EducationQ&A

As a heat printing business, what am I competing for?

You know what your equipment and heat print technology can accomplish. You can embellish a wide variety of items, both in apparel and hard goods categories. You also can offer the widest range of finishes on any particular substrate or garment. But what does all that variety mean to the person that you are selling to?

You are competing for several things. Unlike Netflix, you can’t have the laser focus of fighting only for screen time. And the answer is different for a few different customer types. For those of you with a clothing line, you are competing for closet share. How much of the closet do you own in any given household? What about your brand makes people want to wear it? Dial in the details of what your brand stands for and how your decorating technique can add to that brand story.

If you are in more traditional markets where heat printing is used to decorate uniforms and spirit wear, what are you competing for? You are fighting for the identity and pride that comes with belonging to a team. Knowing that should influence the approach that you take to heat transfer design, heat transfer placement, and product groupings. For instance, if your offering or pitch can show that by choosing your business for uniforms and team identity products, then you get a leg up on the competition, which focuses on selling some shirts or decorated items.

Maybe your heat decorating business is focused on printing at events. This limits your potential customer base to the people who are attending any given event where you are set up. In this situation, you are competing for attendee attention. How should this change the approach to marketing at the event? The only way someone will take advantage of on-site heat printing services is if they can find you. Find ways to make that easier at larger events, from having an extra person on staff to walk the event and invite people to your booth to handing out a few small giveaways or running contests.

—Stahls’

Josh Ellsworth, Stahls'

Josh Ellsworth

Josh is the VP of sales, dealer channel for Stahls'. He deals in the sales and implementation of heat-applied, apparel-decorating systems with a focus on customization. He holds skills in the production, sale, and marketing of customized apparel. He presents seminars at trade shows and contributes articles to trade publications, like Printwear magazine.

Zach Ellsworth

Zach Ellsworth

Zach Ellsworth has been working in heat print technology for the past 20 years. Zach is currently serving as the director of fulfillment technology at GroupeSTAHL, where he’s focused on making it even easier for businesses to implement heat print technology at scale.

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