I’ve been wanting to post about an article over on the Chicago Tribune (Link) that I found via the Mass Customization blog (Link). Some of you know that I’ve been casually watching Threadless (and a couple other online t-shirt companies) and I found this an article worth reading.
There’s plenty of good stuff in it, but having worked closely with Target in the past, I found this especially interesting:
“If we worked with Target, I would give us an 18-month lifespan. Target would become our biggest customer. They would buy, like, 1,800 gajillion shirts and then we would be looked on as a Target brand, and all that story of how the designs got to the T-shirts, nobody would care about it.”
Brand as detrimental to growth. I think they’re right, but I wonder what Target thinks about this. Imagine being told your brand is poison by a bunch of college dropouts. And knowing that they’re right.
In the meantime, I’m curious to see how the Seether/Second Life t-shirt design competition goes (Link). Deadline is just a couple weeks away. Seems to me that someone should consider fusing virtual t-shirts and the Threadless business model. Or maybe Threadless will start moving to a model that serves multiple communities, including virtual worlds and online social sites. Community size is an issue that comes up in the article and it sounds quite a bit like some of the same stuff I’ve heard about SL. Guess I have more reasons to watch their development.