Live from PRINTING United: STAHLS' Jenna Sackett on the Future of Print-On-Demand
Apparel can be more than just a good freebie. It can an experience thanks to print-on-demand. Jenna Sackett, Brand Activation Manager for STAHLS, took the stage at Future State to discuss how apparel decorators should look into print-on-demand if they haven’t already and, if they have, how they can maximize profitability and customer retention, and create a lasting impression.
Sackett used an example of a T-shirt printer who created a line of apparel relating to “Sanderson Sisters Brewing,” around when the second “Hocus Pocus” movie came out before this Halloween season. It wasn’t anything too special, just white, orange and black T-shirts with a cute design. But, because he zeroed in on something that was a major pop culture moment, and tied it in with a holiday, he landed more than $46,000 in profit after one week. After a month he had made more than $140,400.
Simply doing print-on-demand isn’t enough, Sackett says. You need to differentiate yourself from the pack, and the best way to do that is through activations. She showed what STAHLS did with Fanatics at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, but stressed that it doesn’t have to be the biggest event in America to be successful.
“Activations are where your next step is,” Sackett says. “Simply all you need is a heat press to set up at customer shops or at events and provide experiences not just for them, but their customers as well.”
Her formula for success is as follows: Research products that sell, find niche products to appeal to a specific group, use facebook ads, and diversity the platforms on which you sell. So, for example, instead of just deciding to sell cheerleading T-shirts, go a step further and think about schools in your area. Go even further than that, actually, and think specifically about high schools in your town. Or, to use the T-shirt example she highlighted, find something that people are talking about (a new movie and its related nostalgia), create the design with different options (but not too many to dilute the message) and advertise the heck out of it wherever you can!
For activations, creating something right in front of the end-buyer creates a larger sense of permanence and exclusivity. This product was made specifically for them. It might just be transferring a design onto a T-shirt for you, but for the end-buyer it’s attaching sentimental value.