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Dogecore: Success through Humor and Authenticity

Dogecore: Success through Humor and Authenticity
Sarah Reilly

By Sarah Reilly

6 min read

“Dogecore is an online internet-culture-based art project that grew out of the collaboration of two s**tposters on the internet,” explains co-founder Dominic Jackson. It’s also a highly successful ecommerce business that currently averages over 3K orders a month.

Dominic, along with his friend and colleague Aleksander (Aleks) “have been posting dog memes on the internet for as long as social media has been around.” He goes on: “over time it’s evolved into creating our own stories and art based on our lived experiences.” Dogecore embodies the aesthetics and vibes of internet culture.

How has this offbeat overture turned into a main act? We talked to Dominic about the growth of his brand and how staying true to your origins is at the heart of their success.

If you build it, they will come

Printful: Can you tell us about making your first sale? 

Dominic: “Aleks and I both worked pretty crappy jobs in the past, and when you’re in that kind of  position, you look to any avenue of escape. We were lucky enough to be running a successful online ‘meme page’ for nearly a decade prior to turning it into a company. We had an audience of around 160K on the dying Facebook platform before becoming a brand, and that helped us gain confidence to pursue our passion full time.” 

Printful: And what’d you do?

Dominic: “Aleks put the pieces together to create the machine that is dogecore off the back of our social media popularity. He produced a single t-shirt design in Microsoft Paint to test his theory that people would be interested in buying it, and it worked. I jumped on board not long after to help collaborate on the designs and ‘lore’ of the brand.”

Raccoon tees

dogecore.com

Takeaway: Harness the momentum and interest surrounding your social media following, and make it part of who you are as a brand. This will help you better hone your niche and audience, and capitalize off of existing popularity. 

Keep reading: Learn about growing an audience and building a brand

No risk, all gain 

Printful: How’d you get your brand off the ground on a limited budget? Any tips you could share? 

Dominic: “Borrow £40 from your dad. But seriously, it’s often hard to know if anyone will like your stuff until you get people to see it. So my advice is, as corny as it sounds, believe in yourself. You have nothing to lose and Printful helped us begin this journey with nearly zero capital.”  

Printful: And for those who want to scale their existing business?

Dominic: “Print-on-demand (POD) is great for low capital, high-risk sales. I could run a very successful t-shirt company but I’d always entertain the idea of using POD services to try out new designs. It reduces the scary thought of having 400 t-shirts piling up in your garage that you can’t sell.”

mischief sweatshirt and hoodie

dogecore.com

Printful: How has your sales volume evolved using print-on-demand?

Dominic: “We’ve always been POD so that’s never really changed. However, POD does help prevent any bottlenecks in our supply chain. Even if we were to buy a considerable amount of merchandise preprinted, we’d still use POD to support any inventory issues that could arise. And economies of scale have given us better prices as we’ve grown.”

Takeaway: When you partner with an on-demand supplier to produce, fulfill, and ship your products to customers, you only pay when an item is purchased. That means you don’t have to invest in stock up front, buy in bulk, or accurately predict what customers want to buy. And you don’t get stuck with the products that don’t sell. Added bonus: you can experiment with different designs or product collections as much as you want.

Keep reading: ​​The Ultimate Guide to Selling without Inventory

Quality plus support

Printful: Why’d you choose to partner with Printful?

Dominic: “High-quality direct-to-garment printing and next-level embroidery options. This, along with good customer service. We’re very appreciative of the agents that are dedicated to helping us grow and troubleshoot issues with us.” 

printful fulfillment center

Printful

Printful: What has the team helped with?

Dominic: “Some of the issues we frequently face are lost/missing packages or postal delays. Printful has always supported us rapidly to resolve problems and ensure the best experience for our customers. I feel like this is a partnership, whereas with other companies, I’ve often felt like I’m dealing with a large machine that doesn’t really care about my business. I’ll be forever grateful for how understanding Printful is when it comes to shipping and quality control issues. It allows us to have a very good relationship with our customers. And if you need advice, Printful has a wealth of it.”

Takeaway: The success of our sellers is directly correlated to Printful’s success, so we want your store to thrive. Using high-quality blank products and industry-leading production technology is a major part of that. 24/7 customer support in your own language through multiple channels is too. 

Keep reading: Discover Printful’s product and service quality

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Customer with received custom jacket
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Cracking jokes and cashing checks

“I sell memes and dreams. One day I woke up with an idea that took 2 minutes to put together and it’s put my dog through college.”

Printful: We’re curious, how do you market your products?

Dominic: “Currently, through Instagram and Facebook. I also write award-winning emails once a week that have won 2 Emmys and a Pulitzer Prize for their high level of entertainment and quality. All jokes aside, our emails have a 42% open rate—you can’t beat that.”

Dogecore Instagram post

dogecore Instagram

Printful: Any particular tactic you’ve had success with?

Dominic: “Being unhinged on the internet for so long that, by the time my parents gave up all hope in me, a thousand strangers online started throwing money my way.”

Printful: We’re so glad it worked out. 

Takeaway: Humor sells. 91% of people globally prefer brands to be funny and 72% of people would choose a humorous brand over others. So, make sure humor is a part of your marketing strategy. Generate positive emotions around your brand with witty references and clever retorts. Don’t be afraid to play up your quirky side. 

Keep reading: How to Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy

Keeping it real

Dogecore Instagram post

dogecore Instagram

Printful: If there’s one promo strategy for those just starting out with print-on-demand, what would it be?  

Dominic: “Be yourself and don’t copy other peoples’ brands. There are tens of thousands of bots doing that already and they’re doing it better than you.”

Printful: We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Keep reading: 100 Ideas on How to Find a Niche for Your Online Store

Last but not least

Printful: What have you learned about building an ecommerce brand that you didn’t know at the start?

Dominic: “I’m surprised by how many really stupid people are successful in business. Don’t let you hold you back. I don’t know who needs to read this but I can assure you that there are 2 dozen people behind you making money this way with ideas a thousand times worse.” 

Printful: Very true. Any last words for others who might be starting out on this journey?

Dominic: “Don’t quit your day job.”

Printful: Sound advice from a seasoned ecommerce entrepreneur. But we’d add one more thing—don’t quit your day job. . . for now.

author

By Sarah Reilly on Jan 10, 2023

Sarah Reilly

Sarah is a Senior Content Writer at Printful with experience in editing, translation, and teaching. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and is passionate about language.

Sarah is a Senior Content Writer at Printful with experience in editing, translation, and teaching. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and is passionate about language.

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