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Merchandising and Wearable Advertising

Giving your brand extra exposure can sometimes be a difficult prospect.

However, there is one very simple way you can increase the exposure of your brand and that is by merchandising.

Find out how your brand can benefit from merchandising in this blog post now.


What Is Merchandising And Wearable Advertising?

In the context of marketing and branding, merchandising is the act of selling branded products outside of the main business activity.

A classic example of merchandising would be George Lucas and Star Wars. When Star Wars was released George Lucas also created a line of other products to accompany the film. This included toys, books, clothes, lunch boxes, etc. The income generated from this had never been seen before and since Star Wars merchandising has almost become a given in the film market.

Another classic example of merchandising would be in Toy Story. The owners of Barbie refused to have their doll in the film because they thought it could harm sales. However, other classic toys which were included in the film sold out after the release: this included classics like Mr Potato Head and toy soldiers.

The same principles that were created in film are also applicable to other industries. National Geographic have a line of clothes and other merchandise which they sell and give away to their readers.

Another example would be sport teams who sell replica kits, team mugs, posters, etc.

Your business could do the same. It can add in another revenue stream for your business as well as allow you to reach new customers.


How Will Merchandising Help Reach New Audiences?

Wearable merchandising is the most obvious form where your brand’s exposure can be increased with little effort from you. All you have to do is produce the t-shirt or jumper and then whenever someone wears the item, others will see it as they walk around.

In some cases you can sell your merchandise, although this is normally only the case when your brand is large enough that there is a demand. For small businesses it is best practice to give the merchandise away.

It is not just wearable merchandise which can increase your brand’s exposure. Other common branded items are:

  • Pens
  • Balloons
  • Mugs
  • Thermal flasks
  • Car stickers

These can all be produced fairly cheaply and therefore it may only take one sale to make a profit from purchasing a dozen products.


Things To Consider When Creating Merchandising

Merchandising works well for you only if you have thought about the recipient. A poorly designed piece of merchandising will not be used and therefore you will have spent funds which could have been spent elsewhere.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your merchandising.

1. Create Something Which Is Useful

No-one is going to want your merchandising if it is not useful. Therefore consider your target market and consider what will be useful for them. Clothes are the instant choice because everyone needs clothes; however it can be hard to convince your audience to wear your merchandise other than to decorate the house.

Try to think a little out of the box. Your audience may be the decision maker in a family. Many businesses would attempt to offer them some merchandise. You could attempt to differentiate yourself by offering something to entertain their children.

This can often be one of the best ways to attract the attention of your audience because parents will want to inspect what their children are receiving. Therefore you are getting your merchandise into the hands of your target audience and ensuring they will see your branding. Creating merchandise just for the parent might not achieve this.

2. Create Something Stylish

If you want your audience to use or wear your merchandise you want them to think it is stylish. Think carefully about the design and look of your product and attempt to match latest trends without copying them.

3. Ensure It Is High Quality

The quality of your merchandise will reflect how your audience will view your brand. If you offer merchandise which falls apart after a couple of uses, your target audience will believe that it is the same level of quality in your products and service. Spend a little extra to make sure the quality is perfect.

4. Make The Merchandise Limited

Some of the best brands make their merchandise so that it is hard to obtain. MySpace did this when they started out with their T-shirt campaign and other companies release clothing merchandise which is limited to a single season before changing it for the next season. Promoting rare merchandise allows you to:

a) charge for it and

b) create an increase in demand and use.

5. Make It Fun

Not every piece of merchandise you create needs to have a serious purpose. You can create something which is designed to entertain or to be fun. This can be something like a mini handheld game or a humorous postcard. It if makes your audience laugh it will create engagement and allow them to remember your brand better.

6. Give It Away

Everyone likes to have something for free and you can increase the uptake for your merchandise by offering it for free. However, large ticket items, such as clothes, mugs, etc don’t need to be completely free. You could give them away when your customer makes a purchase or when they have signed up for your mailing list.

A very popular offer is the soft toys given away by Compare The Market when insurance is bought through them. Other insurance companies give away expensive branded merchandise just for enquiring about their products.



Merchandising can offer you an additional revenue stream or it can be used for extending the reach of your brand. The key to making a good piece of merchandise is to create an item which is useful and of high quality. Then by giving away or including it as a gift with every purchase made, you can increase the exposure of your brand.


Take Action:

  • Consider what merchandise your brand could make, that would be relevant to your customers.
  • Ask for quotes from companies for how much it will cost to make your merchandise.
  • Offer the merchandise on your website and give it to new customers for free when they buy a product.

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