Q&A: How Branding Raises Apparel Perceptions

Branded apparel doesn’t have the highest perceived value from end-buyers, but there are ways to bolster its perception. Perhaps the easiest, and most powerful, is the use of decoration.

That’s something Michael Snyder has seen firsthand, particularly in his current role as vice president of PCNA Apparel and Trimark (asi/92121). The supplier offers six decoration techniques and certainly puts them to use – approximately 80% of its apparel is sold branded.

Snyder says the branding becomes part of the process at Trimark, thanks to a team of Apparel Project Managers who work with the company’s sales teams to oversee the garments from start to finish.

With all his company’s hands-on branding expertise, Wearables asked Snyder about the ways decoration can raise the perception of apparel.

Q: How does the simple act of branding influence end-user perception of a garment?
Michael Snyder: We can tell a pretty awesome story just by pairing great logos and compelling secondary art files with strategic use of various imprinting techniques, and then selecting from hundreds of pre-engineered locations (both inside and out).

Q: What are the most effective uses of apparel decoration to raise end-buyer and end-user perceptions?
MS: Two things have to happen when we create branded apparel. One, the garment has to be worn and worn repeatedly. Two, the brand and brand message need to be realized, seen and retained. Apparel in its own right is a very personal thing. If we really do our homework to find the perfect garment and the perfect branding, we can create a connection and perception unlike any other promotionally inspired product.

Q: Can a poor quality decoration actually do damage to how the garment is received?
MS: Absolutely! The wrong approach to branding can render the perfect garment worthless, and no one will wear it. I think we all, at some point in our lives, have received a brand-new decorated garment that just completely missed the mark.

Q: What’s typical pricing for multimedia decoration and how much more can distributors typically upcharge for it? And how effective is multimedia at impressing buyers?
MS: Because multimedia branding has another level of engineering required, with two techniques working in concert and needing exacting placement, a surcharge is certainly justified. This typically would not exceed the cost of another location. Multimedia can be incredibly effective to bolster the branding message. This is why we have invested so heavily in our internal design services – to know when to open this box and when it’s a case of trying too hard.