5 TIPS FOR CREATING BRANDED MERCH YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL LOVE.

When it comes to growing a business, there’s definitely a wrong way to do branded merchandise.

A very archaic thing to do — which companies are still doing for some reason — is that they just put their logo on everything, which is a huge mistake. Printing your logo on as many items as possible is not the right approach.

Well-done swag can give consumers a tangible connection to the brands they love, facilitate word-of-mouth marketing, and even incentivise them to purchase more. Make it less about your brand and more about belonging. The Stanley water cup is a killer example of tapping into our fundamental need to belong.

Imagine your customers walking down the street, proudly sporting your branded hoodie or sipping from a custom mug that instantly sparks conversations. That’s the power of killer merch – it transforms your brand from a name into an experience. At sourcey.m, we know a thing or two about creating retail-quality, on-trend merchandise that makes a lasting impression. Ready to craft some unforgettable merch? Let’s dive into our top tips!

1. Know Your Audience Inside and Out

First things first, get to know your peeps. Who are they? What do they love? What makes them tick? Creating merch that resonates starts with understanding your audience’s likes, dislikes, and everything in between. Are they into sleek minimalism or do they prefer bold, loud designs? Do they live for quirky, fun accessories or classic, timeless pieces?

Think about how your brand’s mission and values could be communicated through merchandise in a fashion-forward and trendy way. In an age when everything is digital, there is magic to being able to hold something.

2. Prioritise Quality Over Quantity

Next up, let’s talk about quality. In a world full of fast fashion and throwaway culture, quality is your ticket to standing out. Your merch should feel as good as it looks. Think about those cozy hoodies that customers will live in, or the tote bags sturdy enough to handle their daily grind.

High-quality materials show that you care about your brand and your customers. It’s all about creating pieces that people will cherish, not chuck. Plus, durable merch means your brand sticks around longer – literally!

3. Stay On-Trend but Authentic

Trends are like waves – fun to ride, but you don’t want to get swept away. Keeping your merch stylish and current is essential, but it’s equally important to stay true to your brand’s vibe. Balance trendy elements with your unique flair to create something fresh yet distinctly “you.”

Do some trendspotting by checking out the latest in retail, and even peeking at what competitors are up to. But always filter these insights through your brand’s personality. If a trend doesn’t fit your brand ethos, it’s okay to pass. Authenticity always wins in the long run.

4. Make It Functional and Fun

Last but definitely not least, your merch should be as functional as it is fun. Think about how your products will fit into your customers’ daily lives. The best merch isn’t just stylish; it’s also practical. That’s what makes it indispensable. Get creative with items your customer would actually use. When you blend functionality with a dash of fun, you create merch that people don’t just use – they love.

For example, a beautifully designed planner not only looks great on a desk but also helps organise a hectic schedule. Or a funky water bottle that keeps drinks cold and turns heads at the gym. For some ‘out of the box’ ideas here are 19 things you didn’t know could be branded merch.

5. Use swag as an incentive for marketing or sales objectives

Simply having customers use your branded merchandise can provide low-cost, word-of-mouth marketing. “Someone will look at a shirt with a statement and say, ‘Where did you get that from?’ That’s bringing a person to you.

If you want to see a more traceable ROI from swag, use it as an incentive to encourage customers to share your brand online or make a purchase. For example, you can offer swag for customers who purchase by a certain date or who upgrade to an annual membership. “If you can say, ‘Register by this date, and get a free T-shirt,’ people will do that.

Bonus Tip: Add a Personal Touch

Here’s a little extra something for you – personalisation. People love stuff that feels custom-made just for them. Whether it’s monogrammed items, custom color options, or limited edition drops, adding a personal touch can make your merch irresistible.

You can always take customization a step further by giving customers a discount code or gift card to your online store rather than sending them random swag. Yes, you’re going to spend more per person, but you’re not going to spend more overall and you’re not going to waste money with minimums and items that people are not going to actually cherish and use.

Remember, the goal is to create pieces that are not only visually appealing but also resonate on a deeper level with your audience. Get out there and start creating merch magic!

Got any questions or need some merch inspiration?

Drop us a line or send us an email – we’re here to help!

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