As more of the world moves online, traditional advertising methods have had to adapt to this trend. Print ads and even TV commercials don’t have the reach they used to thanks to digital subscriptions and people abandoning cable for streaming services. These are all reasons why Zac Sheaffer emphasizes the importance of brands having an online presence.
In fact, it is critical for brands to have a formidable online presence. Social media sites, particularly Instagram, have turned into wide-reaching advertising platforms, and free advertising at that. If you want to get the word out about your company, you must utilize digital advertising.
Zac has always been a mover and shaker. When he was 12 he was selling candy before class, then moved up to mixtaps a few years later. After working at McDonald’s from age 14-15, Zac realized that working for someone else was not for him. He didn’t want to be an employee, he wanted to have employees. With a lifelong interest in clothing, Zac leased a 500-square-foot space immediately after graduating high school and launched a clothing store.
Located in the inner city of Lancaster, PA, Zac’s first store sold simple merchandise like white T-shirts and DVDs. After monthly calls to New Era Cap Co for a year, Zac formed a partnership with this major label, meaning he could sell hats licensed by the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL. This increased his credibility and visibility, thus increased his customer traffic. As business grew, Zac needed a bigger space. He upgraded to 5,000 square feet and stocked his store with brands like Rocawear, Timberland, and Converse. This was in 2008, just before the onset of the Great Recession.
Zac survived this economic turmoil, but he knew he needed to turn Zamage into a community institution to form a close partnership with loyal customers. A pioneer of the then-fledgling frontier of social media, Zac offered contests like a golden ticket for a free pair of shoes or a free album with every purchase. The tactics worked, and Zamage began to experience exponential growth. The brand’s online presence was further cemented when celebrities like DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God began to post images online with them wearing custom Zamage items.
These high-profile customers reach thousands, if not millions, of followers on social media. Here one sees the doors that open when a brand or business has a solid digital footprint. Zamage takes pride in being a “people’s brand” and giving back to the community of Lancaster. Zac has sponsored inner-city basketball leagues, given away thousands of Zamage-branded face masks during the pandemic, and offers free clothing to recently released inmates. While Zac does this to thank the city that has made him so successful, he is aware that these activities are great for marketing.
Not only has Zamage established a formidable online presence, it has presented itself as a socially conscious business that is firmly rooted in its community. Zac puts his customers and employees first. This, combined with his philanthropy, has cultivated a brand that people will gladly do business with thanks to organic marketing.