Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: How to Develop Hot T-Shirt Design in Six Steps | Learn the Vagaries of the Business in Nigeria from Coded Sportswear Ltd
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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 “My Oga at the Top” imprinted T-shirt shot up like a meteor in 2013. It was rather a surprise how an interview that turned comical...


 “My Oga at the Top” imprinted T-shirt shot up like a meteor in 2013. It was rather a surprise how an interview that turned comical with a Civil Defense Corp, passing bulk on Channels TV, became such a big hit on T-shirt market in Nigeria.

Sales jump from N1 Million to N30 million by December 2013. But the young designers, Coded Sportswear Ltd, based in Mushin Lagos Nigeria, realized that T-shirt business was volatile. Although, “My Oga at the Top” line was hot today, it would inevitably cool down. So there’s always the need to research for a new line of product design and word imprint.


 In 2014, they developed a new line of T-shirt that focused on the solidarity market, with an imprint: “#Bring Back Our Girls.” Sales shot up again to N50 million by the end of 2014.



With Political campaign in 2015 and Coded Sportswear at the hob of imprinting T-shirts and other campaign materials from All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential and Lagos state Governorship candidates, the company has made close N100 million in revenue in just 2 months.



They developed another new line of T-shirt focused on the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo as the new rave in world football. They so well captured the “CR7 King of Goals,” this time aimed at football fans in Nigeria. Each new product was developed through a process in which the company took six steps:


  1. Recognized a market trend
In 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand image was rising fast, Videos and CR& Underwear were selling like wild fire across the world. The strong team legacy of Real Madrid, UEFA Champions league title was projecting Ronaldo positively in the mind of football fans all around the world.


2. Recognized that the increase in segment participation would increase demand for the segment-related goods; including imprinted apparel.

In 2014, “#Bring Back Our Girls” solidarity were the focal issue around the world for over half of the year. People were rushing to purchase the imprinted T-shirt to join the support against Boko Haram insurgence that kidnapped the Chibok secondary school girls.


-          3. Research the market to see whether the imprinted category was being addressed. Contact retailers and Sales reps; put your ear to the ground to hear what potential customers are ready to buy. Test out the market.

OJ Kuti, marketing director of Coded Sportswear ltd said: “When your T-shirt design speaks the mind of the people, it sells like wild fire, whether the words imprinted are positive or not. Your part is to discern what’s trending with the people at the moment.”


-         4. Develop a trademark/ brand name through research and brainstorming. Do your trademark search and get the license in case you’re to use sports team or celebrity photo imprint on the T-shirt line. Then do the trademark filing.


-          5. Developed and designed product, brainstorming ideas of images, copy of words to be imprinted and get feedback from target consumers and sales reps.

In 2015, Coded Sportswear had already obtained feedback from football fans, visited many viewing centers to take on the spot survey. The result was the bases for the new “CR7 King of Goals” T-shirt.


6. Launched new product line
Timing and distribution channels make the difference. Coded sportswear felt good when “My Oga at the Top” became a novel. The time was right and T-shirt was distributed in large stock at the local market and Sports shops across the street.


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