Image source: Lovelycitizen.com[/caption]
Custom embroidered t-shirts are all about branding. A sharp embroidered uniform will get your message out to the world and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Usually, businesses and company owners are the ones trying to cash in on the massive marketing potential behind custom clothing, but every once in a while you'll see people using custom clothing for unorthodox purposes, like for local political campaigns. No, I'm not talking about politically charged t-shirts that include slogans like "Vote for Obama" or "Impeach the President." I'm talking about small, grassroots campaigns focused on getting a community rallied around a cause. Case in point: the folks of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Wait, who? Eureka what? Don't feel bad if you've never heard of it. With a population close to 2,000, the sleepy rural community of Eureka Springs isn't exactly world famous. But don't let the town's tiny size fool you -- the citizens of Eureka Springs pulled out all of the stops and made a big impact on state legislators.
In mid-February, more than 125 Arkansas lawmakers attended a luncheon hosted by the community of Eureka Springs. The lawmakers hoped to meet their constituents, chat about hot topic issues, and enjoy some fine country dining. The locals, on the other hand, wanted to leave a lasting impression on the lawmakers -- this was their one chance to connect with the bigwigs in the capital. So the people of Eureka Springs branded their town with color in every way imaginable. They took the iconic shade of red from their local school and put it everywhere: on signs, in the restaurants where the politicians ate, on political posters, on promotional material, and (of course) on their custom uniforms. Mike Bishop, the Chamber of Commerce director for Eureka Springs, later boasted that lawmakers "Couldn't go to the luncheon without knowing who was giving it." He added, "We let them know we are alive and well, and a major contributor to the state coffers."
Image source: Heraldextra.com[/caption]
The luncheon undoubtedly cost the folks at Eureka Springs a pretty penny, but their branding efforts are sure to pay off. The next time Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and other legislators are sitting around a desk trying to figure out how they're going to allocate profits from student loan and other state funds, they'll remember warm smiles, friendly constituents, and a veritable sea of red uniforms.
What can we learn from this? Don't underestimate the power of a marketing opportunity. For the people of Eureka Springs their tiny investment into custom clothing is sure to pay off in the long run as lawmakers remember the spirited townsfolk of Eureka Springs.