When it comes to starting a men's underwear brand, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some big decisions.
You may be asking yourself:
- What's the first step in establishing my business?
- How much will it cost to start my men's underwear brand?
- How do I price my men's underwear brand?
- How do I market my men's underwear brand?
- ... so much more!
We walk you through all of the steps; from idea → starting → launching → growing → running your business.
The purpose of this guide is to act as an outline for the steps you'll need to take to get your business running successfully!
💡 Introduction To Starting A Men's Underwear Brand
Let's take a look at the search trends for mens underwear over the last year:
- BareNecessities (53.1K Alexa Ranking)
- Underwear, Socks and Activewear for Men, Women and Kids (114K Alexa Ranking)
- Modibodi AU (116K Alexa Ranking)
- Andrew Christian Inc. (116K Alexa Ranking)
- Home Page (128K Alexa Ranking)
- TomboyX - Revenue $2M/month
- SHEATH LLC - Revenue $140K/month
- Stonemen - Revenue $80K/month
- Bunch of Animals - Revenue $5K/month
- Nooks - Revenue $800/month
How To Name Your Men's Underwear Brand
It's important to find a catchy name for your men's underwear brand so that you can stand out in your space.
Here are some general tips to consider when naming your men's underwear brand
- Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
- Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
- Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
- As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!
Why is naming your men's underwear brand so important?
The name of your business will forever play a role in:
- Your customers first impression
- Your businesses identity
- The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
- If you're memorable or not
It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your men's underwear brand.
You can search domain availability here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.
It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.
As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.
Here's some inspiration for naming your men's underwear brand:
- The Older Boys check availability
- Married Mate check availability
- Success Underwear check availability
- Tight check availability
- The Called check availability
- The Extra check availability
- RighteousMan check availability
- Famous check availability
- LightweightBoxers check availability
- Soaked Underclothing check availability
- Grown Human Place check availability
- The Plain check availability
- Pants Trading Co check availability
- ModernBoxers check availability
- Synthetic Linen check availability
- The Worthy Mankind check availability
- The Haired check availability
- Laundry Co check availability
- Striped Clothing Co check availability
- Able Human Being Place check availability
- Oxfords Boxers check availability
- OlderBoxers check availability
- Worthy Human Beings check availability
- Former check availability
- FemaleBoxers check availability
- Used Underclothes check availability
- Heavy Bvds Trading Co check availability
- SeveralBoxers check availability
- Valet Co check availability
- Robbers Boxers check availability
- The Stained Linen check availability
- Worthy Military Personnel check availability
- Few Boys Pro check availability
- Undies Co check availability
- The Skimpy check availability
- The Young check availability
- The Tall Piece check availability
- Serviceman Group check availability
- Long Apparel check availability
- English Packer Collective check availability
- Mocker Boxers check availability
- The Greek Undies check availability
- Jocks Group check availability
- Athletic Underclothes check availability
- YoungMan check availability
- Pro Shorts check availability
- Piece check availability
- Boys Co check availability
- Learned Human Beings Place check availability
- Synthetic Laundry check availability
- Coarse check availability
- The Thermal check availability
- The Tattered Laundry check availability
- Brave check availability
- The Top check availability
- British Boxing Gloves check availability
- Good Human Beings Spot check availability
- The Pink Players check availability
- Greatest Jocks check availability
- Blue check availability
- The Extra Underclothes check availability
- The Average Humankind check availability
- Soiled check availability
- Linen Collective check availability
- WiseMan check availability
- CleverestBoxers check availability
- The Skilful check availability
- Clutter clear Underwear check availability
- Successful Fighters Group check availability
- The Gray check availability
- The Married Military Personnel check availability
- Many check availability
- Greatest check availability
- Upset Underwear check availability
- The Lined Underclothing check availability
- Used Union Suit check availability
- Striped Bvds check availability
- Used Underthings check availability
- Plain Thong check availability
- Serviceman Pro check availability
- OlympicBoxers check availability
- Choppers Boxers check availability
- Cleverest Pugilist Co check availability
- Grown Military Personnel Co check availability
- Shockers Boxers check availability
- Thermal Apparel check availability
- Human Beings Place check availability
- Edible Clothing Pro check availability
- Mankind Trading Co check availability
- Saucers Boxers check availability
- GrayBoxers check availability
- Extra Underclothing check availability
- Ordinary Serviceman check availability
- The Green Undies check availability
- Wet Packer check availability
- Shorts Collective check availability
- The Nice Human check availability
- Rate Boys Place check availability
- The Handsome Human Beings check availability
- Outstanding Undies Collective check availability
- Clean Pugilist Pro check availability
- Mortal Monk check availability
- Human Beings Collective check availability
- Civilized check availability
- GoodBoxers check availability
- Strange Serviceman Spot check availability
- Primitive Piece Pro check availability
- Light Apparel Spot check availability
- Mankind Pro check availability
- Athletic check availability
- Extra check availability
- Clever check availability
- Human Pro check availability
- The Prominent check availability
- Clothing Trading Co check availability
- Players Pro check availability
- Linen Spot check availability
Robert Patton, founder of SHEATH talks about the process he went through in order to find the perfect name:
We originally started in 2010 with the name SHEATH.
The naming took us a few months.
We started with Junk Drawers, but found that was taken. We then considered Packaged Jewels and Southern Comfort, but they didn’t feel right. We then began thinking in terms of the functionality and masculinity of our product, which is when we came up with SHEATH.
The comparison of a sword being sheathed just as the male anatomy would be sheathed in our garments... it just made sense.
Then we bought the URL sheathunderwear.com and started making social media pages, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest. Etc. We didn’t take out any loans in the beginning.
🎬 How To Start A Men's Underwear Brand
Setting Up Your Men's Underwear Brand (Formation and Legal)
When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.
The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.
These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.
- LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
- S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
- C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.
Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.
Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.
Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need
There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.
Here are some factors you may want to consider:
- Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
- Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
- Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
- Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
- Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.
Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.
Design A Prototype
Turning your idea into a reality can feel like a daunting task - but it's critical that you have an idea of what your product will look like (even if it's just a sketch) prior to finding a manufacturer.
Here are some common ways you can design your prototype:
- Draw Your Initial Design on Paper
- Form pieces of fabric together
- Consider Taking A Generic Product And Putting Your Own Brand On It
- Try Making the Product Yourself
- Consider Building A Prototype With A 3D Printer
To learn more about how to design and prototype a product, check out our latest guide here.
Krystian Frencel, founder of Two Bunch Animals created a paper form of two pieces of fabric that made up their product:
There are other creative methods of "sketching" out your design, and it doesn't always have to be with a pen and paper.
I started by deconstructing, AKA pulling out the stitches from a pair of the Stonemen briefs. Created a paper form of the two pieces that made up the brief, and had it digitized.
I also connected with a graphic designer who helped set artwork into the digitized template and made it match at the edges for a beautiful seamless print.
I searched for local sewing classes first, thinking I was going to learn to sew myself. I don’t know what I was thinking.
I was eventually recommended a sewing shop by one of the sewing classes/workshop places I contacted. This is where I met the owner of the shop, a masterful older German lady. She reminded me of my father a bit, an old soul with an immense amount of knowledge and experience.
She was an expert at her craft. She talked me through the manufacturing process and taught me a lot about it.
She connected me with a fabric supplier, a waistband supplier and set out a timeline to create prototypes. All I had to do was provide the printed templates of the underwear on a roll of fabric.
Purchasing Inventory For Your Men's Underwear Brand
When first starting out, it's important to start small with your overhead to get a gauge for what people want.
Just remember - if you order a line of items that don't sell, it's nearly impossible to recoup the money lost.
Buying the right inventory takes research and planning in order to get it right.
- Identify your target audience: Identify the age, gender, annual income that you will be selling to. This is a defining factor in ordering the right inventory that will sell.
- Research your competition: Conduct market research and identify the different types of styles, price points, and materials being used. This will help you see what's trending and ways that you can improve/stay ahead of the competition.
- Create an inventory wishlist: Identify what you need for the launch of your business and create a budget that you will stay within. Remember, it's okay to start small.
- Find a supplier Make sure to first compare prices and analyze different options.
- Delivery timing: Schedule the inventory delivery to match with seasonality and trending buying seasons
Pro-tip: It's easy to become biased based on your own fashion preferences on what types of shoes/apparel to purchase. This is where a lot of fashion businesses go wrong. It's important to base purchase decisions on current buyer behavior, trends in the market, and specific to your niche.
Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your men's underwear brand.
Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.
For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.
You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:
- Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
- Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
- Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
- Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
- Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
- Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
- Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
- Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
- Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.
Learn more about how to write a business plan here
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Men's Underwear Brand
If you are planning to start a men's underwear brand, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.
We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a men's underwear brand and outline the costs you should expect for each:
- The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,052
- The estimated maximum starting cost = $28,819
|Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a men's underwear brand.||Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs.||Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.|
|Office Space Expenses|
|Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space.||$0||$2,000|
|Utility Costs (office space): This refers to the first month's utility bill for your office space. If you are not responsible for this bill, this would not apply to starting your men's underwear brand.||$0||$150|
|Office Supplies: Although these may seem like minor costs, things like your desks, chairs, pens, paper, filing cabinets do add up. To avoid these adding up too much, try to be as lean as possible and go paperless!||$25||$1,000|
|WiFi: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is an expense that's tough to avoid. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month!||$10||$100|
|Total Office Space Expenses||$35 (min)||$3,250 (max)|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses|
|Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time.||$500||$5,000|
|Total Equipment & Supply Expenses||$500 (min)||$5,000 (max)|
|Upfront Costs For Inventory: This includes all upfront inventory you will need in order to launch. Be sure to compare prices of wholesalers to ensure you're getting the best deal and margins remain high.||$300||$5,000|
|Inventory Storage: If you decide to have a physical space for your men's underwear brand, whether it be used for inventory or as a showroom, you may have monthly rent payment or a large down payment associated with renting/buying the space.||$0||$5,000|
|Package Design: Packaging refers to wrapping and protecting products during distribution, shipping, and sales.Your package design is your customer's first impression of your brand, so it's important you spend some time and energy to get this right from the start.Many businesses design their own packages using design software and tools. There is always the option to outsource this to a design expert, but that route tends to be much more expensive.||$50||$3,000|
|Shrinkage: Shrinkage refers to the loss of inventory at any point between the purchase from your supplier and the purchase by your customer. Although you will try to avoid this at all costs, this does happen sometimes (especially in the learning stages of your business), and it's important to plan ahead financially in case this happens. Fortune states that retail shrinkage costs U.S. retailers approximately 1.4 percent of their total sales.||$0||$1,000|
|Distribution costs: Depending on what distribution plan you choose, expenses such as renting vans, hiring delivery drivers and gas costs can add up. If you are looking to save money upfront, you may want to consider conducting distribution on your own.||$0||$750|
|Total Inventory Expenses||$350 (min)||$14,750 (max)|
|Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo.||$0||$50|
|Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here||$0||$100|
|IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals.||$150||$2,000|
|Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses.||$0||$50|
|Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here.||$0||$25|
|Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms.||$0||$20|
|Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your men's underwear brand, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business.||$0||$50|
|Payroll Software: The main purpose of payroll software is to help you pay your team and track each of those payments (so that you don't have to do it manually). If you do not have any employees or have a very small team, payroll software may not be necessary at this stage. Here are the 11 best payroll tools for small businesses!||$0||$200|
|Online data storage: It's important to make sure the information for your men's underwear brand is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article.||$0||$299|
|Total Software Expenses||$150 (min)||$2,794 (max)|
|A Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website.||$12||$200|
|Email hosting: Email is a critical piece for running your business. Once you have your domain name, you will want to set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are GSuite (typically starting at $6+ per user, per month) or Microsoft Office (typically starting at $5+ per user, per month). The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown.||$5||$75|
|Total Website Costs||$17 (min)||$275 (max)|
|Advertising & Marketing Costs|
|Customer Research & Surveys: Many men's underwear brand's conduct industry and consumer research prior to starting their business. Often times, you need to pay for this data or hire a market research firm to help you in this process.||$0||$300|
|Affiliate Marketing Commission & Fees: If you want to increase revenue for your men's underwear brand, affiliate marketing is a great way to promote your product to a new audience. When determining affiliate commission rates you will offer, you will want to take into account the price and margin for your product to ensure affiliate marketing is worth it for your business. According to Monitor Backlinks, the average affiliate commission rate should be somewhere between 5% to 30%. To learn more about how to set commission rates, check out this article..||$0||$250|
|Influencer Marketing: Partnering with like-minded influencers is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence. Many small businesses simply gift a free item in exchange for an influencer post, or pay the influencer directly.||$0||$750|
|Press: If your business and story is unique enough, press and media attention may come to you, but odds are, you may need to do your own outreach and budget for this. We put together a guide here that discusses different press opportunities (both free and paid).||$0||$500|
|Google Ads: With Google Ads you have the ability to control how much you spend by simply setting a monthly budget cap. Additionally, with these ads you only pay for results, such as clicks to your website or phone calls! It's okay to start with a small budget at first and make changes accordingly if you see valuable returns.||$0||$300|
|Facebook & Instagram Ads: With Facebook and Instagram ads, you set your budget and pay for the actions you want (whether that be impressions, conversions, etc).You can learn more about pricing based on your impressions here.||$0||$350|
|Total Advertising & Marketing Costs||$0 (min)||$2,450 (max)|
|Credit Card Processing Fees: If you process credit cards then you will need to deal with interchange fees - which is usually around 3% of total charges. These fees are often forgotten about and can hurt cash flow if not taken into account.||$0||$300|
|Total Other Expenses||$0 (min)||$300 (max)|
|Total Starting Costs||$1,052 (min)||$28,819 (max)|
Starting Cost Example: Nooks Underwear
I paid for everything myself and still do. All in all, this was what I spent to get up and running:
- $500 on product manufacturing (300 units, 2 colors, 3 sizes)
- $100 on custom poly mailers
- $400 on Facebook ads (collected 1100 emails)
- $180 on a nice Shopify theme that I heavily customized
- $30/month for Shopify
- $30/month for Klaviyo
I got some friends together to model and take photos (luckily, one of them is a photography student and has access to awesome equipment).
Over the course of the past month, we’ve sold about $700 of underwear and have already had a few returning customers. It’s not much, but we’re definitely growing and I’m having an awesome time running the company.
Since the startup costs to start men's underwear brand range between $1,052 - $28,819, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.
Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:
- Launch your product on Kickstarter
- Raise capital by asking friends and family
- Apply for a loan
- Find an investor!
Robert Patton, founder of SHEATH discusses how his Kickstarter campaign led to the confidence that they had something really special:
Kickstarter Campaign Example: SHEATH
At this time, I had also been working as a tailor’s assistant to learn the craft of garment construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction.
I created new prototypes during that time which brings us to 2013 when, finally, my small team and I did our first Kickstarter to help us finalize the payment for our next production.
We found that hundreds of people were willing to back the project and get us funded, proving to us that we really had something special on our hands.
By the end of the campaign, we were feeling like we were on top of the world. We sent out products to hundreds of satisfied customers who then reordered more pairs and we used those earnings order our next batch of product. Production was well underway and sailing was going to be smooth, or so we thought.
How To Find A Supplier For Your Men's Underwear Brand
Here are the steps to consider when finding a supplier/manufacturer:
Know your design
One very critical step to finding the right supplier is having an initial idea of what your design/product will look like.
Sketching is one of the most simple ways to get started in the design phase.
What's great about sketching is that you can practically do this anytime, anywhere - even on the back of a napkin.
To get started, all you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start drawing - or if you are working on a virtual/software product this can be a diagram that outlines the user interface or experience.
Decide your supplier type
You'll want to identify the type of supplier you are looking for.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself prior to searching for a supplier
- Are you looking for a manufacturer to produce your product idea?
- Do you want to find a supplier that can simply purchase existing products for you?
- Do you want a drop-shipper to supply and fulfill orders?
- Do you want a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier? Read more about the pros and cons of each here
Where to start your search
Once you have an understanding of what type of manufacturer/supplier will be best to bring your idea to life, there are several areas you can start your search:
Alibaba Tips From Founders
I did not have expensive prototyping design software, so my “designs” were free-hand drawings I created with colored pencils. It didn’t cost thousands of dollars and it was efficient.
The next process was to packaging my product. I knew I wanted elevated packaging because I thought of my product as an affordable, luxury product ($29.99 per pair). For this box, I went straight to the source: Alibaba.
If you’re not familiar, Alibaba is a site where you can access factories (mostly in China) and get almost anything made. It’s an inventor’s playground. I posted my box design specifications, and within 24 hours, I had selected a factory that could make my boxes for about $1.10 each.
When you look for a factory on Alibaba, make sure they are a “Gold Supplier” with “Trade Assurance”.
Alibaba validates and scores its factories though a badge/award system, so make sure you check these qualifications carefully. I have been lucky and had no issues so far.
How To Price Your Mens Underwear
One of the most challenging aspects to starting a men's underwear brand is determining how much to charge for your mens underwear.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.
Understand your costs
When pricing your mens underwear, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your mens underwear so you can factor in a profit.
The actual cost of your mens underwear may include things like:
- The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
- Shipping + overhead fees
- Operating costs to run your business
You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.
Create revenue goals
When determining the price of your mens underwear, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your men's underwear brand to make.
This process is simpler than you may think:
- Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
- Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
- Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
- Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell
This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.
Evaluate your competition
The last piece in determining how to price your mens underwear is by simply looking at your competition.
The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your mens underwear fits best in the marketplace.
All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your mens underwear, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.
Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary provides us with a detailed spreadsheet of all of her costs associated with running her business:
I knew this would be a self-funded adventure, and I set aside $3,000. During the first three months, I had a detailed spreadsheet where I tracked where the money was going and what was going toward products versus researching and developing new products.
The spreadsheets involved columns and rows of numbers to craft a budget and gain an understanding of how much would need to be invested at each stage of the process - from gathering supplies to building a website, and shipping materials.
We've interviewed several different founders in the men's underwear brand and asked them how much $ they're making today.
- $60K/year in revenue
- Sells boxer briefs
- Solo founder
- 0 employees
- $1.68M/year in revenue
- Sells premium men's pouch underwear
- 2 founders
- 4 employees
- $9.6K/year in revenue
- Sells men's underwear
- Solo founder
- 1 employee
- $960K/year in revenue
- Sells cotton underwear
- 2 founders
- 2 employees
- $24M/year in revenue
- Sells apparel that fits you
- 2 founders
- 34 employees
🚀 How To Launch Your Men's Underwear Brand
Build A Website
Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).
- Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
- Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
- Make sure you choose the right theme and design
- Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)
To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.
There are a ton of different websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success
Here's everything you need to know about these two platforms:
Squarespace is a great option for small businesses and is known as one of the easiest platforms to use.
You may find yourself in a decision on whether you should choose Squarespace or WordPress.
The main difference between the two platforms is that Squarespace is known to be more turn-key than WordPress, and does not involve as much management and upkeep.
Benefits of using Squarespace:
- Great for beginners who have little to no coding experience
- Flexible and stylish designs
- You can easily switch up templates (and not feel the need to completely start over)
- Over 55,000 plugins
- Personal Plan: $12/month
- Business Plan: $18/month
- Basic: $26/month
- Advanced: $40/month
Shopify is one of the #1 leading platforms for e-commerce businesses.
Here are some of the main reasons most e-commerce businesses are using Shopify:
- Geared towards supporting store owners. Provides a simple way to launch and manage your online store
- Customer support is off the charts (live chat)
- Easy to use - You don't have to worry about the technical side
- The design is clean and mobile-friendly. There are also hundreds of templates you can use.
- Easy integrations and additional channels (ie. Amazon, email marketing integrations, Facebook, etc).
- Basic Shopify: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advanced Shopify: $299/month
Founder, Marc Debnam on recommending Shopify
The best move we did was to switch to the Shopify platform in 2016. Everything became simple.
Shopify is an easy to use software with great add-on apps so you can build your ecommerce business exactly how you like it.
And it intergrates with our accounting and logistics platforms. Xero, Auspost, DHL. As well as most sales and marketing channels.
It freed up so much time working in the business, allowing us time to focus on growth and brand awareness.
With my basic technical skills, I built a great site. The one we still have. I experiment with apps that just plug in and if they add that’s great if they don’t we move on.
Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.
Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.
One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.
If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.
Launch Strategies For Your Men's Underwear Brand
There are various different ways you can launch your men's underwear brand successfully.
Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your men's underwear brand.
- Build hype with a landing page: you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
- Create a teaser video: even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your men's underwear brand, and possibly even go viral
- Reach out to influencers: The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
- Get Press: Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
- Launch on popular sites: A great way to get buzz about your men's underwear brand is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.
Here are a few popular sites to launch on:
Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here
Zaid Shahatit, founder of Nooks tells us about the time his ad went viral during launch:
Things started off slow, but an ad that went viral on Imgur really boosted our sales in the first month.
I ran an ad which I later posted to Imgur, and it got pushed to the “Most Viral” page. From there, about 3000 people visited the site and I sold around $400!
Throughout launch, I post blog content on the site and on Reddit focused around men’s health and topics that guys don’t really like to discuss - one of them got around 1000 upvotes and over 2000 site visitors. Some others are doing well on Reddit as well!
Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right
The way you package your men's underwear brand is often the first impression your customer has - so it's important to get it right.
You may want to ask yourself these questions:
If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:
- Will my men's underwear brand stand out?
- Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?
There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:
- Canva - Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Stickermule - High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
- Noissue - Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
- Rollo Label Printer - A great tool to print all shipping labels at home
🌱 How To Grow Your Men's Underwear Brand
Social Media Advertising
Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to men's underwear brand.
There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.
Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:
- Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
- Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
- Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
- Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
- LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses
It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:
Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:
- Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
- Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
- Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?
From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!
Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.
Emily Cassedy, founder of Blush Boutique Co explains how their Facebook strategy is the #1 way of attracting new customers:
Our biggest tool for attracting customers and then keeping repeat customers has been social media and word of mouth. We made sure our social media platforms were attractive, inviting, and not too in your face.
We set up an editorial type calendar for our Facebook posts that we still use to this day.
For example, every Tuesday we have a vote post where our followers can vote on an item that we will bring into the shop. Our customers and followers love this and chime when that piece that is voted on comes in, we already have a set amount of people that will come purchase it because they were able to be a deciding factor.
We also make sure to do a live Facebook video when we get new arrivals to show what came in that week. The supply and demand of a piece then draw in more customers, even if one of the new arrivals sells out, they are still coming in to see what else we have in the shop.
Consider Selling On Amazon
In addition to selling your products directly on your site, you may want to consider selling on Amazon to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
Here are some pros and cons of selling on amazon:
- Easy and seamless process to get your product listed on Amazon
- There are roughly 100 million thoroughly committed prime customers, so you're bound to tap into new business
- Can help grow your business exponentially and reach new audiences
- You may encounter some "copycats" and counterfeit products
- Amazon owns the relationship with the customer (you lose control over product reviews + customer service)
- If you already have a low-markup, amazon may not wrth your while and you could end up losing money
- Commissions and listing fees are high - it's easy to lose control of your offering
Follow these instructions to get your product listed on Amazon or check out the video below on how to get started:
Selling On Amazon: Sheath Example
Amazon has also been a great platform for us to gain new customers as well as offering options to our existing customers who take advantage of Amazon prime.
The annual growth in Amazon sales is less noticeable, however, as we have much less control over it compared to our other sales channels.
In fact, our Amazon growth has been relatively stagnant the past few years, but we are actively developing new methods to rectify that.
We hope to one day have amazon rivaling sheathunderwear.com in sales, the current goal being $1 million sales monthly on each platform.
Grow Your Email List
The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.
One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.
This could also be anything from:
- Fascinating case study
- Video series
- Free week of the product
- Discount on the product
Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.
Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:
We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.
Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.
We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.
Add an exit-intent popup to your online store
A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers.
Here's an example of what that might look like:
One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.
That one idea has added over 100,000 subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels.
Improve Your Email Marketing
Different types of emails
Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:
- Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
- Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
- Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
- Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
- Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!
Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!
Klaviyo is the ultimate ecommerce marketing platform for online brands of all kinds and all sizes. With email automation, SMS marketing, list growth tools, and more, you’ll get everything you need to build strong relationships that keep your customers coming back.
Klaviyo makes it easy to store, access, analyze and use transactional and behavioral data to power highly-targeted customer and prospect communications. And unlike other marketing platforms, Klaviyo doesn’t force you to compromise between advanced functionality or ease of use—so businesses of all sizes are able to maximize their sales quickly. That’s why over 50,000 innovative brands like Living Proof, Custom Ink and Huckberry sell more with Klaviyo.
- Manage and send all your customer communications from a single platform—email, SMS, app and web push notifications
- Send impactful, on-brand promos and email newsletters
- Save time with email and form templates
- Have a one-on-one conversation with every customer
- Leverage pre-built ecommerce email automations or customize your own ideal customer experience
- Optimize for email revenue, not just clicks and opens
- Improve email deliverability with targeted segmentation that updates in real-time
- Enhance your website with a variety of form types: flyouts, pop-ups, and embedded forms
- Sync your Klaviyo segments to Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns for better targeting, lower CAC, and higher ROAS
- Leverage predictive analytics, like predicted next purchase date, predicted gender, and smart send time
- And more!
- Up to 250 contacts: Free!
- Up to 1,000 subscribers: $30 per month
- Up to 2,500 subscribers: $60 per month
- Up to 5,000 subscribers: $100 per month
- Up to 10,000 subscribers: $150 per month
- Up to 20,000 subscribers: $375 per month
🏃🏼♀️ How To Run Your Men's Underwear Brand
Provide Great Customer Service
Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.
Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority.
Just remember: customer service represents your brand, values, vision and YOU as a person.
Customer service is huge for us. Like I talked about, building a community has been one of the best bi-products in the shop.
We want everyone to feel loved, cared for, and appreciated.
If we have a customer that comes in quite a bit, we will begin to notice what they buy and reach out to them if something new comes in if we think they will like it. We also try to call people by name and greet them as if they were entering my home, not just the shop.
Another great way we retain customers is through a loyalty point system. When a customer gains enough points through their purchases, they are rewarded with a discount. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for having them be a great customer.
Diversify Your Product Line
Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.
It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.
Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product
- Meeting the needs of your customers
- Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
- Resistance to downturns/trends fading
- Create new revenue streams
If you can afford to hire someone to help support your men's underwear brand, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.
Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!
If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.
Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?
- So you can understand how long it takes
- So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
- So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
- So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
- Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.
We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your men's underwear brand.
- Platform tools such as Shopify or Amazon
- Email tools such as MailChimp, Klaviyo or Optinmonster
- Social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Reddit
- Advertising tools such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Adwords or Bing Ads
- Reviews tools such as YotPo or CM Commerce
- Shipping tools such as ShipStation, Stamps.com, Shippo, Flavorcloud, Shippit or Chit Chats
- Analytics tools such as Google Analytics
- Productivity tools such as Google Suite, Dropbox, Slack or Asana
- Payments tools such as Paypal, Shopify Payments, Amazon Payments or Apple Pay
- Customer service tools such as Zendesk or Gorgias
- Accounting tools such as Quickbooks
- Uomo Men's 6 Pack Of Stretch Boxer Briefs-Small-Bold Line
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- How I Grew A Men's Pouch Underwear Line To $1M/Year
- On Starting A Men's Underwear Brand
- How Marc Debnam Started A Successful Underwear Brand