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The B2C Guide to Monogram Success

2018’s biggest makeover: the monogram. From towels and polos to doctor coats and water bottles, monogramming isn’t tacky anymore. It’s fashion.

Need proof? Two words: Louis Vuitton. Established in 1854 and known for its limited edition bags adorned with the elegant LV monogram, Louis Vuitton saw a 29% net profit growth in 2017. Other monogramming legends have experienced similar success recently—Gucci is currently dominating the online market with a 130% increase in web traffic last year.Louis-Vuitton-monogrammed-purse-and-patch-trend

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

However, customers don’t just want to wear brand logos anymore. Customers want to wear their personal logo. In State of Fashion 2018, McKinsey & Company predict personalization and curation will become high priority differentiators for customers. With 41% demanding a personalized shopping experience with customized purchases, it’s no wonder brands like Gucci and J.Crew have rolled out DIY monogram merch. J.Crew-offers-DIY-monogramming

Courtesy of J.Crew

Get started providing custom monogramming on products with these basics.

What’s in a name: monogram

Monogram: a typography design created in one of two ways:

  1. Embellishing a single letter or initial
  2. Connecting two or more letters to form one symbol

Personal monograms can be created by using one, two, or three initials of an individual’s name. Each use case has a different traditional design: monograms for men are typically in block format, whereas for women, the center initial is slightly larger and serves as the individual’s last name. A couple’s monogram mimics the women’s design, with the outer initials commemorating each party’s first name and the center initial indicating the shared last name.

Monogram-etiquette-his-hers-theirs-text-stackedCourtesy of Palmetto Twist

Over the years, tradition has flown out the window. Monograms have evolved into a unisex design ranging from big curly letters to sleek blocked initials.

Best Practices for Providing Custom Monogramming

Pair product material with personalization techniques

Evaluate each product’s material and choose a method of personalization that will make custom monograms easy to produce with a high-quality finish.

Quick tips: Apparel items like robes and t-shirts should use embroidery to monogram initials or names, whereas debossing techniques work best for leather and suede. Stationary? Choose embossing or printing. Jewelry? Engraving, hand stamping, or laser cutting will work.

Create design guidelines

Considering the vast number of options for imprint colors, font sizing, taglines, monogram shapes, and text placement available, it’s easy for customers to be  overwhelmed—resulting in a product with too much customization. Create a design guideline with tips on monogram placement and apply customization rules to prevent larger than life designs. 

Home Design monogram guideCourtesy of Home Design

Focus on Quality

Create an end-to-end process for executing customization. Make sure production is equipped to handle custom monogramming and that a quality control process is in place to ensure any embroidery, engraving hand stamping, laser cutting, or embossing is clean and clear. Utilizing an ecommerce customization platform that creates production-ready output files can assist in ensuring accuracy and reducing throughput times. Mass customization gets a bad rap for being cheap, but when done right it produces remarkable pieces.

Expose it

Increase exposure of custom monogramming capabilities by displaying the option on the homepage banner, as a main navigation item, in the product name, or on the product display page. Customization is a selling point, but it won’t increase sales if customers are unable to find the option.

Preview, preview, preview

Find a customization platform with a responsive designer. Allowing customers to design and preview a monogrammed product as changes are made will increase buying confidence and reduce cart abandonment, not to mention decrease the rate of return. Don’t make receiving the final product feel like a shot in the dark.Preview of Iconic Imprint's monogrammed wine glass set

Confirmation touchpoints

Reinforce the customized purchase by providing monogram specifications within the shopping cart prior to purchase and sending a confirmation email detailing the customized product post-purchase. These confirmation touchpoints provide transparency around the purchase, reducing the rate of cart abandonment and increasing customer satisfaction.

Wade in slowly, the water’s deep

Roll-out monogramming slowly with a clear and detailed plan. It’s easy to go overboard setting up every available product with 40 different monogramming options. But entering the custom monogramming world step-by-step will give ample time to assess revenue and make changes to product offerings and customization options on an ongoing basis.

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