One of the most important things to remember about school spirit wear is the word, “spirit.” CT Shirt Man knows that this kind of clothing isn’t about protecting the body from the elements nor is it strictly about advertising the school.
Students, parents, teachers, and staff will purchase and use school spirit wear because of the perceived value. Just as someone will pay thousands of dollars for a Prada dress, someone will be willing to give money and then forsake other articles of clothing to wear the school spirit wear because it has meaning.
People being people, they almost never do what they’re told. It may seem as if an advertising company only needs to tell us what to buy and we’ll run out to get it by the dozens but that’s not what’s really happening.
First step in getting your target market to buy school spirit wear is to reverse the flow. Ask them to contribute. Some of the most successful clothing fundraisers start with a contest, asking students to design a logo or image. This way, the people who will be buying the clothing give input as to what is important to them in terms of trends, colors, styles, and ideas.
You can help with the contest rules, providing guidelines to help create the best logo or image possible and establish your reliability in this area of expertise.
Credibility is important. If there is a teacher or other school leader who has both sales skills and likability – sadly, one can exist without the other – then, it’ll be easier to establish a good reputation for this fundraising event.
Be familiar with your target audience. Learn what’s important to them and what motivates them. It might be possible to hop onto some successful coat tails. It’s easier to sell school spirit wear when a particular sports team is doing well or at least grabbing the hearts of fans while doing poorly.
Remember this is a fundraiser. The number one motivator for any donor is the mission of the fundraiser. Make sure that everyone knows how the proceeds will benefit the school; be specific and not general. If the money will go to build a new set of bleachers and be named for a beloved teacher, then make sure that info is well known before you sell a single piece of clothing.
Put the “fun” in fundraising. Think of ways to engage the volunteers who will sell the clothing and how they will do it. It’s a good idea to give each volunteer a piece of clothing to wear; not only will it be a good way to display the merchandise but will make your sales team feel appreciated. People who like what they’re selling sell more.