Ways to make my clothing brand unique?

by bsurb
45 replies
Whats up everybody. I have a few questions for you. I started a clothing brand that promotes the state of Florida lifestyle. The brand name is called"Flociety" Flo, short for Florida and ciety short for Society.

I have several designs ready to go to print on shirts, hats, etc. I have some product now but I want to head a different direction than 2 other companies who promote Florida lifestyle products.

COMPETITORS: FloGrown | Florida Pride | Florida Grown and Flomotion | A Florida Lifestyle Company

My brand sounds totally different, the flo is the same but I mean that is how Florida is shortened. These two brands above promote mainly country apparel, surfing...

When I tell somebody about my brand around town, they bring up "Flogrown", which is a competitor. What pointers can you give me that could shut these other competitors down? Better designs.... or what? There designs aren't even all that, its just the name they have built rep for. They all throw stickers on their vehicles of the name that's pretty much it....

What could I do that could make my brand stand out more?!? Here are a couple designs I have created so far:


http://i60.tinypic.com/30n7znl.png
http://i57.tinypic.com/a47by9.png
http://i59.tinypic.com/2pqkl6t.png
#brand #clothing #make #unique #ways
  • How well do you know your competitor and their products? Where are they sourced from, what are they made from? How much do they cost? How durable are they? What do consumers feel about their product?

    Try to answer these questions and you can build your USP. This is a must, but just remember, don't come out and directly name the competition in your USP, no need to call anyone out and start a fued.

    -CG
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    The competitors just have a simple logo going down on their shirt. They are also featured in the local mall. People love the name because they were born and raised in the state of Florida...

    I am looking to aim towards skateboarders, music artists, and the general public. Their designs are mostly just for country people. But I want to produce items that every group would wear.

    I have lots of connections with skaters and music artists around the state. So I can get them to rock clothing at events and things like that. But the competitors already have an established name.

    Is it still worth chasing after? Starting a brand about my state limits my self but there is too much competition with people who start brands world wide.
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    • Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      Is it still worth chasing after?
      Absolutely. They don't own 100% of the market...start small and build your brand.

      -CG
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    You have to start somewhere. I remember you having the ability to create vinyl decals? I would give those out to every person I talked to, everyone who ordered from me, and then put them on everything.

    It's highly unlikely to create a brand that "every group would wear". And it certainly won't happen overnight. Your best bet is targeting the musicians and skateboarding niches that you're already associating with.
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    What do you guys think of FLOCIETY when you see it? Or when you try to pronounce it.

    I thought it was pretty unique when I came up with it. When I design some shirts, I'm going to aim for making designs that will have a taste for different types of groups.
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    • Bsurb,

      Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      I am looking to aim towards skateboarders, music artists ... I have lots of connections with skaters and music artists around the state. So I can get them to rock clothing at events and things like that ...
      I think that's a decent plan. I noticed that new players in the fashion industry tend to be more successful if they start out by building products that appeal to sub cultural groups, especially if that sub cultural group shares the same interests when it comes to music and lifestyle. And, when it comes to rock in general and its wide range of sub genres, many listeners gravitate towards similar lifestyles, hobbies and so on. For example:

      Here in Manila, a small business without big capital funding started out by selling clothing and accessories that appeal to local hardcore listeners, at a time that the local hardcore scene was going viral and homegrown hardcore artists were dominating the local rock industry. Soon enough -- They hit it big and are now an established player in the industry. A few international companies even tried to design and sell products and accessories to this sub cultural group, but the local business still outsell them here, big time...

      Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      ... and the general public ... I want to produce items that every group would wear.
      I don't think a lot of people would want to roll wearing the same things that are already being regularly worn by others around them?

      Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      When I design some shirts, I'm going to aim for making designs that will have a taste for different types of groups.
      I think that's a much better idea. Build specific sets of products for each particular sub cultural group in your target area, until your products start to represent each sub cultural group, making your business the go-to store for them...
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    I like your designs.

    If you want to stand out you need to build your story.
    Watch this video it will change everything you think about marketing.
    He talks about why some companies like Apple stomp everyone else NOT because of what they create but because of why they create it. Will give you ideas towards branding.

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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Ahh ok that makes a lot more sense... There are some music groups here locally who do shows across out state, I am going to give them free shirts to wear at shows and see if they can do some shout outs on their social media pages and things like that as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

    Whats up everybody. I have a few questions for you. I started a clothing brand that promotes the state of Florida lifestyle. The brand name is called"Flociety" Flo, short for Florida and ciety short for Society.

    I have several designs ready to go to print on shirts, hats, etc. I have some product now but I want to head a different direction than 2 other companies who promote Florida lifestyle products.

    COMPETITORS: FloGrown | Florida Pride | Florida Grown and Flomotion | A Florida Lifestyle Company

    My brand sounds totally different, the flo is the same but I mean that is how Florida is shortened. These two brands above promote mainly country apparel, surfing...

    When I tell somebody about my brand around town, they bring up "Flogrown", which is a competitor. What pointers can you give me that could shut these other competitors down? Better designs.... or what? There designs aren't even all that, its just the name they have built rep for. They all throw stickers on their vehicles of the name that's pretty much it....

    What could I do that could make my brand stand out more?!? Here are a couple designs I have created so far:


    http://i60.tinypic.com/30n7znl.png
    http://i57.tinypic.com/a47by9.png
    http://i59.tinypic.com/2pqkl6t.png
    First, I don't think your focus needs to be on competitors just yet. I think Flociety sounds sort of clever but that cleverness does not translate in text. Right now it's unique, too unique. I think people will look at it and wonder for a second or two what it might mean and then pass it right by.

    One of the first relevant things I learned in business and in life is this: A confused mind always says no. People are bombarded with so much stuff these days they don't have the time or inclination to try and figure things out. You need to make your stuff easy to understand on first glance. If I were you I'd be looking to establish a brand that is both catchy and clever and that people will immediately know what it means. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      First, I don't think your focus needs to be on competitors just yet. I think Flociety sounds sort of clever but that cleverness does not translate in text. Right now it's unique, too unique. I think people will look at it and wonder for a second or two what it might mean and then pass it right by.

      One of the first relevant things I learned in business and in life is this: A confused mind always says no. People are bombarded with so much stuff these days they don't have the time or inclination to try and figure things out. You need to make your stuff easy to understand on first glance. If I were you I'd be looking to establish a brand that is both catchy and clever and that people will immediately know what it means. Good luck.
      So basically my designs will speak for what my brand is? When people look at my shirts, they will know immediately what and who it is.?
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

        So basically my designs will speak for what my brand is? When people look at my shirts, they will know immediately what and who it is.?
        In my opinion, not the way they are now. The image of the state helps a lot but the "ciety" part is confusing. The average American graduates from high school with a little better than a 6th grade reading level. You're challenging people with Flociety. They have to stop and think and many won't bother.

        With the silhouette of the state they'll know it has something to do with Florida but the word Flociety will confuse a lot of folks. I really think you need to go back to the brainstorming phase of putting this together. I'd be looking to come up with something clever while using the entire word Florida.
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        • Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

          The image of the state helps a lot but the "ciety" part is confusing. The average American graduates from high school with a little better than a 6th grade reading level. You're challenging people with Flociety. They have to stop and think and many won't bother.
          This makes sense, OP. I'm blind and use a screenreader app, so when my app read "Flociety", I didn't even have any idea that this refers to the state of Florida, not until I read the other things in your original post...

          You said you want to start out with targeting musicians and music lovers. Which specific type/s of music? For example:

          If I were targeting funk rock, hard rock, metal, hardcore and old school punk -- I'd go with FLorimDAMNED!

          If you want to target country, blues, jazz and the like, then I think that'd also fly, since I think many musicians and fans of these genres (keyword: many, not all) would most likely be slanted towards right-wing doctrine...
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    • I took a moment to read some of the other posts and agree with their perspective. I would also like to add some thoughts to the mix. The name of your company could be taken as a subsidiary of your two competitors(whether you realize it or not) Since you clearly want to go in a different direction for your customer niche then changing the name might be worth considering. for example: "Go With the Flo" or Go with the flow. Branding is very important if you want to stand apart. Promote the quality of your materials without slamming the competitors. Offer deals & discounts to sell to local Churches and youth sports organizations. This is some food for thought to get you started.
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      • Profile picture of the author bsurb
        Originally Posted by johnandchristybeeler View Post

        I took a moment to read some of the other posts and agree with their perspective. I would also like to add some thoughts to the mix. The name of your company could be taken as a subsidiary of your two competitors(whether you realize it or not) Since you clearly want to go in a different direction for your customer niche then changing the name might be worth considering. for example: "Go With the Flo" or Go with the flow. Branding is very important if you want to stand apart. Promote the quality of your materials without slamming the competitors. Offer deals & discounts to sell to local Churches and youth sports organizations. This is some food for thought to get you started.
        If I changed the name, I would create a brand that is worldwide, such as young and reckless, or fox. Not based on my home state. But I thought the name I chose had some value to it because it was unique.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I have to respectfully disagree with some of the other posters. I believe 'Flociety' is extremely brandable. Especially among a younger demographic. Your competition, FloGrown and FloMotion both use flo which, to me, indicates that there's a high likelihood that 'Flo' is fairly common slang amongst Florida residents.

    When I first read this thread, I thought of a site called DMVfollowers (they have a Facebook, Twitter, website with a shop, etc. They have a large following in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (hence, DMV) area.

    I would check out DMVfollowers.com (no affiliation) and look at how they started and grew. I remember when they first started out and now they have over 175,000 Twitter followers. When they post a new or restocked product to their Twitter feed it's sold out in minutes now.
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    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by Gambino View Post

      I have to respectfully disagree with some of the other posters. I believe 'Flociety' is extremely brandable. Especially among a younger demographic. Your competition, FloGrown and FloMotion both use flo which, to me, indicates that there's a high likelihood that 'Flo' is fairly common slang amongst Florida residents.

      When I first read this thread, I thought of a site called DMVfollowers (they have a Facebook, Twitter, website with a shop, etc. They have a large following in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (hence, DMV) area.

      I would check out DMVfollowers.com (no affiliation) and look at how they started and grew. I remember when they first started out and now they have over 175,000 Twitter followers. When they post a new or restocked product to their Twitter feed it's sold out in minutes now.
      Here's what I'd suggest. Make up several shirts with the state silhouette and Flociety. Then position yourself where there's a lot of foot traffic and simply ask people what they think of it. Tell them you're doing a marketing survey. I'd bet you'll get far more confused looks than smiles.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gambino
        Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

        Here's what I'd suggest. Make up several shirts with the state silhouette and Flociety. Then position yourself where there's a lot of foot traffic and simply ask people what they think of it. Tell them you're doing a marketing survey. I'd bet you'll get far more confused looks than smiles.
        If every apparel company did that like RVCA, Hurley, Fox, Young and Reckless, Riot Society, Volcom, etc did that their first day.. would any of them exist today? Isn't that part of building a brand? They all turned out to be successful. JMO.
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        • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
          Originally Posted by Gambino View Post

          If every apparel company did that like RVCA, Hurley, Fox, Young and Reckless, Riot Society, Volcom, etc did that their first day.. would any of them exist today? Isn't that part of building a brand? They all turned out to be successful. JMO.
          How silly of me. You're right. Testing a product before rolling it out would be stupid.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Looks like FloGrown isn't trying to be trendy. Their target demographic is basically everyone 30 and up. They have a few designs that might catch the eye of youths. Overall, a brand without direction.

    Flomotion is borrowing from trendy concepts, but their execution leaves a lot to be desired. There isn't full target demographic overlap with FloGrown. Flomotion seems to be going for youths, but there is probably trend appeal up to 40ish.

    Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

    What pointers can you give me that could shut these other competitors down?
    Are they really your competitors? Just because someone is bigger than you doesn't make them worthy of zeroing in on. Forget about them.

    Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

    Better designs.... or what?
    Build the brand around local pride, but don't alienate the potential buyer from rural Montana either. The outside perception of Florida living may actually have more value than reality. So be sure to include that element in your web store also.


    Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

    The map and the wave are too much in that one. One or the other. It might also be interesting to move the wave graphic inside the "O".

    You can have multiple incarnations of the logo though. Have the map on some things, but leave it off of others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I can tell you, and this may be of use to you, the clothing brand we started with $5000 actually started with a ton of koozies and croakies. Which, I believe, would be ideal for your demographic. Also, a much lower cost of entry and easier to sell than t-shirts before your brand is out there.

    Our clothing line was modeled after Polo/Ralph Lauren. Started on a college campus. Took a ton of Koozies to every party we could find. Started by giving them away then grew to selling them for at a 100% mark up. A year later we were selling basic pocket t-shirts with an embroidered logo for $30 a pop like hot cakes.

    Our manufacturer was a local and I think that helped us get exposure as well. Then we were interviewed by the local newspaper and it really took off. Soon after that we sold it to a guy who had an existing clothing line.

    Long story short, although your 'brand' is supposed to be a clothing brand, you can branch out to more products, some of which are probably easier to start selling and generating revenue than apparel. But once people see your brand and associate it with "cool" or something they want to be apart of.. It's all over. That's the hard part tho but it sounds like you have enough connections to make it work. This all is, assuming a couple random people at the mall like your designs.
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliate4ever
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by affiliate4ever View Post

      Try valuable Words That attract Your Costumer
      Indeed: people in some parts of the clothing industry certainly need to be able to attract costumers.


      .
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Awesome points, guys. So does Flociety seem like a brand name that could work, though?
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    • Profile picture of the author Gambino
      Originally Posted by bsurb View Post

      Awesome points, guys. So does Flociety seem like a brand name that could work, though?
      IMO, yes. But my opinions less valuable than the Florida residents that you're targeting. These niche location markets seem to be growing and growing. This one is centered around Jackson, MS and creates funny shirts and funny shirts about Jackson and its suburbs and has become wildly popular: TEES

      I think it's a great name for the appropriate target market. It appears someone has the domain and there are a couple Facebook groups with the name which could make it more difficult to brand (the domain anyways), unless you own it.
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Oh I own the domain, facebook groups, etc. Iv had lots of good feedback here locally from dozens of high schoolers. I just need to get some product out. I have a heat press Tshirt machine as well. Should I try the koozies first?

    Also, when people ask whats Flociety, I tell them a FL lifestyle brand I am starting up. They ask me if its the same thing as, Flogrown.... How am I suppose to respond to that.?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    FloGrown describes themselves as: "Clothing company promoting Florida's culture and lifestyle with Pride. Whether it's fishing, mudding, surfing, skateboarding or just beach'n it, its a FloGrown Life. www.flogrown.com"

    So what's your unique selling point? How are you different, or better? I think your best best is to hone in on the locals where you live (not sure what city) especially if it's a beach town, college town, or has something unique that brings the community together.

    If you're going to build your brand on it, I would say pay the extra money to get them screen printed. Much, much, much higher quality and durability.

    It's never a bad idea to use koozies, in my opinion, with the type of brand and the climate (hot). Even if you give them away as freebies with orders or just break even. There's a huge likelihood that they will be used and perceived as cool. It's a lot like here in that regard. I buy a koozie almost everywhere I go. Your target market I'm sure uses them as well unless they drink beer in 20 seconds or less before it goes warm.
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    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by Gambino View Post

      FloGrown describes themselves as: "Clothing company promoting Florida's culture and lifestyle with Pride. Whether it's fishing, mudding, surfing, skateboarding or just beach'n it, its a FloGrown Life. www.flogrown.com"

      So what's your unique selling point? How are you different, or better? I think your best best is to hone in on the locals where you live (not sure what city) especially if it's a beach town, college town, or has something unique that brings the community together.

      If you're going to build your brand on it, I would say pay the extra money to get them screen printed. Much, much, much higher quality and durability.

      It's never a bad idea to use koozies, in my opinion, with the type of brand and the climate (hot). Even if you give them away as freebies with orders or just break even. There's a huge likelihood that they will be used and perceived as cool. It's a lot like here in that regard. I buy a koozie almost everywhere I go. Your target market I'm sure uses them as well unless they drink beer in 20 seconds or less before it goes warm.
      I live in central FL so I definitely can get material out to the local universities. Just finding the right product to promote there is the toughest part.
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  • Profile picture of the author MoneyDan
    Banned
    You're not going to "out-Florida" your competitors.

    So, create something within your brand that REALLY sets yourself apart. Donate a part of each sale to a Florida charity. Have different pastel lines for different moods you attribute to Florida. Have different designs with different animals from Florida.

    Don't try to out-Florida them because it won't work. The Florida vibe is great, so lean on that...but create something about your brand that will make them CHOOSE YOU over them.
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Great points.. I'm currently working on some new designs that have animals in the mix.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aemilia
      Great points here. The fashion industry may be crowded but there is still room for unique ideas. The key is staying true to what you do and doing it well.
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Also what do you think of this brand name? "Millennial Mob" ? It gives more freedom to create more designs and reach out to people worldwide rather than just the home state. Does that make sense?

    Does the name stick to your head when you hear it?
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  • Be better then them,

    Your not going to immediately outshine them.

    Know your USP.. (Some brands give back as their USP)
    Share it
    Be better
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Is it more beneficial to market a brand about your home state, or a brand that is worldwide. Bigger variety of designs/meanings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    Being a Florida native, I like the idea of your line. I really like your designs, however, I'm not sure how I feel about the name "FloCiety." I feel like a society is more of an organization and less of a lifestyle/culture.

    I'd consider a different name, but that's just my opinion. Really great work on the designs, though!
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Would starting a local line have better chances of being successful?

    I thought flociety was cool and different. To me it sounds smooth and reminds me of a FL lifestyle.

    The only downfall with creating a local brand is I would be more limited. I know lots of people around the USA who professional athletes, music artists etc. I'm sure they wouldn't rock something that is only about FL
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    Millennial Mob is really good. It's youthful and easy to pronounce. You could create two logos for this brand: one with the entire name, and a shortened version using MM or M-Mob, etc. Go with your gut on this. Since you already posted this on a public forum, you should go ahead and grab the domain and FB names for it before someone else does.

    You're still going to have to create a story for this one too, and it can be about the sun and fun lifestyle that anyone can achieve by wearing your clothes. Start with one product (t-shirt), and create a few awesome designs. Make it your signature product that everyone who associates with cool wants to wear.

    Sell, sell and sell some more until it is a smash hit and then expand.

    You've got a lot of great advice in this thread, and at some point you need to just take action on the next step and see what happens. I sense you're a real go-getter type who can make this work.
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    • Profile picture of the author bsurb
      Originally Posted by Fun to Write View Post

      Millennial Mob is really good. It's youthful and easy to pronounce. You could create two logos for this brand: one with the entire name, and a shortened version using MM or M-Mob, etc. Go with your gut on this. Since you already posted this on a public forum, you should go ahead and grab the domain and FB names for it before someone else does.

      You're still going to have to create a story for this one too, and it can be about the sun and fun lifestyle that anyone can achieve by wearing your clothes. Start with one product (t-shirt), and create a few awesome designs. Make it your signature product that everyone who associates with cool wants to wear.

      Sell, sell and sell some more until it is a smash hit and then expand.

      You've got a lot of great advice in this thread, and at some point you need to just take action on the next step and see what happens. I sense you're a real go-getter type who can make this work.
      But do you guys see this brand as any niche? Is picking the general youth/music artists/skate boarders too common?

      Like my other brand, Flociety.com, is based on the lifestyle of my state that I live in... That would be more of a niche though right?
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    I'm not offering services. It's a clothing line.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I still like FloCiety and the niche (Florida) line as opposed to targeting everybody everywhere. That market should be easier for a small business to reach than people everywhere: word of mouth, branding, etc. As opposed to trying to reach everyone; everywhere.

    There are almost 20,000,000 people living in Florida. Just a tiny piece of that is a huge piece.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    Oh and the part I left out..

    Do you see those 'salt life' decals on every car down there? I live about 4 hours from the nearest beach and they're still on 25% of cars around here. Because they represent the life people want.. Relaxing at the beach all day and not working. FLOCiety could represent the same thing.. A laid back, relaxing, Florida lifestyle that people want. Not just people who live in Florida but the millions of tourists that go to those beaches every year.
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  • Profile picture of the author bsurb
    Great points, Gambino. I feel that the designs I make for a general street wear brand are more attractive, though the local brand would be easier to market for sure.

    I also sent you a pm, did you receive it?
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  • Profile picture of the author xaloframe
    I think you should tie up with local Youngsters and give away Shirts with your brand logo in exchange for some Advertising like making them pose for Photosessions.
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    • Profile picture of the author moreno
      The video posted by Peter Lessard is a must concept to start a brand ! I personally don't like Flociety as a brand , confusing, i would ask an expert to find a name and see what's come up. having different point of view is not too bad . FLOSTYLE -- is a concept telling exactly what we are talking about right away. You want people to think about the Florida style of life ? focus there ! the logo with the palm tree and ocean is too old and already used on many brand get somenthing new.
      Just my 2 cents.
      good luck
      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        My very first thought when I saw

        FLO
        CIETY

        was that you misspelled CITY.

        Maybe I'm weird, but my mind saw that word and told me there was something wrong with it.

        This is just my opinion, so take it as that . . . the best brands are those that are simple, easy, natural, common place, everyday words that folks are familiar with. Yes, "made up" words can work . . . but I think the very best brands are those where the words are already commonplace.

        "Flociety" is not what I would choose. Show the word to 100 people and ask them what it is.

        Steve
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