November 25, 2008 @ 11:33 PM

Post: 142

Join Date: Oct 2008

Location: NYC

Ok so we all know that product placement is of the utmost importance to new up and coming brands right? It is the key component to building a small unknown brand into something that people in our genre of clothing know about, IMO that is of course. With that said, I'd like some help and or maybe some brainstorming ideas.

We deal with a lot of different people in terms of placing our products in various situations. We mostly work with up and coming rappers and mostly people involved in the hip-hop culture. My brand is a little more urban/sneakerhead than pure streetwear/bbc/bape/kanye type style. Though its more "in" to be in the latter category, there is always a need for more urban streetwear, and more crossover streetwear, again IMO.

Via stylists, managers, artists themselves, etc. I have gotten some exposure on MTV (Actually gonna get a big look this Thursday night on 50 Cent's show on MTV, Tony Yayo is wearing one of our Fall pieces throughout the episode from what I was told, or for a great majority of it at the very least, sorry for the shameless self promotion), in movies, and we have a very strong presence on the hip-hop blogs and with the artists who have their music distributed through them. Everyone from Charles Hamilton to Esso, AC, Theo, Donny Goines, Cory Gunz, etc all wear our clothes and give us a good look whenever they can. We have been in Music Videos for songs by Consequence, Joe Budden and a few upcoming one featuring Travis from Gym Class Heroes.

Along with that sort of placement, you need to be in the popular fashion magazines and blogs. The magazines are in a sense easy to do, you just need enough money to get it done, which is problematic for small brands across the board. How many of you other brands can afford to take a $15k per month ad out in Complex for example? Don't get me wrong magazines are still useful and good marketing tools, we have gotten several stores to seek us out after seeing our ads/features in YRB and Antenna, but that kind of advertising only does you so much good with the growth of the internet and the decline in the popularity of print media. We have done interviews for magazines that are not involved with fashion per say, and those have been useful as well, but again only to a certain extent. The popular fashion blogs (especially the site we are on now) are extremely choosy and picky about which brands get posts put up about them, which makes it extremely hard to get in the swing of things in that respect. I whole heartedly understand why it is like this and appreciate their positions in our genre of clothing, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept that fact that you have to work hard, and get lucky at the right time, to get into these sorts of circles.

Ok with all that said now here is what I am noticing. In the clothing game, especially the streetwear game, your biggest obstacle is to get people to notice you from everyone else. To make that happen you need strong product placement and strong store presence. You need to be in the "hot" stores and popular consumer areas. To get in those stores, or even better, to get those views of your product, you need to get the stores to notice you first before the public in a way. The problem with that is most people who buy for stores and/or own stores are kinda disconnected from the culture that they are providing garments for, especially the bigger chain store accounts which most of us covet for obvious reasons.

Sorry if I began to rant, but I was trying to cover a lot of territory. All in all my point is that, we are in business to make money right? That is the underlying theme behind anybody starting any sort of business, barring very specific cases of course. But you need money to make money right? Can you make a brand big without spending the money that your slightly larger sizes competitors do to get noticed? I personally feel that at some point if enough people ask for a certain product the stores have to take notice and pay you your due for your product and therefore contribute to your line taking off and becoming successful. What other ways do you guys know of marketing and placing products that have been successful with your brand. Not only in terms of exposure but also in terms of dollars and cents. Myspace, Facebook, things like that are all obvious and have been done to death by everybody. I'm thinking more outside the box. We do a lot of custom jobs with a number of the up and coming rappers we deal with that have gotten us some more name recognition, but that brings up a whole new set of problems I'm not gonna get into right now. Lets Discuss! lol
November 26, 2008 @ 12:57 AM

Post: 22

Join Date: Nov 2008

interesting thread for sure...

some of the t-shirts are really nice.

Let me just say I am really new to trying to sell shirts and I am sure I could learn a ton from you based on what you posted above.

But... your presentation (website and logo) looks really amature... and I think that may be a big hurtle getting into the hotter stores. It's got an insane clown posse type of vibe at this point.

The good thing you have going for you is that a lot of the product is looking good and I am sure it sells. I think you just need to package the brand better.

good luck...
November 26, 2008 @ 04:29 AM

Post: 181

Join Date: Oct 2008

Location: Bellflower, CA

I'm sure with enough funding, you do have a more leveled playing field, but that doesn't solve anything if you don't have the right experience in art and design.
Having something randomly slapped on a shirt is ineffective in itself even if all your friends think it's the nicest thing out. What we're dealing with are smart consumers. Many readers who daily theirselves on this website are smarter than you'd assume. They know what they want and what they'd spend money on.
As the designer, you have to stay creative at all times and always push away from the comfort zone. If the designs are solid/original and the packaging, promotions, etc. are done with a keen eye, people will pay attention.
Also, rather than always looking to your wallet to make things happen, be guerilla. Instead of just wanting to be in a Complex magazine or a Hypebeast post, be involved in it. Attend events in which any of these, or other brands, are involved in. Talk. Network. You never know who you meet and what kind of connections you can make business-wise. To be successful in anything, you're going to have to eat, sleep, shit your company's pride and products. The name of your brand should never leave your lips because no one's going to hear a silent advertising.

What a lot of these small companies are lacking is NOT heart, because the passion to make something work is always there from the get-go...but it's the lack of vision. Most people only look at things from the present standpoint and have no real perspective of direction and growth. And YES, it's 'dope' to wear your own shit, but remember, this isn't a game, it's BUSINESS. I'm pretty sure that only a small amount of emerging brands are really business-savvy. You can only sell your shirts out of your trunk for so long if you want to make something out of the brand.

So yes, money is always important but if you really want to make something happen, you can always find ways to do it on a limited funding. Store-owners/Business-people are jaded by these up & coming brands because too many people are doing the same shit, hands-down.

But to stick to the script. NETWORK. Participate in everything that pertains to the market you're trying to pulverize with our brand. You don't realize how much free/cheap promotional oppurtunities you have unless you're out there. Build a solid team who would be willing to run with you without pay, knowing their time is an investment. Try not to stick too much to the routine of DunkXChange's and/or market to just one demographic. Try looking into city exhibitions..anything. To build a castle, you need to start with the foundations -- getting your name and your face out there.
November 26, 2008 @ 09:18 AM
C&P Ducci

Post: 33

Join Date: Oct 2007

I'm glad someone brought this up. This is my opinon on the issue....but who am I really.

I hear and see lots of upcoming brands continually focusing significant amounts of time and money on trying to get 'key product placement' on celebs - in hopes that 50 cent wearing your shirt will mean people seeing him wearing it will want to buy it. Though it sounds fairytale, we need to be realistic. Just because someone see's a celeb wearing your shirt, that person might like the design and even be influenced to purhaps purchase it. But in reality, that person can only purchase your shirt if they have access to it. Putting a shirt on 50 cent is not going to sell your shirts if that person doesn't even know what brand he is wearing, nor if you are not in any stores for them to actually purchase it.

One thing I wish people would realize is that all the money, time, and strategies you put into your business all should lead to one thing - making money! (unless your non-profit)

The thing that everyone should be focusing your time and energy on is getting a sale. A sale is your validation that there is a customer out there, and that there is demand for your product. Part of getting a sale is getting in stores....who will also want that validation that there is demand for your product in order for them to put it in their store. It's sort of a chicken and egg problem.

But one thing I do know, is that you will not gain widespread acceptance and support for your BRAND by having a couple celebs wearing a single shirt in a music video. What you need is buy in from key stakeholders that can bring your brand to the forefront of the industry.

To be honest, in this industry it is about who you know, in order for you to get key people to support your brand - that will actually translate into sales!!! But there are ways for you to do this - but it takes time.

An easy way get a validation that there is demand for your product is by putting your clothes in shops on consignment, and once sold you can leverage those sales to that very shop and others. All of a sudden, if this shop owner see's your product sell, they are much more likely to make an order in the next season. Not only do they make the order, but you can bet they are in constant communication with other shop owners which will significantly improve your chances of getting in other stores.

But with this, you must keep in mind the positioning of your brand. If you want to compete against the top tier brands (supreme, hundreds, stussy) and have hopes of getting into the top tier stores that sell them - DO NOT target consigment of shitty shops - because that will not give you and leverage when approaching high end stores. It is very hard work - but you should target consignments that will validate there is demand from the customers you are actually targeting.

This explains why there are soooo many small clothing brands that never make it to the top. They start off small, rush into shitty stores, and once in there - there isn't a shot in hell you are going to be picked up by the best stores that we all wish we could be in. It's fine if you do not want to compete with the top brands, because it is SUPER difficult, and there definitely is demand for brands that arn't Supreme - just know how you are positioning your brand.

Instead of spending money and time trying to get your product on hot shots....focus on validating your product/brand, and at that point you can look to celebs to launch your brand threw the skies - because at that point your product would actually be accessible and identifable.

I have not seen really any upcoming brands that have made HUGE gains from having some celebs wear their products.

Subcons, just as an example - you have done an amazing job on getting your product on a shit load of big guys....and props goes to you on that accomplishment because God knows you definitely need a good network to pull that off! But in hindsight, despite you have been very successful in getting that exposure....your brand has not skyrocketed in the industry. I am not at all trying to put your brand down because you have done some amazing things - its just I feel you would be much better off focusing your time, energy, and money on things that have significant benefits for your brand.

November 26, 2008 @ 12:05 PM

Post: 142

Join Date: Oct 2008

Location: NYC

Thanks for the replies, Let me see if I can get this right...

cotdamn - appreciate the honest opinion and honestly we have been working on the website and plan to relaunch it in the new year, and I agree with you a 100% or website is not up to snuff

dino - pretty much any sort of head way we have made in our business is through networking and going to different events, fashion and non-fashion related, and getting the word out. When we first started I would go to all sorts of events and nobody knew or cared about who I was or what my brand was, now I see the change. When I go to an event I always get a few "Oh you're the subcon guys? Yeah I know about your brand". Though it's a small thing, it gives you a sense of self confidence that maybe you are doing something right, and people are beginning to pay attention. Yes it is possible to do many things on limited funding, but if you have limited funding for your line, then you most likely have limited funding for your everday life right, thats safe to assume in most cases correct? So that means that along with doing the line, you need some source of income to live and get by in society, meaning a job of some sort, which severely cuts into time you can use to build your brand. The happy median in this sort of situation is very tricky and hard to come by in my opinion. We have done dunkxchange's like you said, we have done trade shows like Magic in Vegas, and we have attended countless events for all sorts of industries via our PR connections.

C&P - the problem is that very few times ever will you know that something you do is going to directly correlate to your brands success right? most things you have no choice but to walk into at least a little blind and hope for the best. you obviously take calculated risks in this sort of environment and more often than not you get something constructive out of it, but does it make you successful? Consignment is a good tool for smaller brands, but many of the 'in' stores don't want to buy or do consignment many times for no other reason than they can't sell what they have in stock now, so bringing in new stuff to take up more space is not helping them.

I forgot something I wanted to hit on. How hard is it to develop a good sales team? From our experiences I can honestly say its the most difficult part of our business. It's easy to find a prospective salesman sure, but it's another story to find a salesman that will and can actually sell things for you. More than that, you need a sales TEAM, that knows the product, the brands direction, and more importantly understands both aspects and knows how to sell people on that fact. Sales is tough in any business, especially in todays economic climate, and finding a sales team to work off of commission and still put a lot of time and energy in is basically a long shot right now. any other thoughts?
December 7, 2008 @ 11:08 PM

Post: 1

Join Date: Dec 2008

Product Placement in Independent Film
I enjoyed reading this. I work with a small independent film company; StrongPaul Productions. We are in the process of looking for product placements for our new feature film titled "Swooped". We will begin shooting in Philadelphia, PA December 20th, after the holidays travel to Orlando, FL for on location shooting. Clothing product placement is our number at the moment. Do you have any advice about how to go about getting to the right people for the placement? Or perhaps, is anyone interested from this forum in product placement? If anyone is, please feel free to contact me at [email][/email]. My name is Tiffany and I look forward from hearing from you.

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