Single-Grain-logo-for-custom-shirtsIt’s called “serendipity.” That’s when discoveries happen by accident, and it’s the reason for some of the biggest discoveries in history such as penicillin.

That’s what happened for Sujan Patel, founder of Single Grain, a leading Digital Marketing agency in San Francisco with a client base that reads like a “who’s who” of Fortune 500 companies. When Single Grain started making money, he ordered some company shirts, something he could wear to work every day.

Sujan-Patel-of-Single-GrainHis first order was small, however he received far more than he needed, so he started giving them away to friends via a post on Facebook. He ran out of shirts just a few hours later. Clearly, people wanted these shirts, and Patel knew he was on to something.

So he went in for a much larger order in a variety of colors, enough that he could give 4 or 5 to anyone who wanted them.  He even gave some to the Salvation Army and began to see homeless people sporting his shirts around the neighborhood. Soon, he was seeing his shirts everywhere, and seeing his business make some serious strides.

Company Logo Shirts Open the Door to New Business

Patel began wearing his t-shirts everywhere he went and began getting more questions about Single Grain in the unlikeliest of places, from waiting for a haircut to pumping weights at the gym. That opened the door to new business deals, like a $50,000 client he landed in the middle of a massage. Patel says these casual conversations accounted for about $200,000 in new business sales. Another $150,000 came from friends wearing his shirts to work at companies like Google, Cisco, Yahoo and Apple. 

Boosting Brand Recognition

At that point in time, Single Grain was big on ideas but small on name recognition and marketing budget. As luck would have it, the t-shirt project brought them more brand recognition than an expensive ad campaign. Prospective clients had heard of the company because they'd seen Single Grain's t-shirts in one place or another. Patel says this increased brand recognition brought in another $150,000.

Today, everyone at Single Grain wears their company logo shirts, which is big when your business is surrounded by hundreds of other start-up companies. To keep the flywheel turning, they create new t-shirt designs every few months, keeping them in the public eye and keeping new business coming in the door every day.


image source:

Four Tips for Launching Your Own T-Shirt Program

Patel has a few tips for companies who want to follow in Single Grain’s footsteps. First, be willing to spend some money. People won't wear your shirts if they're uncomfortable or look cheap. Second, stick with simple designs, like logo on the front and a simple message on the back, people don't want to feel like a walking advertisement. Third, tell your employees to wear the shirts everywhere. People will start asking questions, and more questions means more business. Finally, show some gratitude. Thank people for requesting your shirts, and especially for wearing them!

If you are interested in learning more about how company shirts can help your business, check out some of our other blog posts and read Sujan Patel's article on his success. Contact EmbroidMe San Diego today to order your own custom shirts.