Screen Printing - August/September 2019 - 22
The fifth of 12 designs, Gila Monster is
another example of superb design and
illustration to convey the Nocona story.
listeners who had heard the message.
There was no way to determine how
many listeners actually converted to
an action. The audience confirmed
this to be the case. With that, the following scenario was presented.
1. What would be the value of
a form of media that would
directly engage with your precise
2. Furthermore, what would be the
value of this media if it would
stay connected with your target
for up to three years?
3. Finally, what would be the value
of this media if it would empower your target to tell
your story to anyone who was interested in what you
After a few seconds of stunned silence, the replies to the
questions began to appear.
1. The value to precisely connect would vary depending on
specific circumstances that have not been defined.
2. No media currently exists that could stay in direct
engagement for three years.
3. Because nothing like this exists, and these parameters
delivered, there would be no way to value this form of
media because its value would almost be unlimited.
The reveal was this form of media does indeed exist and
has for many years. It's been largely ignored because it was
being considered from an extremely limited point of view.
The form of media is decorated branded apparel. You could
hear a pin drop for the next 30 seconds as the audience
considered the possibilities. Mild hysteria broke out as these
experienced marketers began to connect the dots.
What followed in the next decade was only a tepid
engagement of the concept. A number of unfortunate
timings kept the idea from being broadly utilized. The chief
proponent was the Great Recession just beginning to grip
the nation. Ad budgets were slashed and even established
programs and budgets were canceled. By the time things
started to recover, few of those present at that conference
remembered the presentation or the possibilities.
BUILDING THE STORY
By 2016, a major shift was happening with the big
advertising brands. Companies like Nike realized they
could not retain engagement for campaigns that focused on
what they did and how they did it. They could only engage
and hold the audience by taking the position of "Brand
Purpose." They had to focus on a bigger purpose that was
more universal. From the "Just Do It" slogan, Nike's
mission statement evolved to "Nike Brings Inspiration and
Innovation to Every Athlete in the
World." It did not say anything about
shoes, sports, or equipment. It was a
bigger vision that will never be filled.
The famous creative director
riCardo Crespo spoke of the power of
Brand Story at ThreadX in 2017 and
the theme continued into 2019. Brand
activations have become very popular.
This is where live garment printing
is done onsite at branded events and
the attendees can either participate
or watch as shirts are printed right in
front of them. Pop-up stores with live
printing and create-your-own graphics
using transfers and DTG have become popular
as more and more retail locations are looking to recover
abandoned retail space lost to the Internet.
All of this revolves around the concept that every T-shirt tells
your story. By including the attendees in the participation, it
becomes an event they will never forget. They created the shirt
and they leave with the medium that will bring back the brand
connection every time they put it on for as long as the shirt lasts.
This isn't about slapping a piece of art on a shirt. The
industry has been doing this for years. This is the next
evolution. It borders on performance art and it creates an
incredible opportunity for apparel decorators who are
working in the marketing space. It will take creativity and a
new perspective to realize this opportunity.
This opportunity centers around the ability to tell the
story the image on the garment represents. Rather than all
the attention on complex imagery and graphics, the emphasis
is on the associated story.
There are tremendous resources to learn how to do this.
The most popular and widely used is Donald Miller's Building
a StoryBrand. The bestselling book leads to a free website
where you can create brand scripts to develop your stories.
If you really want to explore the nuances, you can take the
four-day certification course and become a Certified StoryBrand Guide. This is a very popular avenue for marketing
companies and agencies today.
Whatever direction you choose, there are fresh new
avenues to explore. Even in our commoditized and hypercompetitive industry there are new profit opportunities
that are not subject to offshore competition and race-to-thebottom pricing. The door will not be open forever, but
there is opportunity for those who act quickly and embrace
Mark A. Coudray is an industry pioneer with 47 years of technical
expertise and leadership. He is a multiple Swormstedt Award winner in
both technology and business, is a member of the Academy of Screen
and Digital Printing Technology, and is a Certified StoryBrand Guide.
Screen Printing - August/September 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - August/September 2019
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