What is Brand Merchandise and How Important is it?
A World Without Merchandise
So you've finally set up your business; it has the perfect name. Your staff has been trained, the shop is furnished, your website-up and running; you're ready to take orders. But months go by, and your well-crafted logo remains firmly planted at your doorstep, unknown and unrecognised. How, you wonder, can I reach out in a lasting and impactful way?
In this technological age, online retail and touchscreen browsing have overtaken the traditional, physical exploration of shops and business. But the vast amount of content on the web is often scrolled into oblivion, leaving countless businesses behind in a blackhole of internet flotsam.
Considering our circumstances today, one of the most effective ways to break into the market and make a lasting impact is to give out or sell merchandise.
What is Merchandise?
A piece of merchandise, or 'merch' as we call it, is a product that displays a brand. It can come in the form of stickers, notebooks, shirts, caps, and more (learn more about Different types of Branded Merchandise and What Suits You Best).
Merch are often used by marketers to achieve four main goals that improve the business, and this is how:
4 Ways Brand Merchandise Helps Your Business
1. Improve brand awareness
Having people wear or use your brand's merch is the best way to make your company logo familiar and recognisable. When people recognise your branding, they also identify your brand with the expertise and values that you want your brand to be associated with.
When someone carries a bag with your logo on it, or posts a photo of themselves wearing a shirt that displays your slogan, what happens is that their family, friends, coworkers, and other associates are inevitably acquainted with your brand.
To have your consumers market your brand for you is not only inexpensive, but persuasive advertising - what better way is there to convince a stranger to try your products and services than to have someone they know and trust to bring that message across for you?
2. Promotional material
If you want to get the word out about something new - it could be your latest product offering, or an additional service - doing so with merch is one of the most constructive ways to do it.
Instead of giving out flyers that end up littered around bins, offer people a product that they value enough to keep, and to keep using. You want to keep your merch in sight, so that your brand and products stay at the front of people's minds.
Companies often design and release new merch for upcoming events and workshops. Even when the event is over, the experience of it lives on in the merch that they receive, so it is important to be careful with your selection of merch such that it best represents your brand and the experience you want people to remember, and ensure that the merch you pick is valuable enough for recipients to retain.
3. Increase customer engagement
Offering merch is one of the best ways to have your consumers engage with your brand, and thus build loyalty amongst them.
Instead of having them merely buy coffee from you, get them to invest in your brand's distinct selection of coffee cups and tumblers. Instead of having them just attend your concert, present them with concert shirts, caps, and stickers that they are proud to wear and adorn their laptops and phones with.
When you have a following of consumers who desire to acquire, use, and display your merch, you would have nurtured a community of consumers who not only stay loyal to your brand, but who will constantly advocate for you through exposing the people around them to your brand and bringing your merch to various settings that will allow others to associate your brand with certain qualities.
4. Extra source of revenue
If your merch is in demand, you will find that selling merch can be profitable, and may even form a substantial part of your revenue. However, do keep production costs of your merch well within your marketing budget so that its potential for revenue remains tenable. It's all about striking the balance between perceived value and sustainability.
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