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Industry Insight

5 Things to Consider When Creating Branded Merchandise

April 13, 2022

Branded merchandise puts your business straight along your customer’s line of sight. Being that said, how do you make the most out of it? Here are the five factors that help your customer value your brand the way you want it, on a daily basis.

Look around you and identify at least one promotional item from a brand you know (or perhaps don’t). You might possibly be even using or wearing one right now. 

Whether you are aware or not, branded merchandise is everywhere. The concept of promotional products has been around for decades that it seems like every idea has already been thought of, every product slapped with a logo on it already given to a customer. Corporate giveaways and keepsakes are one of the best ways to gain brand recognition and loyalty, hence it remains as one of the most effective marketing strategies, especially during this time of pandemic.

With that being said, how can your branded merch stand out and stay visible to your audience?

Whether your company has been around for years or you’re a start-up business looking for ways to maximize your marketing resources, these recommendations are for you.

Five things you should consider when you create your merch collection

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1. Purpose

Many businesses make the same mistake of giving away “freebies” just for the sake of it, not really understanding the principle behind branded merchandise. After all, as long as you give products for free, that counts as a promotional campaign, doesn’t it?

However, not all corporate giveaways are the answer to your marketing goals. Before you think of a product, think of your purpose first. Why do you want to give away coffee mugs and notepads? How will it represent your brand? How will your audience connect the said product to your brand (aside from seeing the logo on it)?

Answer these questions to narrow down your options.

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2. Audience

Just like how you choose a gift for a friend or loved one, you consider the preferences of your recipient. In corporate gifting, your audience demographics and psychographics are the basis of which merchandise they will most likely connect with, and as an end result, positively associate with your brand. 

Not all corporate giveaways are appropriate to a specific audience, although some may be suitable across communities. Still, the more specific, the larger the impact it will bring to your community.

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3. Appropriateness

Factors such as season, occasion, as well as culture and religion, even gender identity are crucial to the conceptualization of your merch idea. Careful thought on this will either make or break your promotional campaign, even more so your resources.

Themed merchandise has been embraced as a customary gift by the majority of businesses and organizations for the longest time. Nonetheless, you can break this normalcy by curating products that hold significant meaning by itself and to your audience.

Seasonal products and diversity-sensitive products shouldn’t become a limit to your creativity; it must be embraced and celebrated.

4. Value

This goes for both your brand and your audience. Remember that the purpose of branded merchandise, like any other marketing campaign, is to reinforce the message of your brand to your community. You want to be represented by the products you launch. In light of this principle, which products do you think will embody your business? The material, quality, and even the cost will dictate the perceived value of your brand.

As your audience forms an impression on you, they will also recognize their own value based on the kind of product they receive. Your merch being a “freebie” is not a valid pretext to launching just about anything with your logo on it.

After all, brand value is the core of any marketing strategy, and when this is fulfilled, both your business and your customers will be happy.

5. Budget 

The bottom line of all branded merchandise projects is of course, ROI. You invest in the hopes of getting maximum returns in the form of brand exposure and audience connection and loyalty. 

However, when you plan on including branded merchandise as a part of your marketing strategy, don’t overdo it. 

Work within your budget, but your ideas should be limitless. Set your expectations by relying on accurate data. Nothing beats diligent study combined with innovation.

 

Needless to say, there is no formula to a successful promotional campaign but creating with intention and realistic expectations. There will always be another product that’s going to be more creative, better, or trendier, but if you stick to your brand’s personality and purpose, you will never go wrong.