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9 Successful Print-on-Demand Store Examples and What You Can Learn From Them

9 Successful Print-on-Demand Store Examples and What You Can Learn From Them

Few things are more motivating than learning from another brand’s success. That’s why we’ve reached out to owners of successful print-on-demand stores to hear their stories.  9 brands have shared tips on marketing strategies that have worked for them. This article’s for you if you’re just starting a print-on-demand business, or you’re already selling products and have an online following. Experimenting with new marketing strategies will help you find what works best for your brand. All you need now is a little push to get the ball rolling. 1. Sunshine Sunshine was created by Frank and Terrie, but now includes multiple designers who share their vision. The store is all about self-improvement, growth, and spirituality. Each collaborating artist has added a touch of their artistic style to this idea, captivating the attention of every new Sunshine store visitor. Source: Sunshine  Here’s Frank on the story behind the brand: “We started our shop on a whim and built it over a weekend. I was making some merch for fun, and my wife Terrie had a burst of inspiration and designed a dozen items overnight. It all just came together so quickly. We knew we had to take that feeling and run with it. I told myself I’d stop building when I hit a roadblock, and we’re still going three years later! Thankfully Printful and WooCommerce make a great combo and helped us to create quickly without getting stuck.” The Sunshine Shop started strong with Terrie’s beautiful designs and expanded quickly with the help of an interesting organic marketing strategy. Frank and Terrie discovered that by providing their marketplace to other artists, they’d get an instant connection to the artists’ followers. “Our most successful marketing tactic so far was a happy accident. We have $0 ad money to spend. We simply partner with like-minded creators and help them build collections. With their reach, we can use organic tactics to create a very strong top-of-funnel through all of our artists’ social media channels, ranging from Substack to Instagram to TikTok. With their combined reach, we have an audience of over 1.4M.” If you want to collaborate with an artist that matches your store’s niche, reach out to them. But before that, consider if your goals will match the artist’s, and whether their following will support your revenue goals. Then, promote your and your artist’s work on Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform you choose.  “We partner with like-minded artists, usually underrepresented folks, women, and non-binary creators. Then we help our artists to build collections, and we support them with an extra revenue stream so they can focus on what they love to do—make beautiful art. Sometimes artists have their assets and ideas, and others start from scratch. It’s not a science, but more of a feeling. We decide who we work with based on their unique personalities, perspectives, and ideas, as well as the potential for merchandising their work, and of course, their social media following. That’s usually a good indicator that when we make stuff, there’ll be an audience who wants it.” Printful has helped Sunshine to experiment freely with its products. They don’t need to invest in product stock and worry if something will be a hit or a loss of revenue. “Print-on-Demand has helped us use an iterative process to experiment and test out merch before we go into full screen printing production. An example is Annika Izora-Hansteen’s merch, where we use a mix of POD, screen printing, and even stock our screen-printed merch at the Printful facility where they handle warehousing and shipping. It’s totally a ‘progress over perfection’ business where we prioritize getting things out and seeing how it resonates with people. With this setup, we can focus on marketing and not worry about packing orders for hours or having a bunch of dead stock in the garage. Three years later and we’re still having so much fun!” Source: Sunshine Sunshine takeaways Decide on your brand’s mission and niche Partner with like-minded artists to merchandise their art and attract traffic from their social media following Build your social media presence on various platforms Don’t stop growing and improving your brand 2. DUMBCLUB DUMBCLUB offers embroidered apparel in blue, pink, and grey colors with adorable cartoon animals and fun texts (and they also have stickers!). Besides spreading positivity, DUMBCLUB’s mission is to support charities that protect wildlife and nature.  The brand currently has more than 594,800 followers on TikTok, and it’s been a game changer.  “By far our most successful marketing tactic has been natural growth on the popular social media platform TikTok. Short format, fast-paced content with a consistent and easily recognizable idea or message has drastically increased our brand recognition.” Many of their videos have a “win a free hoodie” theme. People in public are given tasks like “finish the lyrics” or “get points with a mini basketball.” They’ve even dared strangers to dump milkshakes on their heads! It’s fun to watch people’s reactions to their antics. The videos are engaging, and they attract attention to DUMBCLUB.   Source: DUMBCLUB’s TikTok “To anyone looking to start a clothing brand or increase traffic/sales on their ecommerce website I would highly recommend investing in your social media presence as soon as possible. Identify your audience, create a posting schedule, and learn how to, or get help with, editing images and videos for your social media.”  How can you grow your social media presence? “Dedicate time to brainstorming new content ideas and focus on making the content engaging. When brainstorming, consider this question: what incentive do viewers have to like, comment, or continue watching? For videos, consider at what point the viewer might lose interest and how you can make that moment more engaging.” The brand also insists that it’s essential to keep at it. “Most importantly, keep posting. Don’t let yourself get discouraged by disappointing results, especially early on.”  Source: DUMBCLUB DUMBCLUB’s takeaways Identify your audience Invest time in building your social media presence to grow traffic and increase sales Invest time in brainstorming content that’s engaging to your audience Stick to a posting schedule Don’t let yourself get discouraged by disappointing results 3. Janina Rossiter Janina Rossiter sells ocean-themed merch on Etsy and on her website janinarossiter.com. The products range from swimsuits to hats, and stunning abstract art prints. Her goal is to raise awareness about the impact people have on our oceans and to support organizations dedicated to sea wildlife conservation. Janina has also found a fun way to educate people from an early age—she’s the author and illustrator of children’s books.  Her message to other aspiring store owners is simple yet powerful: “Be authentic and honest. Starting a shop can be a challenging journey, but you should find your passion, find what you really love, and go for it. This is a journey that can be exciting and fulfilling, but at the same time very tiring and hard. Just remember that growing slowly is not always a negative, and that making connections with others is valuable.” Source: Janina Rossiter Janina Rossiter takeaways  Believe in yourself and your mission and don’t give up Connect with like-minded people who share the same values as you It’s hard work creating a shop, but once people start loving your brand it’ll be rewarding Take it slow, you’ll get there 4. Midcentury Style Shop Midcentury Style Shop sells home decor, mugs, caps, beach accessories, and more. As you can tell by its name, the store is inspired by the timeless mid‑century modern aesthetic. The store owner, Karl Rowley, is an award-winning graphic designer who puts his own spin on this well-loved style.  Midcentury Style Shop is characterized by chic silhouettes and fun touches. Their designs are wonderfully retro, with bright accent colors and throwback patterns.

Sep 27, 2022

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