Blog / Customer success stories / Classic Dad: Turning Childhood Puns Into a Brand
When he was a kid, Daniel Stone would tell his dad, “I’m hungry” to which he got the classic response, “Hey Hungry, I’m Dad.”
Now a father himself, Daniel enjoys sharing the same dadisms with his wife and children.
He’s taking it beyond corny jokes at dinnertime. His love and appreciation for all things dad has led him to co-found a business that celebrates dad culture—Classic Dad.
Daniel likes to call himself The Lawn Whisperer, a title derived from his love of lawn work. While he says he’s “ironically bad” at it, it’s still a great source of pride: “at any time my lawn is either half dead or half alive.”
Mowing the lawn, enjoying the smell of grass, and using his lawn tools are just some of the ways he lives the dad life.
Stone loves being a dad and is particularly proud of his multitasking abilities. With two kids, there’s always something that needs cleaning, and he’s happy to do it: “My children love watching me and they find me so funny.” Fully embracing his role as a dad has made fatherhood a fun and exciting part of life.
More than just laughs and smiles, dad moves are funny and relatable, something almost everyone can understand. Fixing up the house, waxing the car, and firing up the grill are a few ways dads inspire us, and Daniel wanted to share that sentiment with the world.
Classic Dad started as a fun social media page that shares dad memes. After gaining a loyal following on Instagram and Facebook, requests started pouring in for Classic Dad merch. Happy to oblige, Daniel’s team began hunting for merchandise partners.
Daniel found Printful in the Shopify App Store, and both services have been instrumental in helping their brand succeed. Classic Dad’s very first sale came using Shopify’s user-friendly abandoned cart feature.
Learn more: How to Start a Clothing Brand: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
For Daniel’s team, Printful’s most useful features have been 24/7 customer service and the opportunity to experiment with new products. They had considered using a local screen printer, but decided that ordering so many shirts at once would be too risky.
“Printful gave us a good ability to test designs without doing a massive, print-run commitment.”
Classic Dad made the most of Printful’s product range and launched an apparel line that included short and long-sleeved t-shirts, hats, mugs, and aprons.
According to Daniel, first-time dads want trim, athletic-fitting clothes, while older dads want more comfortable t-shirts with room to stretch around in. Providing something for dads of all sizes has definitely been the right choice.
Classic Dad’s audience values quality. Customers need a shirt that can withstand dad type things like feeding a baby (and getting thrown up on by said baby), doing yard work, and grilling.
Daniel’s team was satisfied that Printful t-shirts could hold their own against mud, grease, or projectile baby food and put their efforts into promoting the store.
From the start, the team knew they wanted to focus on promoting curated content on social media, with emphasis on quality, not quantity.
Classic Dad embraced its fans’ user-generated content, and that played a big role in growing that community to the size it is now. Embracing dad culture proved a popular niche.
Daniel and his team don’t want to stop at just sharing pictures on social media. They want to organize events for dads from all over the country. Daniel’s vision is to host a gigantic BBQ, where dads can share insight about everything from secret grilling techniques, awesome smoked meat recipes, to tips on mowing the lawn.
Memes are funny images with text that are shared on the internet and often have pop culture references. They’re completely random and ridiculous in their own way.
Meme marketing is one strategy that has definitely paid off for Classic Dad. Take this picture for example:
It’s a parody of the Felt cute. might delete later. meme from 2017, which has grown in internet popularity.
Although Daniel works on it a lot, Classic Dad is still a side hustle. His main job is content, web, and video development at a marketing agency. While his marketing job pays the bills, Classic Dad covers family vacations and contributes to savings.
While Classic Dad isn’t the only brand on the market selling dad merch, they do have a distinct competitive advantage.
First, Classic Dad has an original YouTube web series called Lawn Whisperers, which adds comedic spin on various lawn-related dad misadventures. Daniel and his team promote this on their social media channels as just one way of diving deeper into dad culture.
Second, Classic Dad offers a huge variety of products.
“The biggest mistake we made when first launching was actually not offering enough variety in our merchandise,” says Daniel.
Today, you can find dozens of funny, dad inspired designs on a wide range of products in many different colors and sizes.
You’d guess that the t-shirt with Thermostat Police is something Daniel would wear, but it’s actually a role exclusive to his wife: she’s the only one allowed to touch the thermostat in their house.
Besides Thermostat Police, Daniel says the women in his family also love wearing Lawn Whisperer when they’re out gardening in the backyard. In fact, Classic Dad is a brand that appeals to the whole family.
Grow your audience by finding a related niche.
Being a dad isn’t just about cleaning up after the kids and mowing the lawn. It’s also about embracing a lifestyle that, even if cringey at times, brings joy and laughter to children. Daniel is thrilled that Classic Dad has resonated so well with dads and moms everywhere. It just goes to show that some jokes really are timeless.
Do you have any awesome dad jokes you can tell us? Or maybe you’re a parent yourself and want to share the fun, crazy ways you’ve embraced dad culture. We’d love to hear about your dadisms in the comments!
Feeling inspired by all the cool, family-friendly designs from Classic Dad? Why not create your own custom dad hat? We have plenty of ways to channel your inner laid-back dad with vintage look caps to complete any look.
Read Next: 12 Dazzling Dad Shirts for Every Father
You can find me devouring the dusty marigold pages of my First Edition Wheel of Time collection while enjoying a plate of fluffy pancakes next to my adopted goldfish, Harold.
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