Think3’s Guide to Choosing the Right Branded Apparel


Branded apparel is one of the most sought-after promotional items. Almost anyone in any industry can make use of a new apparel item, making it a great component for your promotional merchandise strategy. Apparel has the potential to generate multiple impressions of your brand for many years to come.  



When choosing what apparel items to source, think about your audience. Are they active and would prefer more athletic-friendly materials designed for moisture-wicking and sun protection? Are they more practical and would like a good, quality t-shirt or sweatshirt? Are they interested in a more business casual item they could wear to home or office like a fleece vest? Knowing what your audience wants will make your promotional items more valuable to them and increase the likelihood that they will use it over and over. It is also an extension of your brand so choose items that are complimentary to the brand essence (i.e., rugged, outdoorsy, corporate, whimsical, etc.). The goal of promotional merchandise is to promote your company and also to be a value to your customer! 



Let’s talk quality. When making the decision to invest in branded apparel, it is very important that you don’t just choose the lowest cost item. Lower cost items generally have lower quality materials that aren’t always comfortable and may not hold up well after a few washes. The last thing you want is for your logo design to be peeling or faded or for it to end up in the trash after a couple of uses. There are a variety of fabrics used in apparel items. Below illustrates some of the most common fabrics, their characteristics and common uses: 


100% Cotton 
breathable, comfortable, cost-effective  t-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts 
Cotton-Poly Blend 
comfortable, durable, less shrinking  fleece vests, t-shirts, hoodies, office wear 
moisture wicking, long-lasting  fleece jacket, fleece vest, polo shirts, sportswear 



Choosing the right colors for your promotional apparel involves using a few tactics. One of the most common is to choose colors that complement your company’s brand and logo or artwork.

Tip: Many companies have branding guidelines that can direct the use of logos on various apparel items. Another tactic is to choose a color that is neutral like, white, black or gray, and would go with most logos. Also keep in mind the industry. For example, if the industry is construction or environmental, a white t-shirt may not be a good color to choose due to the nature of the job and being exposed to elements. Bright and neon colors while attention grabbing, may not be attractive for the every-day use. Again, the goal is for apparel to be valuable to the customer and to be used over and over again.  



When decorating an apparel item with a logo or artwork there are a few different methods used. The first and most common is screen printing. Screen printing is a method where a screen is custom designed to the artwork of choice and t-shirt paint is then applied via that screen to imprint the design. This method is very cost-effective and long-lasting, resulting in vibrant colors. It is a method that takes longer and is often used for larger orders. Another common decoration method is heat-transfer. This is a method where a design is printed on transfer paper and is then imprinted onto an apparel item via a heat press. Heat transfer is good for smaller orders and for orders with more complex color designs or photography-based designs. Embroidery is one of the most traditional methods often used in the promotional apparel industry. This method is where a digital artwork file is converted to an embroidery stitch file and then embroidered onto an apparel item with a machine. It works best on thicker fabrics like jackets, vests, hats, or backpacks. An embroidered logo tends to last longer and leaves a professional and sophisticated look. 



Most apparel items have multiple imprint location opportunities. This allows for more exposure and creativity in how your brand or artwork is reflected. Front, back, sleeve, and pocket are all common imprint locations. You can also pair logos, slogans and artwork all on the same apparel item by making use of different locations. For example, a logo can be printed front-left chest and the slogan can be printed larger on the back. Get creative but remember not to clutter apparel with artwork. Too much artwork will detract attention and confuse the branding. 


Promotional apparel is a fantastic component to be added to any marketing strategy for internal campaigns, product launches, brand awareness, and other marketing campaigns. Here at Think3 we have a team of professionals who are experienced in sourcing and helping clients design their promotional apparel merchandise. Feel free to browse our online store here and reach out any any time for assistance in designing your apparel strategy!  


4 Effective Promotional Merchandising Strategies

Investing in promotional merchandise is a great tactic for a variety of marketing initiatives. When used strategically, merchandise has the ability to create lasting impressions and boost brand exposure and awareness. Below we have outlined 4 highly effective promotional merchandising strategies to keep your investments successful and efficient.  


1. Communicate Your Brand Voice 

Whether you are choosing promotional materials for a tradeshow as an exhibitor, hosting an event, or creating an on-boarding kit, making sure your brand voice is woven into each merchandise element. Your brand voice represents who you are and how you communicate with your audience. Below are a few examples of types of brand voices and items in our online promo store that coordinate well with each. 





candle, oil diffuser, plush blanket, journal 

beach towel temporary tattoo, fanny pack, pop socket 

luxury pen, padfolio, Yeti tumbler, power bank 

luxury sunglasses, Apple AirTag, noise canceling headphones  



2. Tune to Your Industry  

Your promotional merchandise doesn’t have to be just generic note pads, pens and magnets, you can tailor yours directly to your industry! Each industry has its own characteristics and value sets. Education, construction, agriculture, sports, hospitality, and healthcare are just a handful of industries that can all benefit from having a great lineup of merchandise options.  


For example:

one industry we at Think3 work with frequently, is the agricultural industry. The ag industry encourages sustainability, stewardship and thrives in innovation. Merchandise that is often appreciated and is valuable to them, is high-quality, rugged apparel, knives, seed depth tools, multi-tools, on-the-go tech gear and sustainable items.  

Things to think about: 

Is it relatable to this industry? 

Does it reflect the industry’s values? 

Would it help members of this industry’s work environment? 

Is it a trending item for this industry?  


3. Coordinate Your Marketing Campaigns 

Promotional merchandise is an effective component to elevate a variety of marketing campaigns such as product launches, brand awareness or recruitment. An effective and successful marketing campaign hinges on the coordinated efforts woven into each component. Your promotional merchandise should match the look and feel of the campaign artwork, design, messaging and tone.  


Take your product launch to a new level by creating branded launch kits. Design a custom box and kit all your coordinated promo items. You can use these to send to customers, sales reps and influencers. 

4. Enhance Your Event Marketing 

Whether your business is exhibiting at an event, hosting an event or sponsoring an event, promotional merchandise makes an excellent tool to increase awareness both in your brand and products. If you are an exhibitor or sponsor, make sure your merchandise is unique yet useful. Be mindful of airfare restrictions if your audience will be traveling by plane (i.e., avoid pocket knives). Common functional items are the most coveted. For example: We sourced these stress relievers that are also cell phone holders at a conference we exhibited at. They were a huge hit and we couldn’t keep the table stocked fast enough. 

If you are hosting an event, promotional merchandise gives you the opportunity to add a tangible element to your theme. You can customize your merchandise with event colors, shapes, and logos. These items can be used for welcome bags, table décor/giveaways, team apparel, games prizes and more. The possibilities are endless with event merchandise. 


Finding the right promotional items for your business doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Shop our promo site We also offer our services to research and source customized products tailored to your company and marketing initiatives.  

Feel free to give us a call anytime to get started! 


Rest and Re-Fuel

Rest and Re-Fuel

By Megan Clemmer, Account Manager, Think3 Marketing

Work hard, play hard. That’s the mantra for a successful professional right? There is one important thing missing from this equation. Rest. Though it is good to be productive, making time for rest is imperative. Rest not only re-fuels our body physically but also fosters mental performance. When our bodies and minds are worn down, our ability to be open-minded, and create solutions for projects and challenges wears down as well. Here are 4 simple, yet effective ways to add rest to your lifestyle.


Yes, sleep is a given, but it is arguably the most important component of rest. We live in a culture which thrives on productivity. However, if this means going to bed late and waking early, then productivity in the long-term will be affected negatively. Healthline shares this statistic taken from a publication in the National Library of Medicine “One study published by the Association for Psychological Science found that getting only 5 hours per night for 4 nights in a row negatively affected mental performance to the same extent as having a blood alcohol content of 0.06.” Memory, creativity, and cognitive thinking are just a few areas of the brain that can be affected by a lack of sleep. Making the choice to schedule at least 7-8 hours of rest a night is a good decision and not to be considered a waste.


Traditional workouts, sports or even leisure walking are all forms of movement that the body needs to reduce stress. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on a variety of areas in the body. Exercising is a great way to bolster energy and work off office frustrations. It is also known to help increase creative thought processes and help the mind work through challenges. As far as physical benefits, muscles strained from sitting at a desk all day can be worked and stretched when taking even a short 15-min walk at a nearby park. Tip: Include some outside exercise activities for fresh air, vitamin D and enjoying the natural landscape. A fun way to share your activity is through the smartphone app “Relive”. You can record your activity, take pictures, create a video of your route and share with friends and family.

Dream/Set Goals

Rest allows quiet. Instead of busying the mind during every waking hour, give it the time to process life. It is very beneficial to set up time to create life goals, assess situations and think about future aspirations. When we get settled into the monotony of day-to-day life, we miss the opportunity to process what our life actions are producing. Our lives should be a work in progress…always ready to pivot!

Interact with Others/Pets

Most people interact with others regularly at their job, but it is generally for work purposes only. When we are consistently living in “work mode” and do not make time to maintain our sense of self, unfulfillment can settle in. Scheduling a few dates on your calendar each month for dining with friends, attending a fun event or just a simple get-together at a local coffee place can be refreshing and refueling. Interaction doesn’t have to just involve humans! Time spent with our furry friends has also shown to be beneficial for stress relief. An article from John Hopkins Medicine states “Research has shown that simply petting a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol , while the social interaction between people and their dogs actually increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies).” For those that do not have pets of their own, volunteering at a local animal shelter is a great way to de-stress and give back!

Here at Think3, productivity and achieving goals is important to our work life but we also respect the need for our team’s rest. We encourage and support each team member to rest and re-fuel in their daily lives!