The New Era of Merch

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It seems like every other week a restaurant chain is doing a “merch drop” featuring an unusual, limited-edition, branded item. Or a fashion brand is doing a collab with a consumer brand, to come up with some kind of unique, must-have piece of merch. It’s crazy, right?

So WTF is going on here?

Simply put, merch is no longer a peripheral activity for businesses – it has become the new central focus.

Merchandise is now seen as a way to build stronger connections with customers, create more engaging experiences, and drive loyalty and sales. And unlike traditional advertising, which can often feel like an intrusion or a nuisance, merch offers something far more valuable: an invitation into a conversation.

It’s not hard to see why businesses are so keen on merch these days. Not only does it help to build brand awareness and create customer loyalty, but it’s also a great way to generate revenue – while generating BUZZ:

  1. The rise of social media and the need for businesses to find new ways to stand out and connect with customers.
  2. The growing popularity of experiential retail, which offers customers unique and engaging shopping experiences.
  3. The increasing importance of brand expression, as businesses seek to create a stronger connection with their customers through branded merchandise.

All of these factors are helping to create a new era for merch – an era in which businesses are increasingly realizing the value of merchandise as a tool for building stronger connections with customers and driving sales.

Now what?

If you’re not already using merch as part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start thinking about how you can incorporate it into your plans.

Not all brands are suited to every type of merch – some brands might do better with branded clothing or accessories, while others might prefer unique, one-of-a-kind items that can’t be found anywhere else. Do some research and figure out what would work best for your brand.

Branded merchandise has long been seen as a way to promote and support a brand, but in the past, it was seen as more of an afterthought. In today’s marketplace, merchandise has taken on a new role – one that is far more important than simply advertising the company.

Merchandise has become a way for companies to create cult-like followers, uniting customers as fan bases. It creates an emotional connection and conversation point, allowing customers and fans to feel more connected to the brand and to interact with it on a more personal level.

Most importantly, branded merchandise has become a way for companies to express their brand in a much wider sense. While advertising is still important, it is no longer the only means of reaching customers. Merchandise can be used to create trends and to lead the market rather than follow it. And as brands become more creative with their merchandising strategies, the growth opportunities continue to increase.

So what does this mean for your business? It means that your branded merchandise should now be given a much higher priority. Merch will create a strong connection with your customers and fans, and express your brand in the most effective way possible. And as the market continues to evolve, the role of branded merchandise will only become more important.

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
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