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How to Increase Brand Awareness Using Custom Apparel

Knowing how to increase brand awareness has become important in an increasingly competitive market. Especially with so many businesses competing for attention on social media, finding creative ways to get your brand noticed, especially if you’re a new business, can seem daunting. At Custom Ink, we understand how important this is to you and your business, so we’ve compiled a list of 19 ways to increase brand awareness using custom apparel


  • Tell Your Brand Story With Custom T-shirts

We’ve been in the business of custom apparel for over 20 years, and we’ve learned that there is a story behind every custom t-shirt we print. Sharing your business story is a great way to connect with your consumers, and sharing that story is even easier with custom apparel. 

Consider creating a design on custom apparel that displays your mission statement as a company, or maybe a timeline of your most significant milestones, starting with the moment that inspired you to embark on this journey. Not a talented visual artist? Try our Design Lab featuring tons of templates, fonts, and pieces of art to customize to your liking. The possibilities are endless!  

  • Leverage Social Media to Tell Your Story

It’s no secret that social media is essential to the recognition and awareness of any brand, so sharing your brand story on social media will ensure it gets the exposure it needs. Posting a video is one of the easiest ways to get your story out there since your followers can digest the information more easily. 

Take this opportunity to feature your team in custom gear with your company’s logo. If your industry calls for it, you can even get custom uniforms and workwear so that your employees both look and feel like a team. Custom apparel has the power to bring your people together, and your followers will see that firsthand. 

  • Establish Your Brand Personality 

When thinking about your brand, there’s a lot to consider, but one of the most important is how you want consumers to feel when they think of your brand. Do you want them to feel joyful? Motivated? Relaxed? Amused? Included? Warm? Terrified? Hopefully not that last one, but you get the idea. Your brand personality is reflected in everything from the font and the color palette to the language and voice you use to express it. 

One of the metaphors we used to establish our brand personality was “warm chocolate chip cookies” because they’re warm, inviting, and ignite feelings of belonging and sweetness. If you’re wanting some inspiration, look no further than our user-friendly Design Lab, which contains hundreds of fonts and pieces of art to help you get started. 

  • Write a Catchy Slogan

The power of a catchy and memorable business slogan can never be underestimated! Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” or Red Bull’s “Red Bull Gives You Wings.” These are examples of slogans that continue to endure the test of time and have become so synonymous with their respective brands that it’s hard to imagine these companies without them. 

It’s certainly no simple task to write a slogan that could penetrate our zeitgeist in the same way, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of pursuing. To help get you inspired, we have a whole library of posts about slogans and sayings for all kinds of businesses. Your business slogan is another great element to add to custom gear.  

  • Design a Recognizable Custom Logo

A recognizable and memorable logo is another cornerstone of excellent branding. Think of Target’s simple design or McDonald’s yellow “M.” A great logo may not even need the name of your business next to it because it will be that distinct. 

Fortunately, Custom Ink’s Design Services can help you design the custom logo of your dreams. We can help you turn those nebulous ideas into a real logo you can use (and hopefully profit from). Once you’ve created the perfect custom logo, you can start thinking about which custom products it would look best on. (Psst—it’s all of them.) 

  • Create a Mascot



There’s a reason why so many companies have a mascot—people remember them! Whether it’s the GEICO gecko, The Man on the Horse from Old Spice, or Flo from Progressive Insurance, attaching a person or personality helps make your brand stand out. Depending on the size of your business, designing one may be the more cost-effective choice. 

For us, we have Inky the octopus, our wholesome and fearless crusader of custom t-shirts! In our case, Inky is both our mascot and logo, which has worked out wonderfully. Check out Inky’s story and how he became the right mascot for us. 

  • Have Clear Brand Values

Golden Rule, Ownership, Innovation

Another excellent way to increase brand awareness and make your brand more distinct is by having clear brand values. These are the guiding principles of your company, and they can both tell a story and attract consumers. This is yet another aspect of establishing your brand personality because it goes deeper into your purpose as a company and helps describe your company culture. 

At Custom Ink, we call them our Core Values. They are The Golden Rule, Ownership, and Innovation—otherwise known as GrOwIn. It helps guide our decisions and tells our customers who we are. What would your core values be? 

  • Get Behind a Cause

Perhaps your brand values will guide you to a cause that your company can really get behind. Endorsing or supporting a cause is an excellent way to increase brand awareness because it demonstrates your values and can provide an immense amount of exposure. And you certainly don’t have to stop at one cause. Host a fundraiser for a new cause every year, or maybe you’d like to establish a relationship with a nonprofit by consistently working with them. 

However you choose to give back, Custom Ink’s FREE fundraising platform can help both you and the organization you’re supporting get the help they need by selling custom gear featuring your logo. It’s a win-win! Never run a fundraiser before? We’ve got a great guide to help you get started. 

  • Sponsor an Event

Does your community have a local fun run coming up? A local concert or renaissance fair? Or maybe there’s a food or art festival? (If it’s both, sign us up!) Whatever the occasion, sponsoring an event will get your business in front of hundreds or maybe even thousands of new people. 

Take these opportunities to connect with other business owners and potential clients, customers, or even new hires. You can also pick an event to align with your values so that people have an even clearer idea of who you are as a company. We offer custom printing for signs, banners, stickers, business cards, canopy tents, and tablecloths, so you can set up your booth with confidence.    

  • Offer Free Custom Merchandise at Events and Trade Shows

Everyone loves free stuff, so why not indulge them by giving away some cool brand-awareness products at your next sponsored event or trade show? This strategy works, especially when you give people something they can actually use. Add your logo to custom products that will help you stand out, and add a discount code for them to use on their first service or purchase to really entice them.  

  • Run a Social Media Contest to Giveaway Your Custom Gear

Social media contests are a great way to get your brand noticed, especially when trying to attract new customers. You can have contestants post a photo or video and tag you or share a link to build brand awareness. (We love cute animal photos, personally.) 

Another easy way to run a contest is by asking contestants to make sure they’re following your account and tag a friend in the comments, thus spreading your brand far and wide! Incentivize them with free products or services, and throw in some of your awesome custom gear that’s both on brand and on trend for good measure.   

  • Gift Custom Gear to Employees and Clients Throughout the Year

Showing some client and employee appreciation with custom gear is a great way to increase brand awareness. Taking opportunities to gift your clients and teams has several benefits: it increases feelings of belonging and community, makes them feel valued and appreciated, and ensures your branded gear is circulating in your community all year long. 

We have so many gifts to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect ones for your people. Also, check out our latest post on the best corporate gifts for your clients and teams

  • Put a QR Code on Your Custom Apparel and Accessories

Another easy way to connect with more people using custom apparel is by adding a QR code to your design. Yes, we can print QR codes on clothing, and they actually work! Link to your social media, website, or another specific webpage for even more engagement and ease of connection with potential customers. Try this fun idea next time you’re designing custom gear for a giveaway!     

Popular Picks for Promoting Your Brand With Custom Gear

Finding the right custom gear can be a bit daunting at first, so we’ve added some of the most popular choices for custom gear, especially for client and employee appreciation.

Custom t-shirts with an awesome design featuring your company logo foster feelings of belonging and community among your team members while also displaying your brand. Universally loved options like Bella + Canvas Long Sleeve T-shirts and District Short Sleeve T-shirts are super soft, comfortable, and flattering.

The Champion Women's Reverse Weave Cropped Hoodie in Oxford Grey is just one unique style you can find under the Champion brand name.

Champion hoodies and sweatshirts are one of our favorite brands at Custom Ink. Choose from unique styles like the Champion Women’s Reverse Weave Cropped Hoodie and the Champion Powerblend Zip Hoodie. These make cozy gifts and can be excellent for giveaways. 

Paragon Barbados UPF 50 Long Sleeve Performance Shirt in this ombre Aqua Blue/Light Lime color is sure to protect and impress!

Activewear is an increasingly popular pick for businesses. Paragon Activewear offers excellent price points with added benefits like UPF 50, moisture-wicking material as well as ombre and camo options. The long sleeve options are great picks for transitioning between seasons and the performance polos give a polished, professional look. 

A powder blue MiiR Laser Engraved 12 oz. Vacuum Insulated Camper Mug with clear lid.

Drinkware with a custom logo is a trendy pick and always a hit. Some of our favorite options include the Ember Laser Engraved 14 oz. Stainless Steel Temperature Control Mug and MiiR drinkware. Each of these collections has a stylish and functional design that makes them excellent for any occasion. 

Give your clients something to brag about with The North Face Stalwart 15" Computer Backpack

Remote and hybrid work is more common than ever, and people need a backpack to carry their essentials when going from the office, gym, or conferences. One of our favorites is The North Face Stalwart 15” Computer Backpack, which has a 26L capacity, a large main compartment, and a protective 15” laptop sleeve. Totes are also wonderful choices for being on the go, like the Essential Zip Convention Tote Bag.  

Custom hats from premium brands like the Nike Swoosh Legacy Performance Hat in white have that WOW factor.

Custom hats are products everyone can use and are excellent for spreading brand awareness. Add your logo to the Nike Swoosh Legacy Performance Hat to see how polished and professional it looks on a Nike product. If you’re planning on gifting these to clients or employees, they will also appreciate a gift from a trusted and high-quality brand. Or, for a warmer option, the Carhartt Watch Beanie 2.0 will keep them looking stylish and cozy. 


Creating custom apparel is an excellent way to increase your brand’s awareness, and Custom Ink makes it so easy. What do you imagine your business’s custom apparel will be?

Stephanie Self loves to tell stories and expose new perspectives through writing. When she's not typing on a laptop or buried in a book, she loves watching horror movies and pro wrestling, playing video games, and snuggling with her cat, CleoCatra. Lest you should think she never sees the light of day, she also spends time practicing hot yoga, hiking, and traveling.

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