Bottom Line Up Front: In today’s spotlight, we look at how one apparel decorator used distinctive branding, next-level capabilities, and nonstop digital marketing prowess to achieve greatness. (You’ll want to pay attention to this one.)

In 2021, standing out in the online marketplace is crucial. Arming yourself with the cutting-edge capabilities that take your offerings to the next level is crucial too.

The apparel decorator we’re spotlighting today checked off both of those boxes at the same time. They recruited the help of a technological interface to wow their customers, move ahead of their competitors, and ultimately equip themselves to offer better products.

Products that were in demand — and growing in popularity. Products that prioritized personalization and hands-off distribution, and products that kept their audience coming back for more.

Today, we’re diving into how Gear Republic, a young and hungry brand, apparel decorator, and savvy business operating out of New York state, has strategically deployed InkSoft’s Online Designer to guarantee selling power. Not just in short bursts, but over the long term.

And with the results they’ve been seeing, they’re certainly doing something right. Let’s jump in.

The Context

Born in the summer of 2019, Gear Republic came into the world knowing it wanted to do things differently. Built by a team of athletes, volunteers, parents, students, and all in all “incredibly social folks,” the company was driven by an ethos of making experiences more exciting. Of making connections more long-lasting.

And of making life more focused on celebrating.

Whether a pick-up game of softball or a destination reunion, the Gear Republic team — led by co-founder Ryan Madigan — was determined to empower their customers to go big. To commemorate with the coolest swag, and to get their hands on tokens they can cherish forever.

So, with that as their North Star, Ryan set out to find the right technology to back them up. He put a great deal of work into investigating the biggest platforms in the Print on Demand space, and he and his team even considered developing their own tech solution. But after they’d done their researching and they’d done their deliberating, the call was made.

They wanted not just a piece of technology and not just a stagnant product. They wanted a partner — in tech and in content — that would grow along with them. A partner that championed risk-taking and innovation in the same way they did, and a partner that was dedicated to fulfilling customer needs and thinking forward to new ones on a 24/7 basis — just like they were.

The decision was final. Gear Republic would go with InkSoft.

The Execution

Using InkSoft’s Online Stores to create their own custom site and InkSoft’s Online Designer to empower their audience to take matters into their own hands, Gear Republic was able to define themselves as unique, impressive, and wholly exciting brand.

From the moment visitors arrived on the page to the moment they tried their hands at the autonomous Designer to the moment they browsed Gear Republic’s own product line, they were hit with the vivid notes of their brand identity. Ease coupled with adventure; laid-back coolness coupled with innovative experimentation. That’s what every click, and every scroll, brought to the surface. And the results were priceless.

We’re talking massive sales, impeccable reach, and sustainable stickiness. They were putting out what their audience wanted — and they were doing it before it was even asked for. Gear Republic’s use of InkSoft’s solutions is a best practice in itself. Here’s how they did it:

Exciting Explainers

When you first reach the Gear Republic home page, you’re hit with a couple of things. First, a colorful, easy-to-connect-with video playing front and center, with fun-colored text around it. Second, a clear-cut “Start Designing” call-to-action — and a segue into just how you do that underneath. But instead of a dense paragraph, we’re given a warm, welcoming, and animated explanation.

As you scroll, simple (and fun to read!) instructions pop up at you. You don’t just want to keep reading — you want to partake in the experience you’re seeing unfold. And that’s the point of this joy-filled explainer: it’s less of an arduous task and more of a precursor to the excitement that the Online Designer brings. It’s successful promotion in its own right — and we should all take a page out of Gear Republic’s playbook here.

Diverse Offerings

Integrating the Online Designer into your business’s site is a clear method of differentiation. It’ll fulfill your audience’s customization needs while putting them in control, and it’ll make you a brand that’s known for its cutting-edge capabilities and innovation power. With all of that said, something Gear Republic didn’t shy away from was offering more than just one route to stand-out apparel.

They offered the Online Designer (front and center on their home page), but they also went a step further and offered their own range of products — from t-shirts to joggers to water bottles, they showcased in-demand items with their own branding (or favorite mottos), so the prospects who wanted a quick purchase were satisfied. By making everything from pre-designed products to design templates to total design power available, Gear Republic was able to speak to every audience need with the same fervor. And that’s nothing short of exemplary.

Compelling Content

To prove the value of their offerings, Gear Republic went all-in on marketing content — using tactics like Instagrammable videos and candid customer pictures to convey the products’ impact. In one Instagram video, we see a triad of sorority sisters excitedly open a package of delivered custom goods; in another video, we see an intramural volleyball team, decked out in killer custom merch, playing on the beach.

They’re short clips of real-life utility, and they tell the audience — hey, our offerings can add something to your experiences. Whether it’s connecting you to college friends in time for a reunion, arming you with the right apparel for the upcoming season, or getting your crew excited for spring break, custom merch is always the right call. And Gear Republic’s commitment to delivering quick, realistic, fun digital marketing campaigns makes that clear.

Gear Republic set out to establish themselves as a unique voice — and power — in the world of custom apparel. By seeking out the right tech tools, embracing the right capabilities, and joining forces with the right partner for innovation and support, they were able to do just that.

“InkSoft is a key part of the Gear Republic operating structure,” Madigan wrote to us not too long ago, “and [its solutions] will continue to play an important role in Gear Republic’s ongoing success as together we push the boundaries of what is capable in the Print on Demand space.”

That’s the kind of confidence, the kind of forward-thinking enthusiasm, and the kind of devotion to moving the needle forward that we like to see. We couldn’t be prouder to partner with Gear Republic, and we couldn’t be more excited to showcase their strategy to you today.

If you’ve been on the lookout for new ways to impress, excite, and inspire your audience, InkSoft’s Online Designer could be right for you. Take a tour, get to know its innovative (and ultra user-friendly!) features, and start separating your business from the competition. It is, really and truly, as simple as that. Just ask Gear Republic.