How the IW Pride team brought their event to life

Whether you’re a startup, a charity or passionate about a cause, online brands can gain a lot from organising “real-world” events. We talked to the folks behind the Isle of Wight Pride event about how they take their strong brand identity and bold slogans to the streets with tees. We learn in this blog how they made a special print for their event to make people feel a part of the day, creating a sense of togetherness, whilst raising awareness long after the event has ended. Find out from Joe how the IWpride team use Teemill alongside their event.

Hey Joe, great to catch up. For those that may be unfamiliar, what is IW Pride all about?
Isle of Wight Pride is a charity with the aim of raising awareness of the LGBT+ community, the issues faced by the community and fighting for fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ community here on the Island. Also bringing the community together through various events, culminating in an annual Pride event.

We’re massive fans of the Pride event you guys run. What inspired you to start selling tees, and how do you think that’s going?
Everybody loves memorabilia and especially at a Pride event. People want to show their support and show that they are part of the event and the concept. T-shirts were perfect for us and we feel that they’re selling really well. We see them pop up all over the Island now, which is really heartening.

You’ve got a really strong brand identity, how did you go about creating it?
We have actually changed our brand identity since our first year. In our first year we created an identity which people brought into, but when we knew we were UKPride we felt that our logo and identity needed to tell people across the world that this is the Isle of Wight, we are on the beach and we are a pride event. We felt our old logo and style didn’t quite reflect those points.

What was the hardest thing about starting the brand, and how did you overcome it?
It’s not usual for companies to change their brand after the first year, but we have done this successfully and people now love the new logo and the concept of the windmill will be featured across our event this year too! Keep an eye out for it.

What was the biggest barrier you faced when you first started up selling tees, and how did you overcome it?
Knowing what people wanted and what would sell well.

By monitoring the sales easily on Teemill with the analytics, we could adapt our product offer to match demand.

That’s a great piece of advice. What were your priorities when you started looking?
Ease and no liability were our two biggest factors. We wanted to make it easy for people to order and have them delivered without causing more work for us as we are all volunteers. We also don’t have any money in the bank, so we needed something with no liability at all.

What are the best methods you’ve used to increase sales?
Social media was the best option for us, it’s so easy and we can reach our customers instantly.

We set up a schedule and made sure the quality of our posts were amazing and we weren’t just posting for the sake of it – Facebook seemed to reduce the average reach of our posts if one doesn’t get much engagement.

By including images and simple information, we noticed that more people were clicking on the links and buying items.

What print has been the most successful for you and why do you think that is?
LoveWins – it is a really simple slogan t-shirt for people to buy into, the message is clear. We have had t-shirts with various images and logos on, but something that people can relate to seemed to work for us and it was definitely something that we then put onto the tote bags and hoodies.

What has been the most successful type of marketing for your store?
Social media by far.

We get our best results when posting on Instagram. Pictures of all the amazing people who support us get the most likes and comments.

Instagram is great for sharing images and getting good reach, we have had a lot of clicks on Instagram and it has been a great way of engaging with people through imagery.

Great tip. How long did it take to get your first sale?
A day! It was really relieving to get our first order and it just seemed to grow from there.

That’s awesome Joe! What’s the experience been like so far using Teemill?
Simple and easy to use, so easy to upload new ideas, check which ideas are selling and which ones aren’t – the ones which aren’t selling at all, we get rid of and put something new and exciting up.

How have you found using Teemill to power your clothing store?
Perfect, it’s simple to use, there is no risk to Pride in terms of monetary input, we don’t have to put much effort into things and yet we make money and have a strong branding from it. We love it!

What’s it like knowing there are hundreds of people out there wearing your designs?
Really exciting. We love seeing people wearing Pride t-shirts at events. They often pop up when you least expect to see them.

It’s awesome seeing the success of the annual Pride event. Where do you see the brand going from here?

We want to build on slogans and also our windmill designs. Slogans seem to sell well and so we’re exploring different, new and exciting slogan wordings to put on our tees.

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