[caption id="attachment_1899" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Image source: Art.com[/caption]
Easter is just a few days away, which means that flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and people are ditching their thick coats in favor of flip-flops and short-sleeve shirts. The transition from winter to spring isn't a huge deal for the average bloke, but in the world of fashion it's like a paradigm shift. Fashion designers are in a flurry of activity as they race against each other to become the new hip thing in spring fashion.
Today, I'd like to discuss a true cornerstone of spring and summer fashion: hats. Equal parts style and function, these handy accessories can be a useful tool in your marketing arsenal.
Form vs Function
When it comes to custom hats, the single most important factor is whether your intended demographic would prefer fashion or function.
If you're marketing to really outdoorsy people like hikers, golfers, cyclist or boaters, then I definitely recommend that you go with baseball caps. The great thing about baseball caps is that people tend to throw one one without worrying too much about what the hat says. Who cares about whether it's fashionable or not? Most people just want to keep the sun out of their eyes.
For that reason, a baseball cap with your company logo on it could easily make its way into a person's daily or weekly rotation.
[caption id="attachment_1903" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Image source: Heraldsun.com.au[/caption]
Fashionable hats might be better for urban or younger demographics. Conductor hats, fedoras, cabby hats, cadet caps, and beanies give people an opportunity to express their individual style.
Unisex vs Gender Specific
Hats are pretty unique because they represent one of the few articles of clothing that go with either gender. Even t-shirts and jeans, which most people think of as fairly gender neutral, have dramatically different cuts based on gender.
That's one of the biggest advantages of baseball caps -- pretty much every single potential customer could wear a baseball cap. Once you switch over to floppy sun hats and fedoras, however, that's when things start to get a bit more gender-specific.
[caption id="attachment_1900" align="alignnone" width="720"] Image source: Womenssportsworld.com[/caption]
Theoretically, switching to gender-specific hats puts you at a disadvantage because you've automatically lost half of your potential consumer base. Even so, gender-specific hats could fly off the shelves more quickly because they allow people to accentuate their masculinity or femininity.
Throw in a Few Infant Hats for Concerned Mothers
Last year, I went out to the movies and had lunch on a restaurant's outdoor patio. There was a young couple nearby with a newborn baby. The mother spent the entire meal with her hand shading her baby's eyes from the sun. I'm sure that her arm must have gotten tired, and I bet you that she probably went out and got a hat for her baby shortly thereafter.
[caption id="attachment_1901" align="alignnone" width="1863"] Image source: Nurtureps.com.au[/caption]
Never underestimate the buying power of forgetful mothers, especially during season transitions when parents need new springtime gear for their ever-growing bundles of joy.