promotional materials. If you’re not a graphic artist then you might want to hire this out.

Partner with well-known people and brands – Collaborating with other brands and influencers that share your target audience can help you gain more exposure and reach new customers.

Building a strong brand takes time and effort, but with a clear strategy and a commitment to consistency, you can create a name brand on a budget.


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