While a very niche marketing strategy, the following is a great concept to mention for manufacturers of products who sell them to vendors and online – unbranded. Our audience and consumers are much smarter than they used to be. They know about businesses like Alibaba and how companies buy unbranded products and add branding and their margins to the cost. This goes for anyone making phone cases, gloves, jackets, blank t-shirts, or any other product that someone would buy and alter to make their own.
You, as a manufacturer, should have your blank products for sale to the public at a high high high margin to add more perceived value to your bulk customers. Make your price higher and expect to sell nothing. That’s the point, but it is out there and available to the pubic looking.
What does this do?
Let go through a scenario here, actually two to nail down the situations this could be used in…
Scenario 1 – Los Angeles Apparel
Los Angeles Apparel is an excellent example of a B2B & B2C clothing brand. They make blank apparel that is modified and altered by other brands. They also sell their blank clothing on their website at a ridiculous price (basically retail price). This strategy provides you with a level of quality or exclusivity. When businesses use Los Angeles Apparel, knowing that if their customers want to try and figure out how much this piece cost to make, they can get influenced by the price shown on Los Angeles Apparel website. If they know the industry, they understand that those prices are not what vendors get them at, but it provides them with more value (in their minds).
Safe consumers are aware of the old ways of buying from China, rebranding, then uncharging for mediocre products. It doesn’t work nowadays and Los Angeles Apparel knows this. They provide their vendors with a brand value that is being carefully maintained by the “man,” Dov Chenny. He was also the founder and CEO of American Apparel until he sold it to Gildan in 2018. American Apparel took it a little too far by being a blank apparel company that had physical stores, but they also had a major blank garment division that was working on the backend to make B2B sales. The combination is a delicate dance, but as a manufacturer or supplier, you need to know that you have a brand. You can set a quality standard and brag about it without messing up your B2B customers.
If anything, adding more brand value to your business is only helping your customers and giving them a reason to buy your product over your competitors.
Scenario 2 – Champion Apparel
Champion has incredible, simple products. They add small touches such as the reverse-weave and the embroidered patch on the sleeve. However, their blank apparel is great by itself and is altered and printed for other businesses. Champion pieces can be found for sale at Urban Outfitters – a hoodie is 50+ dollars at a major retailer. By utilizing Champion, companies can add their brand value onto Champion’s to reach a higher price point.
The trade-off is the garments cost more. Most companies that take advantage of these garments are selling at premium rates for blank companies for precisely the reason above. They have built brand value that is so beneficial, it can motivate people to buy the garment based solely on quality. Cut them in and reach a higher price point for your garments. If pushback is present, you can offer a lower-tier product and you learn more about your audience. Most people will appreciate the quality of Champion and it will be an additional factor in helping you seal-the-deal on a new customer.
After writing this article, I thought this practice might be illegal or against regulations etc. It turns out this is a common practice in the apparel industry but not as common in other products such as phone cases. This shouldn’t be a dirty tactic. You are not trying to circumvent your customers or make all the money possible by selling singles. It is only adding value to your base product in case someone finds out about your blank product they bought. They can have some sense of value and know that they didn’t buy a .40 cent phone case that someone up-charged the hell out of.
You can also reach out to me directly if you have any further questions or need some digital marketing help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Better Marketing Please,