Custom Merch is the New Promo Product

Advertising Custom Merchandise


Promotional products are evolving into branded merchandise. Yes, the concept of custom merchandise has been around for a while, but it’s becoming more popular with time. More and more brands are using "merch", or branded merchandise, as their way of promoting their unique identity to consumers. If you’ve been a company seeking to stand out from the crowd or create a strong community, this article will walk you through becoming a part of today’s cultural zeitgeist of increasing sales and brand awareness through customized merchandise.


The Power of Customized Merchandise

As merchandise is having a moment of limelight in today’s branding industry, it is far from the old norm of seeing it as just an advertising tool. Custom merchandise allows you to have something that is personalized for each customer, which makes them feel special and more likely to buy from you in the future. It is an effective way to promote your brand, create a sense of community, and build relationships with your customers.

Custom merch can be very versatile when it comes to its function. It can be used in a variety of ways, like: gifts for customers that come into your store, an incentive for employees to work hard, a fundraiser or charitable opportunity, or promotional material for events or promotions.

Custom merch is a broad term as it can be anything from a customized t-shirt or a mug to a hat or a hoodie. The list of items is endless and it can fit no matter what industry your company belongs to. Successful marketing through merchandise line is linked to most of the successful companies.


Successful Industries and Companies that are Using Customized Merchandise in their Marketing Strategy

Custom merchandise is an effective tool for brands as it helps them build relationships with their customers by providing them with something they can personalize and use regularly. Brands are using customized merchandise as a tool to help them stand out from the crowd. With customizable products, they can create their own unique identity and make sure that their customers can identify with them. Specific examples of how different companies or industries are getting on this trend:


1. Merch in Museums: 
Companies are increasingly using customized merchandise in their marketing strategy, especially for the industries that are more well known for their traditional marketing strategies, such as art and museums. The most successful company using customized merchandise in its marketing strategy is "The Museum of Modern Art" (MoMA). The museum has a partnership with Nike, creating a line of limited edition sneakers to be sold at the museum. Not just Nike, but many different watches, swimwear, and streetwear brands. This has been very successful because it allows visitors to buy something that is not just a product but also a piece of art.  


Traditional industries have been through an impossible marketing campaign that fits the taste of inclusivity to a possible successful story. Some museums offer merchandise that is related to the artwork they have on display. These items are usually sold at a discounted price or are free with museum admission. Some artists are selling their customized merchandise that represents their uniqueness, like customized T-shirts, customized tote bags, and some additional creations. 

2. Merch in Restaurants: 
The success of customized merchandise is one key indicator of the success of any marketing strategy. Restaurants that use customized merchandise in their marketing strategy have seen a significant boost in sales. Restaurant chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut use customized merchandise to engage with customers. These restaurants have seen an increase in sales by as much as 20% after implementing this strategy. 


Mcdonald's has been using customized merchandise for over 30 years now. Their most popular item is the Big Mac customized T-shirt, one of the world's most recognizable shirts. The company has also recently started to create personalized items such as customized hats and customized mugs for their customers based on personal preferences and taste. 

Starbucks is also one of the successful companies in terms of merch. Customized tumblers and customized journals have been a huge hit in their marketing strategy. 

3. Merch featuring College Athletes: 
College sports are an integral part of different cultures. They are a major source of revenue for colleges and universities. As one example, the NCAA is the governing body that oversees college sports in the United States, and its athletes are valuable assets to their respective universities. 


Some companies have started to use them as a way to connect with their customers. Other companies have even decided to feature athletes on the merchandise that they sell in order to make their products seem more authentic and personal. Products like customized sports bags, sports glasses, jerseys, and even as small as branded stress reliever balls have been a huge market for this industry. 

4. Other examples of industries with their merch line:  
Innumerable merch lines can be found everywhere and from every industry, including podcasters, social influencers, grocery stores like Aldi, TV shows like Stranger Things, music bands, authors, tech brands such as Tesla, and hotels. 


The trend of customized merchandising is rising as more people become aware of its benefits. It is a way to increase brand awareness, create a sense of belonging, and build trust with customers. 


With Every Piece of Merch Comes a Story; Get Started with Custom Merch

Create a customized piece of merchandise that tells your story. Every time a consumer purchases a piece of merchandise, it's like buying a piece of their favorite artist's work. The merchandise is not just your product - it's an expression of your company’s identity and lifestyle. It's not just about the design or the quality of the product - it's about the message you want to send with each purchase.

Some people may be hesitant to start creating their merchandise designs because they don't have any experience in design or artwork. However, this is not true! Anyone can create their unique merch, even a startup. There are a lot of companies that offer an easy walkthrough of creating your very own customized merchandise

As more and more people are getting into the merchandise industry, it’s important to have a strategy to ensure your brand is not left behind.

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