In the brave new world of globalization, even small companies can tap the global talent pool through the use of the Internet. One such local company is t-shirt maker Analog Soul, which has found that the great number of Filipinos based abroad represented a huge pool of talent for their company.
Tapping designs from Filipinos based from as far as Dubai, New Zealand, and New York, the company is using the Internet as a tool to drive down costs and get variety for their products. By banking on these freelancers instead of employing a full time design team, the company is able to save costs.
“We’re opening our doors to anyone who wants to put up their design. Of course there’s still a quality criteria, but we have found that even Filipinos based abroad can be tapped to design stuff for us. We’re hoping that soon, even foreign designers will be submitting their work to us,” says co-owner Miguel Naguiat.
The company has keenly leveraged this growing popularity into outsourcing most of their designs to interested individuals. The good number of hits their website gets also generates interest from designers from all over.
The relative success of Analog Soul can be partly attributed to its clever use of the web as a marketing platform and some lessons from the school of hard knocks. Founded in 2004 by a pair of avid t-shirt collectors and Ateneo socio-anthropology majors Miguel Naguiat, and Mica Bautista, they enlisted the help of a designer friend, Paolo Lim and started Analog Soul with P30,000.
“We thought why are we spending so much on a simple shirt? Since some of our friends were artists, we figured we could make our own shirts,” Naguiat shares. Their original plan was to make a couple of hundred shirts and sell them in bazaars in time for the Christmas season for extra shopping money. But due to their inexperience, the partners experienced a letdown on their first try.
“But since we didn’t know what we were doing, because none of us were business majors, it took as a while. We didn’t know any manufacturers and printers. By the time the shirts were done, we missed all the bazaars,” Miguel recalls.
Not knowing what to do with the piles of t-shirts they had, the group decided to divide the shirts and put them in the trunks of their cars. They started a house-to-house marketing campaign by inserting brochures under the doors of people they knew. In no time, the tactic paid off as soon there were people calling them about their shirts.