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Discussion Starter #1
We currently find our selves spinning wheels trying to figure out how to do what we did in our town... outside of our town. Although our business is still a start up after 5 years, and our growth has not been an explosion, it has been more successful than we expected and now we are looking into seeing what else we can do.

There are three of us and in reality we are figuring out the business as we go. We currently rely on our American made high quality t shirts representing aspects of our community through clever design. Our designer/co-owner has had a handful of his designs selected for logo lounge which was a pretty exciting moment for him and subsequently us. Seeing the national potential for his work, and our market in our town... We want to expand.

We have started with our website, working through seo, updating images, creating easy navigation and doing the best we can to speed up our site. We are preparing to reach out apparel stores on the east coast to test our style and approach through consignment, we anticipate online traffic increasing in the coming months.

I am hoping to have some eyes on the site, some folks from the t shirt world to navigate the layout and give me to honest clear feed back. Hates and Loves, do's and dont's, information regarding consignment or tips for reaching larger audiences.

Our biggest fear is wasting our hard earned capital on a huge mistake.

Thanks in advance and I'm eagerly anticipating this conversation.

www.foxduck.com
 

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Overall a good impression... but 5 years (if that's true) is way too slow.
I can creare more content than this in one day.
I don't see where the SEO is needed or how it would help.
 

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Overall a good impression... but 5 years (if that's true) is way too slow.
I can creare more content than this in one day.
I don't see where the SEO is needed or how it would help.
Thanks for looking and for your feedback.

Regarding the content, Our webpage has been an evolving entity and over time we have simplified as much as possible to make the experience as efficient as possible. What are your thoughts on how much content is too much content?

Going through google, we have found that improving our seo has moved us up in the shopping section but it is hard to keep up with and we lose our spot fast. Do you recommend us considering SEO a waste of time?

We started the business in 2015 and opened the retail store in 2016. When you say 5 years is ways too slow, what exactly do you mean?
 

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Regarding the content, Our webpage has been an evolving entity and over time we have simplified as much as possible to make the experience as efficient as possible. What are your thoughts on how much content is too much content?
You can never have too much content, just as you can never have too many designs.
Content is the best SEO by the way... Search engines love content.

Going through google, we have found that improving our seo has moved us up in the shopping section but it is hard to keep up with and we lose our spot fast.
How exactly do you measure this?

Do you recommend us considering SEO a waste of time?
SEO is a loose term used by self proclaimed experts trying to make some easy money.
On-site SEO in your case is a complete waste of time.

We started the business in 2015 and opened the retail store in 2016. When you say 5 years is ways too slow, what exactly do you mean?
Sure, but as I said... I could come up with more designs and create a nice website in just one day.
Then maybe a week to print some garments and decorate the shop.
Finding retail space in a good location would be the only issue, but will not take 5 years either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How exactly do you measure this?
-We search a few key words in google and see how far down the list we are in the shopping section.



Sure, but as I said... I could come up with more designs and create a nice website in just one day.
-It takes our designer much longer than a day to come up with a good design. He refuses to put anything else out. Which has gotten us a good reputation. But I don't doubt there are people out there who could get a bunch of designs out in a day. The website, because we were learning at the time did take way too much time. Lesson learned.


Then maybe a week to print some garments and decorate the shop.
-Totally


Finding retail space in a good location would be the only issue,
-We hit the jackpot with our spot. Super lucky. Friend bought a government building and gave us a crazy deal right in the middle of town.


but will not take 5 years either.
-I might not have clarified, it didn't take us five years to do any of this. This all happened in just a few months back in 2015. My main point is how do we prep to expand? Making our site as user friendly as possible anticipating higher traffic with a geographically broader market. Ultimately more sales.


All in all what your responses are telling me is that we just need more on the website, more content, more designs. That there are people out there who could be doing this quicker and easier than we are which would most likely mean that we're losing potential sales.

Thanks for your input. I welcome it all.
 

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We search a few key words in google and see how far down the list we are in the shopping section.
Any sales? That's the only important metric.

All in all what your responses are telling me is that we just need more on the website, more content, more designs. That there are people out there who could be doing this quicker and easier than we are which would most likely mean that we're losing potential sales.
Some more content and a little more variety would be beneficial in my opinion.
However, the point I'm trying to make is that expanding physically is a better option.
You have "Foxduck Lancaster"... Maybe it's time for "Foxduck York" ;).
 

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You've got some solid designs, smartly executed as single color art.

I would suggest expanding your offerings, as Tabob suggested. You guys being locals, I suppose you have a good grasp of what local features, places, sayings, events etc people might identify with or have a sense of pride about.

Perhaps consider these potential customer groups as targets and what each might be interested in and how their interests might differ: 1) Locals buying for themselves. 2) Locals buying gifts for other locals. 3) Locals buying gifts for far away friends and family. 4) Far away friends and family buying gifts for locals. 5) Tourists buying while there. 6) Tourists buying after having been there.

Also consider ways in which humor might be safely deployed to amuse locals or aunt Ruth in New York City. The truth is humorous, if you tell it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any sales? That's the only important metric.


Some more content and a little more variety would be beneficial in my opinion.
However, the point I'm trying to make is that expanding physically is a better option.
You have "Foxduck Lancaster"... Maybe it's time for "Foxduck York" ;).
For absolute sure. We have definitely been working in that direction. Our thought is always as little over head as possible. But you're absolutely right. More stores in the right places is most likely the best option.
 

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You've got some solid designs, smartly executed as single color art.

I would suggest expanding your offerings, as Tabob suggested. You guys being locals, I suppose you have a good grasp of what local features, places, sayings, events etc people might identify with or have a sense of pride about.

Perhaps consider these potential customer groups as targets and what each might be interested in and how their interests might differ: 1) Locals buying for themselves. 2) Locals buying gifts for other locals. 3) Locals buying gifts for far away friends and family. 4) Far away friends and family buying gifts for locals. 5) Tourists buying while there. 6) Tourists buying after having been there.

Also consider ways in which humor might be safely deployed to amuse locals or aunt Ruth in New York City. The truth is humorous, if you tell it right.

We have done really well targeting the locals but you are bringing even more thoughts for it that we can capitalize on. At this current time our goal is to expand beyond our community. We think consignment is the right move for now but we really just don't know and want to prepare as much as possible.

Our biggest hurdle is having a website that is easy and efficient to navigate, as well as easy to find in google.

Your feed back is appreciated.
 

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You can never have too much content, just as you can never have too many designs.
Content is the best SEO by the way... Search engines love content.

SEO is a loose term used by self proclaimed experts trying to make some easy money.
On-site SEO in your case is a complete waste of time.
both of these statements are true

is your logo a monkey with astigmatism and a bone through its jaw and some feathers attached to its head?
i can't tell and the foxduck name does not seem to match your logo (it is also a very tiny logo on your site, making it hard to discern what it is and how it relates to your website name

not that it is a bad logo, but my small mind cannot understand how the two gel
should it not be monkeyduck, or far-sighted feathered monkey?
probably for most people it is not even a thought (like the two other posters here), but three days later and it still haunts me

it is a good site from a user experience

you seem to be digging your own hole and then asking how to get out
and no, the answer is not to dig up, but simply get out of the hole and begin walking forward

i might have the part you need in the shop
great, let me know
week later - hey did you find that part, that i can get anywhere else and need, but was waiting on you?
i don't go to the shop everyday
(why am i only able to rent a single bed apartment when my friends all own their homes without a mortgage?)

personally i would have driven the 2 minutes to the shop and had either the part in hand ready to go, or said sorry i did not have one in the shop, but here is the best place to get one

there is the planning stage and there is the action stage
make hay while the sun is shining, because it is getting dark
 

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the foxduck name does not seem to match your logo (it is also a very tiny logo on your site, making it hard to discern what it is and how it relates to your website name
Not a bad thing... It's just like a band name nobody understands what it means.
MØ from the Denmark is one example, and you cannot even google the name unless you have a Nordic keyboard or you copy-paste it.
By the way... Here is one of her best songs (in my opinion) but not so popular.
0:20 "I need to get out, please show me your town..." very fitting to the current situation ;).

make hay while the sun is shining, because it is getting dark
I actually think the future is bright for small local brands and shops.

You can never have too much content, just as you can never have too many designs.
Content is the best SEO by the way... Search engines love content.
Expanding on my own advice...
You can however have too much of the wrong type of content.
Maintaining the perception of quality is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Any sales? That's the only important metric.

-Not many from google. Our belief that improving SEO would make us easier to find.


Some more content and a little more variety would be beneficial in my opinion.
However, the point I'm trying to make is that expanding physically is a better option.
You have "Foxduck Lancaster"... Maybe it's time for "Foxduck York" ;).


-Physically is the way to go, our current capital doesn't allow us to invest in another location, unfortunately. We're hoping within another few years.
 

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both of these statements are true

is your logo a monkey with astigmatism and a bone through its jaw and some feathers attached to its head?
i can't tell and the foxduck name does not seem to match your logo (it is also a very tiny logo on your site, making it hard to discern what it is and how it relates to your website name

not that it is a bad logo, but my small mind cannot understand how the two gel
should it not be monkeyduck, or far-sighted feathered monkey?
probably for most people it is not even a thought (like the two other posters here), but three days later and it still haunts me

it is a good site from a user experience

you seem to be digging your own hole and then asking how to get out
and no, the answer is not to dig up, but simply get out of the hole and begin walking forward

i might have the part you need in the shop
great, let me know
week later - hey did you find that part, that i can get anywhere else and need, but was waiting on you?
i don't go to the shop everyday
(why am i only able to rent a single bed apartment when my friends all own their homes without a mortgage?)

personally i would have driven the 2 minutes to the shop and had either the part in hand ready to go, or said sorry i did not have one in the shop, but here is the best place to get one

there is the planning stage and there is the action stage
make hay while the sun is shining, because it is getting dark


Glad we had you thinking about us for three days! The logo is is a fox face with duck wings. But your feedback is on point, what the hell is it.

The action stage requires some funds that we don't currently have. Kind of the thought of moving slowly to get our name out of Lancaster and into other states, a few years down the road when the capital is there, open location number 2.
 

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Physically is the way to go, our current capital doesn't allow us to invest in another location, unfortunately. We're hoping within another few years.
Franchise is not an option?
A 10% profit share is much better than $0, and the difference on the retail price will be hardly noticeable.
Paying $22 for a shirt instead of $20 is not something the average consumer will notice or care about.

The same thing apply for offers and discounts by the way.
Offering people a 10% discount will cost you a lot of money but make zero or very little difference in sales.
The 50% discounts do get noticed, and people go crazy for the 70%.
You cannot do this all the time of course, so strategy is also very important.
 

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TABOB said:
I actually think the future is bright for small local brands and shops.
you are right about this, and i agree 100%
the local market has many access points that lead to an expanded name and brand recognition
you want to be a 'local' face of sunshine, and as you mentioned, quality

op expanding national imho requires getting a foothold sooner rather than later
they are concentrating and closing-in/tightening-up, so if you are not even in the mix, you may find it harder to crack

franchise/partnerships with others is a good option
lots of talented people in situations that would relish the opportunity to be their own boss, they just can't see how
but you've already done it (and successfully too!) and can guide/mentor

you know, maybe that is the hook of your logo
it keeps you thinking and guessing, but it keeps 'you' in mind
 

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Hmmmmm..... Some good thoughts in the posts above. Personally I agree with those who said the logo is weird. To me it also looks like a monkey, with a hat, with wings on it. But it's not memorable. No offence. Maybe redraw, make it clearer, and a bit larger...???? More, funky....??? Also, <<foxduck.com>> says nothing about who or what you are. So anyone seeing the website address might think: do they sell foxes, or ducks...???
My old business was called Bazooka Marekting and Design.Com.AU. Guess what I specialised in..??
But, as a suggestion "FoxDuckGraphicDesign.com" says what you DO..!!. So, handing out free bumper stickers, website cut-out stickers for windshields etc etc etc. 'with any purchase over $10'.....?? Attend local fairs and markets, give to the kids, a small token. Makes people think well of you, so when they NEXT time see your logo/name they think "nice people, I'll call them". Rather than "what the duck is foxduck.com....???"
One thing is clear is that you are very parochial. Everything is about Lancaster or Pennsylvania or both. But as a non-American it took me a while to figure that out, and immediately I thought - freight..... From US to Oz is ridiculous, so I'm not YOUR market. Or am I? Because, unless I was from where you are, I see nothing that interested me that I could not get closer to home. Or cheaper, from China, or Bangladesh.... Oh. And does no-one wear a hat? Or only baseball caps? Seems a bit self-limiting to only offer a range of baseball caps. Or broaden the range. Do ONLY caps...! Specialise. Or not?
So this is either a good thing, not done well enough, or a bad thing, done too well. Positive for locals, negative for those further away.
I think the real issue could be that you don't really have a USP - unique selling point. I mean, it's a T-shirt/cap/sticker, right? Folks can get those ANYWHERE. They don't have to get them from you.
So, maybe you need to target local markets with something that says LOOK AT US....!!!!!
Maybe drill down to suburbs, or districts, or social organisations. Obviously, you've had contact with a few fairly hip and funky businesses, like what I presume are 'local' breweries. So what about traditional 'mom and pop' businesses. What do you offer them that they can't get elsewhere? Local? Fast service? AND fabulous design...??? PERSONAL service? Like we come to YOU and sit with YOU and design YOUR logo/business/T-shirt/promotionall campaign?
Or maybe side-shift, or pivot your focus.
For example, I live in a small town that serves a regional district of about 28,000 people. So about half the size of Lancaster. Lancaster, Pennsylvania Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)
This small local business "specialises" in uniforms. It's a shopfront. In the main street. Everyone can find it. Everyone knows it's there. They do hi-vis, skirts, workwear, boots, hats, caps, jackets, sweaters - and all individually logo'd for the organisation or business that is the client. No stock. All done to order, and most of it is done with embroidery. So maybe expand your offering beyond just screens???? Also, they don't even DO the embroidery, they farm it out to home sewers, garage businesses. And they don't "create" any artwork, they farm that out also. So maybe you could target THOSE types of businesses, offering the DESIGN service that they don't do/have?
BUT, and this is why I mentioned it, embroidery is quick, does multiples at once, by machine, so low labour content, so is relatively cheap compared to screen printing - until it gets LARGE. In large sizes, embroidery is both difficult and expensive. And many of the smaller 5-head machines can't do larger than about 6" across, which in practice means restricting size even a bit under that. Also, screens can usually do finer printing of letters and numbers, so that's something else 'unique'. So logos that are 'busy' with text 0 numbers, addresses whatever, might be more difficult to embroider, but are easier to screen.
Or maybe offer screenprinting classes? Teach people from the whole state (whole country..???) how to do it. Might not be huge, but it adds a string to your bow. And maybe some income...???
What about converting photos to line art to screenprints? Get that old photo of Grandma turned into art and put on a shirt, so you can 'keep her close'. Head shot, art deco lineart, slogan under "Grandma Jessie - 1885-1960".
Print to art canvas and frame, hang on the wall, maybe? What about cars and bikes, converted to art deco prints, for the man-cave...??? How about an arty picture of your car, on a T-shirt, for you and the wife to wear at the next car show. With your first name on the left breast: Bob, or Mary. Whatever.....
Pretty sure there are die-sub businesses that do this with actual photos, but they look like crap usually, so something artie and funky might appeal to a different audience/market..??? And LARGE, because that's where screens are more efficient. Like A3 to A-0. Don't piss about...!! lol what about new, modern, "garage art"? Like a lineart graphic of a Harley Davidson, with their log-script under it, on aluminum sheet? Or plastic sheet, or hardboard. Old style logos of brands long gone. Petroleum companies? Spark plugs? Sure their are businesses doing 'repro' but not 'art deco' style versions? Know what I mean? Get creative.
Maybe look at things that using a screen makes efficient.
Sure, single colour, single screen is cheapest. But is boring.
So what's the "design fad of the moment"...?? What, as a design STYLE, would make people take notice? Art deco? Arts and Crafts? Mondrian? Warhol? Mid-Century Modern? what about cartoons? License designs from cartoonists and promote them on a different website. ScreenedToons.com. Simons Cat. Everyone loves a cat pic. See where I'm going with this. what about a Flying "L" for "Lancaster", or a flying "P" for Pennsylvania. (So like a letter P with wings either side, like the Bentley car logo..."B" with wings...). You're the "creatives". GET CREATIVE.
And then there's sporting teams. Especially in the lower grades, kids sport etc. Offer to sponsor a team. They pay for shirts, you do the artwork (and printing) at the beginning of the season. Free publicity for a year.
Any well known sports people in your town, from your town? Did a Penn state team win a major at any time, ever? If they did, a qjuick run of "WINNER 2021" and go to the games, have a stall....
I like the focus on the "US Capital 1777". I hadn't known of that historical occurrence previously. So maybe shift that up a gear. "US Capitol - 27/09/1777". Another idea for marketing might be a bumper sticker, on white, like the famous "I [heart] NY" but instead of the heart symbol, use the Lancastrian Red Rose, so "I [red rose] LANCASTER". Maybe "I [heart] PENN", and have your 'foxduckdesign.com' logo on it, small....???
Print a bunch of small, like 3" square 'give away' stickers for fairs and markets - Just your Fox/Duck Logo, with the foxduckdesign.com website address, small, across the bottom, or around all four sides.....get your name out there.
How about some funky, funny or silly slogans? Something like a lineart outline of the state, with superimposed some funky scripts reading out "The PENN is mightier than the sword". OK, crap line, but you get the drift....
I was involved with a business years ago that did smart-*** window stickers, like "HONK if you've never heard a machine-gun fired from a moving vehicle". "What would Jesus do with $20? Turn it into wine!" Brainstorm some daft or funky ideas. Even put them on a different website. FunkyStickers.Com. Screen them onto clear adhesive vinyl. Do curved stickers for the top of front or rear windshield, for example. Target car clubs. "Lancaster Chevrolet Owners Club" or what have you. How about plain old "CHEVROLET" but done in a funky style? Like Art Deco, maybe?
From the population stats it appears your community is 60% Caucasion, 12% African-American, and like 6% Puerto-Rican. Is there some way to get into those communities? I'm guessing the plain-clothes-wearing Amish communities probably aren't a market for you, and maybe it's not something you want to promote, but it IS a point of difference for Penn State as a whole, and Lancaster specifically. So a stylised buggy with the slogan "Amish Central - Lanc, Penn". I dunno, wouldn't want to offend those god-fearing folks, but you get what I mean. Drill down. Dig deep. Something will 'click'. Don't forget, offer 'grey top' and 'black top' versions or the Mennonites will be upset! [tongue in cheek....]
You need to get out more. Or I do. lol
But seriously, knock on doors. Worst people can say is 'no thanks'.
But sure, no reason why you couldn't do a series of similar designs for other cities in Penn. "I [red rose] YORK" would be an obvious expansion, and where the rose still works, instead of the heart. Sponsor a local cheesemaker, use the slogan "Make Penn grate again" with a stylised graphic of a cheese grater.... I dunno. Brainstorm.
Do a SWOT (strengths weakensses opportunities threats) analysis.
And, most importantly, have FUN doing it. If its FUN you will continue to LOVE it. [HEART] YOURSELVES..!
Cheers from across the Big Pond...
MDW
Think local, buy local, support local business.
That's my 2 cents worth. Maybe there's somethign there that will gel for you. Have a great day! :)
 

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Sorry, but I read about half a dozen words of your post then gave up! o_O

If you want people to read what you write then please use PARAGRAPHS to break up long posts. People just immediately switch off when confronted with a huge block of unformatted text.
 

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FTR, your pathetically short attention span is not my problem, and the comments were not addressed at you. If the OP is interested, they will wade through it.
But I don't dispute that long blocks of text without para breaks are harder to read. So, my bad. :)
 

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Hmmmmm..... Some good thoughts in the posts above. Personally I agree with those who said the logo is weird. To me it also looks like a monkey, with a hat, with wings on it. But it's not memorable. No offence. Maybe redraw, make it clearer, and a bit larger...???? More, funky....??? Also, <<foxduck.com>> says nothing about who or what you are. So anyone seeing the website address might think: do they sell foxes, or ducks...???
My old business was called Bazooka Marekting and Design.Com.AU. Guess what I specialised in..??
These don't matter at all...
Quicksilver is a good example of a successful brand. Do you remember what the logo looks like, or is the name related to the product?


From the population stats it appears your community is 60% Caucasion, 12% African-American, and like 6% Puerto-Rican. Is there some way to get into those communities?
So a stylised buggy with the slogan "Amish Central - Lanc, Penn". I dunno, wouldn't want to offend those god-fearing folks, but you get what I mean. Drill down. Dig deep. Something will 'click'. Don't forget, offer 'grey top' and 'black top' versions or the Mennonites will be upset!
:oops: :oops::oops: What the... ??
 
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