How is Slappy Wares different from other T-Shirt shops?
The First Idea
There's a journey involved in this story. As you'll recall, our first blog post revealed the origin story of Slappy Wares. It was a tale of side splitting laughter about a very amorous dolphin and one of our dearest friends. The Cancun Collection was created after we couldn't find dolphin T-Shirts worthy of commemorating this event. Of course, from that effort grew others ideas. We quickly saw an opportunity to create and market T-Shirts that weren't common.
The Competitive Audit
We looked around at what other T-Shirt companies are doing and to be honest we're fans of clever T-Shirts so it was a combination of research and shopping. What we found was:
- A lot of group think where various experts recommend looking for a trending design and just doing your own version with different fonts. For example, look at how many "I paused my game to be here" T-Shirts are available. We gave it a little thought and came up with a host of unique concepts in our Gamer T-Shirt collection
- Other places like Threadless appear to outsource the creative to various artists and i'm sure cut them in on a share of the profits which was clever and they only pay the artists $1/shirt. It reminds me of Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) where the margins are small for the amount of hustle required. MLM, in my experience, usually is a consumer subscription masquerading as a way to start a small business (think Advocare, etc).
- Amazon is expectedly a large T-Shirt market and one we plan to enter. There certainly are a lot of sellers there so its a legitimate and likely competitive marketplace with a variety of sellers and styles.
- Major retail stores have their own graphic Ts with obvious tuning for their customer segments.
- Zazzle appeared to have a lot of unimaginative t-shirt ideas.
After this audit, we realized our creativity and brand of humor is unique and clever. While crowded, there was an opportunity to offer unique products and flex our creativity.
Our world class marketing and startup guru needs a creative outlet for excess witty ideas which are most often born out of realizing funny truths about people. From there, we decide look and feel but the core concept is always that unique truth. Creatively, we opt for timeless designs over most trends. We're not followers in the sense of fad chasing but we are followers in the tribe of laughs.