Last updated on March 19th, 2020
In the modern competitive environment, businesses have no choice but to aggressively market their products or services. The customers’ attention span is already down to a few seconds. Therefore, brand merchandise has turned out to be a potent marketing strategy that pays off in so many ways. But the success depends on how strong an identity you could create through merchandise. In this article, we’ve shared what is branded merchandise and how you can use it as a marketing strategy for your business.
Today, small businesses want to reach out to customers with every possible strategy. For them, merchandise marketing seems to be the perfect solution to grab people’s attention. But a key characteristic of using branded merchandise is a lot more than just to drive potential customers’ attention. Even marketers have started realizing various benefits of marketing using the merchandise.
Therefore, the popularity of branded merchandise has picked up fast with businesses of all scale. Right from the big companies to the newly starting enterprises with a minuscule financial resource, each one of them takes a resort in this marketing.
You might have seen people receiving free merchandise from companies by the side of an event. That product is a gift for the receiver but it is doing a lot many things for the giver or the business.
The popularity and usefulness of merchandise for brand promotion can be proved by some amazing stats as well. According to a survey, the U.S promotional products market is growing at a tremendous pace. The surveys have revealed that the market generated a staggering 24.7 billion U.S dollar of revenue in 2018. This stat shows the scope for the demand for merchandise to promote brands in the coming years will be huge.
However, before you take up this marketing, you should be well versed in its different aspects. Therefore, in this article, we’ve shared the following:
- What is Branded Merchandise?
- Who needs Branded Merchandise?
- Why your business needs branded merchandise?
- How to create a strong branded merchandise for your business?
What Is Branded Merchandise?
Merchandise is any product that you buy from a shop. So, we are all surrounded by a different kind of useful or not so useful merchandise. But the difference between merchandise and branded merchandise should be first clear to you.
A branded merchandise has a company’s logo or a brand message printed on it. In simple words, plain merchandise becomes branded when there is a logo or other brand visuals displayed over it.
Note that branded merchandise is also known as a promotional product, which people receive free of cost from the companies. A smart marketing idea using merchandise is that the company promotes it everywhere including in offices. For instance, YouTube, Google, and other big brands are selling their brand merchandise online and in their offices.
We can say that brand merchandise is the way to reach out a little deeper into your target market. One such marketing campaign can help your brand in having a positive interaction with the customers.
Who Needs Branded Merchandise?
Almost all types of businesses and industries are today exploring the potential of branded merchandise for marketing. We can say that all sorts of businesses are into this kind of marketing to drive customers’ attention and for brand recognition.
Many individuals and companies are selling branded merchandise from their online stores. Plenty of such stores already lined up for the customers. They can pick their choice of merchandise that has a logo or other design printed on it.
Why Precisely Your Business Needs A Strong Branded Merchandise?
Many companies launch a marketing campaign based on branded merchandise, also known as promotional products. But what exactly is their intention? What are they going to achieve by distributing the products as a gift or on discounts? Then, there are artists and graphic designers who sell their merchandise. They also benefit from selling branded merchandise.
So, Here Are The Key Advantages Of Adopting Branded Merchandise As Your Marketing Strategy
01. Grab Attention Quickly
As we all know that in this world where there are several distractions, people find it difficult to keep their focus at one place or object. They have so much to do in life that they are consistently looking for new experiences and things of life. So, digital advertising is no more effective to hold the attention of potential customers’ for long.
However, with branded merch, a business can hope to drive people’s attention immediately. This is mainly because they are either getting merchandise of their choice at a very cheap price or as a gift.
In both cases, they keep the product with them as long the product is usable. This also means that your artwork, illustration, brand message and logo on the product will continue to get their attention every time they use the product.
02. Source Of Extra Revenue
For companies or individuals selling branded merchandise, it becomes a source of regular income. For a sustained income, sell your artwork or merchandise at a low price so that people can buy easily. But make sure that you still keep the profit margin attractive.
03. Ensure Brand Recognition
When an individual carries a bag or a branded T-shirt with a logo sticker, thousands of people see the logo. This implies that the shirt wearing a person or the one carrying the bag becomes a walking billboard for people. The logo printed on the branded merchandise of various types is thus seen by many thousands of people daily.
With such a massive number of potential customers seeing a company logo, the merchandise builds recognition for the brand. People become more aware of the brand. Many studies have also commonly accepted fact that consumers can recall a brand even after a few years after seeing its logo on promotional products.
04. Improved Customer Engagement
Remember that branded merchandise is a tangible product. People use all five senses when they come across one such product. That is not the case with digital advertisements as we can only see it.
Since customers keep the merchandise with them for many months, it helps in better customer engagement. People even take pictures of themselves wearing branded T-shirts, watches, etc in cool settings.
It helps companies in building their community of fans of their brands. Business can encourage their brands to snap pictures of themselves, which is a surefire way to ensure more customer engagement.
How To Create A Strong Branded Merchandise For Your Business?
The importance of the merchandise is now clear to you. The next big step is to create unique and strong brand merchandise for your business. But you must consider some basics before setting out to design the merchandise.
Here Are The Major Points You Should Pay Heed To When Creating Branded Merchandise
01. Know Your Audience
The first thing as an artist, graphic designer or entrepreneur to consider is the target customers. Who precisely are your customers? That question must be answered first clearly before starting your branded merchandise design to sell from your online store. Remember that not everyone will show interest in purchasing every design that you display in your store.
Therefore, a certain group of customers will show the intention to buy specific merchandise you created for them. If you are creating the design for a client, then go through the brief to know the target audience.
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02. Consider The Brand Message
Your customers of brand merchandise preferably buy the product if it has a strong message. The message can be in the shape of a motivating slogan or inspirational artwork. But the message will depend on the type of consumer.
For instance, the message for kids as customers will be entirely different than for adults. So, keep the research you made about the market and target customers in mind.
03. Have Everything Planned Beforehand
Before starting to create brand merchandise for your business, make sure that you are well prepared. This implies that you must be aware of the target customers and what precisely you wish to achieve from the design.
Find out how you will achieve the set goal. Also, have a clear mind about how much will you be investing in the design. You should be sure that the merchandise marketing will help you succeed in the business. Overall, your strategy should be well-researched and planned.
04. Get Inspiration
An inspirational branded merchandise idea is crucial to surprise customers. Instead of rushing to your drawing board, first, have some inspirational ideas. You can visit several online portfolios and even your past works for some motivational ideas. Go out in nature and see what reflection can you gather.
If you are an artist or a designer, your creative mind will surely come up with some unique themes and ideas. Still, visit the portfolios of artists online to see what unique and inspiring works they have created. You should be in the habit of getting plenty of unique design or artistic ideas since you will be creating a lot of them to sell to customers.
05. Pick The Right Merchandise
The success of your merchandise marketing campaign will largely depend also on your choice of products. If you give a promotional product that is not so useful to the recipient, then it will not generate interest in your business.
So, a better approach will be to offer items of daily use to the people. Avoid trendy products as they may go out of the cycle soon. The people should perceive the gift product as valuable so that they can keep with them for a long time.
Talking about the useful items, think of selling T-shirts, hoodies, custom mugs, hats, and other accessories that people are delighted to get. Then, print your design or artwork on such merchandise.
Picking the right merchandise is, in fact, a crucial decision. You must have an end goal in mind. Are you thinking in terms of building brand value or increasing brand recognition? Or the intention is to increase sales. All such things should be kept in mind while picking the right merchandise.
The market is full of all sorts of products. But not all of them may suit your brand image. Get items that are useful to many people. Then, pick such products for their high quality. These two parameters must be on your mind while shopping for branded merchandise.
Another approach is to pick the products that require minimal variations. Such products are used by a wide range of people. For instance, hats and socks are both unisex and the size factor also is neutralized. This means that more and more people will buy and use such products.
While choosing the product, consider your target customers and know what exactly they want. You should ask how effective that particular merchandise will be in helping you convey your message to the customers. Find out what is your return on investment.
A strategic approach is to invest in a collection of merchandise options. This helps in multiple exposures to your brand.
06. Create Something Unique
While you will be using a variety of merchandise such as T-shirts, mugs, tumblers, hats, hoodies, notebooks, make sure that they have a unique design.
The printed logo plus the other visuals should be able to catch the customers’ attention due to the unique designs.
07. Don’t See It As A Profit
While creating a strong branded merchandise, keep in mind that the desired results will take time to realize. You should not, therefore, see the investment as a quick way to make a profit. When selling your brand merchandise from an online store or physically, the intention should be to increase brand awareness.
That is the expectation to keep in mind when creating and launching the marketing campaign. If that is the consideration, you will save yourself from making any hurried and unnecessary interference in the campaign.
08. Create A Simple Design
Sometimes, in your enthusiasm, you may think of adding many elements in your merchandise design. That will only put off the consumers as the design becomes cluttered and it hinders the message.
So, resist the temptation of adding your website address, your company address, telephone number and a lot of other things to the design.
Instead, just put your company logo and maybe a simple additional visual. Create something well-designed and simple to make an instant impact on viewers.
09. Avoid Limiting Your Theme
The focus of your branded merchandise design should be your target audience. Still, do not limit the design to that audience. A better approach when creating a strong branded merchandise will be to consider other people also as they should also be made aware of your brand.
You never know which set of people may think of buying your product after seeing the design. So, try to create a theme that appeals to a wider audience as well besides the targeted one.
You need to adopt a tricky balance. Surely, you want to create a design that has targeted messaging that resonates with specific regions and demographics. But think also of having cross-cutting themes that allow your brand to reach a wide range of customers.
One of the ways to satisfy both the target audience and the people outside of it is to create different merch prices. For instance, custom hoodies and water bottles go well together for different age groups and give great visibility to your campaign.
These are the key aspects that you need to cover while thinking of creating strong branded merchandise for your business.
PrintShop – Your Ideal Platform For Creating & Selling Branded Merchandise
Various Artists, influencers, and entrepreneurs also have entered the business of creating and selling strong branded merchandise. They can open their online stores at PrintShop, which is owned and operated by Designhill, the leading creative marketplace.
At PrintShop, they can also create unique designs, illustrations, brand messages, inspirational slogans. Then, put the unique artworks and designs on T-shirts, hoodies, and other men’s and women’s apparel as well as accessories like hats and mugs.
There is a wide range of products that they can pick at the site. Then, order the site to print their unique artworks and designs on the branded merchandise. They can sell these merchandise from their online shop at the platform with an attractive profit.
Branded merchandise is a proven marketing tactic that delivers the desired results. It helps hold the potential customers’ attention to a brand as the merchandise becomes part of daily life for a long time. Your company’s logo and other visuals printed on the T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, hats, and other merchandise drive people’s attention quickly. Artists and designers can also sell the merchandise at an attractive profit by creating and printing unique artworks and designs on the products of daily use.