The internet is saturated with branded merchandise. Here are Strategy Tips to Make your Business PROSPER. Whether you’re browsing Instagram, Pinterest or even Google. There are plenty of images and ideas that will have you running back to your desk to start sketching out ideas for your own merch. But getting started on this venture doesn’t come without its challenges and complications.
There are many factors to consider before diving head first into a branded-merch strategy. Especially if you’re still in the early stages of establishing your business. Indeed, while not all brands can afford to invest in merch at this stage (unless you have some serious savings), the benefits it can bring to your business in the long run make it worth considering.
Before jumping straight into a branded merchandise strategy, it’s important to consider the following:
What do you hope to achieve with a merchandise strategy?
Do you want to boost engagement with your audience?
Are you looking to acquire new customers?
Or are you after a combination of both?
Whatever your reason for investing in a merchandise strategy, it’s crucial to understand what you hope it will achieve for your business.
Do you want to increase brand awareness with your merchandise?
If so, you’ll want to consider the message your products will communicate.
Ideally, your product should communicate what your brand stands for in a visual, memorable way.
Will your merchandise be sold in-store or online?
Is your goal to drive customers to your website?
Or do you want to increase footfall at your physical location?
Understanding how you want your merchandise to contribute to sales will help you decide what kinds of products you should be developing for your audience.
How much are you willing to invest in merchandise?
The budget you’re willing to invest will significantly impact what you can offer your customers in terms of design, type of product and quantity.
Before you start designing any merchandise, you need to understand who your target audience is. This will help determine what type of product you should be creating, as well as the price and quality. Depending on the type of business you have, you should have a rough idea of the type of person who would purchase your products.
Are they male or female?
What age group are they?
What are their interests?
You can use this information to help inform your decision on what type of product to create.
For example, if you want to appeal to a younger audience, you might want to create a t-shirt with a bright, colourful design that is appealing to the younger generation. If you want to appeal to an older audience, you might want to consider creating a coffee mug with a more sophisticated design as opposed to a t-shirt.
Before you dive head first into creating a merchandise strategy, you need to understand how the profitability of merch works using the standard profit margin formula
gross profit = sales price - the cost of goods
So, if you’re creating a tote bag and are deciding on the price, you need to consider the total cost of the materials, the labour involved in the production and the relevant taxes. Even something as simple as the type of tote bag you decide to design can have a significant impact on the final cost. For example, a regular tote bag versus a cotton blend will have a different pricing structure.
This is something you will need to decide on before you decide on what type of product to create. If you’re planning on selling your merchandise in-store, you may want to consider investing in a screen printing machine for on-demand designs for caps, hoodies, t-shirts etc. This is a great option if you’re after a quick and efficient way to produce merchandise for your store. If you’re planning on selling your products online, you may want to consider investing in a digital printing machine.
Digital printing is a relatively inexpensive method of producing branded t-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, etc. While it does have its benefits, it is important to keep in mind that the quality is not as high as screen printing and has a higher start-up cost. This is something to take into account when deciding on a type of product to create for your audience.
This is where the fun begins....
Once you’ve got a clear understanding of what your brand stands for, the target audience you’re appealing to and you’ve estimated the profitability of merch, it’s time to start brainstorming your designs. This is where you can really get creative. Whether it’s creating a vintage-inspired briefcase for guys or a stylish water bottle for ladies. It’s your chance to get creative and have some fun.
While you can certainly outsource the design process, we highly recommend investing time in creating your own design concepts. This is to help communicate your brand's personality. Not only will it be a fun task to undertake, but it will also provide valuable experience when it comes to negotiating with potential manufacturers.
Branded merchandise is a great way to increase brand awareness and drive customers to your website or store.
Before you dive head first into creating a merchandise strategy, it’s essential to consider the following: business goals, brand awareness, sales strategy, and budget. Once you’ve clearly understood these factors, you can start brainstorming designs for your products.