Avoiding the Merch Madness

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[ merch on a table ]
Image created using MidJourney

What happens when you order merch at the last minute? 

Scrambling to find branded pens or tote bags before an event. Agonizing decisions around too many product options. It’s no wonder so many businesses struggle with this part of their marketing.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Branded merchandise can be a fun, meaningful way to connect with your audience – if you approach it the right way.

There’s no minute like the last minute

Many businesses make the mistake of waiting until the absolute latest possible moment to order their branded merch. And then hand the task off to an overworked admin or intern who’s never ever done this before. 

Here’s the problem

[ overwhelmed ]
  • Too Many Choices: With so many product types, colors, and customization options, it can be overwhelming to narrow it down.
  • Previous Bad Experiences: If you’ve worked with an unreliable or unresponsive source in the past, it can make you dread the process
  • Lack of Fresh Ideas: Coming up with new, creative merch ideas for your brand year after year is challenging.

When you’re scrambling to get your swag together, it starts to show. Your merch ends up looking less than stellar – not the polished, cohesive branding you want to represent your business.

Make Merch a Priority (Not a Headache)

Using branded merchandise as an intentional part of your marketing strategy can be downright fun and beneficial for your business.

The key is to set aside dedicated time to think about your brand’s merch with your team. What products align with your brand identity? What kinds of items would your customers and employees genuinely enjoy? Get creative and have some fun with it!

Outsource the Stuff You Don’t Have Time For

Of course, I know how precious time is for any business owner or marketer. If you truly don’t have the bandwidth to handle your branded merchandise in-house, you can easily outsource it.

Entrusting your merch to an expert provider can save you a ton of time, hassle, and potential mistakes. Their specialized knowledge and streamlined processes mean you can skip the agonizing decisions and last-minute scrambles.

Branded Merch Ideas to Elevate Your Marketing

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Limited-Edition Seasonal Products: Create excitement and scarcity with exclusive, time-sensitive branded items.
  • Collaborative Co-Branded Merch: Partner with complementary brands for cross-promotional opportunities.
  • Branded Giveaways and Contests: Use merch as prizes to engage your audience and grow your following.
  • User-Generated Content Campaigns: Encourage customers to share photos of them using your branded products. Reward them with more merch, or with discounts to your products and services.

The key is to approach your branded merchandise strategically, rather than as an afterthought. With the right mindset and the right support, your swag can become a valuable, enjoyable part of your marketing mix.

Need help? Let’s chat! Book a call!

Picture of Rich Graham

Rich Graham

Purveyor of branded swag and merch. Host to 3 kidneys. Uncredited contributor at @nbcsnl Chief Imagination Officer at @bigpromotions. Podcaster at http://bigpromocast.com
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