5 Reasons Your Business Should Have a Brand Merch Program

You'll often hear the phrases "merch" or "swag items" casually thrown around to describe promotional items that companies give out at events or conferences. The cost of these swag items is typically very cheap and they are often poorly made. A customer might wear merch like this while mowing the lawn or use their tote bag when they have nothing else to carry their gym equipment, but it is quickly discarded. 

On the other hand, building a branded merch program is all about producing retail-quality, well-designed, apparel and products that your customers wear for years and rave about.

Dive into this article to learn about the top five reasons your business should have a branded merch program. 

What is Brand Merch and Corporate Merch?

Brand merch or corporate merch refers to any products that have the name or logo of your business included on them. This includes T-shirts, hoodies, hats, custom embroidered hats, and all other types of men’s and women’s clothing, and drink ware, coasters, magnets, stationary, custom bulk order stickers, etc. The sky is the limit, if you can dream it, you can brand it.

Until the last decade, brand merch was generally thought of as cheap swag items or promotional in nature, paid for by a business and given away for free. Promotional giveaways included swag items like calendars, matchbooks, pens, stationary, etc.

As entrepreneurial individuals began to focus more and more on the quality and functionality of the brand merch itself, branded merch morphed into a secondary revenue stream for many businesses. Now customers buy merchandise that has something attractive printed on it such as a logo, a brand message, a motivational slogan, or appealing artwork that they want to be associated with.

The growth of the industry has been nothing short of remarkable. In 2021, the annual sales revenue of the promotional products industry in the United States amounted to 21.1 billion U.S. dollars. Part of this share can be yours. 

Here are the top 5 reasons why you need a brand merch program:

1. A brand merch program can provide a steady line of revenue for small businesses 

Quality merchandise can often bring in an additional $20,000 – $40,000 each year for small businesses. What could that mean for you? You can pay down debt, give everyone raises, have a big company bash at the end of the year, or go on that special vacation you have always wanted for yourself. There are numerous possibilities with additional revenue. 

2. Generate risk-free revenue with brand merch

Depending on the specifics of your business, you can have a store that sells your branded merchandise with no risk to you. For example, for online stores there are providers who will print T-Shirts for you on-demand. You may be limited in what you can offer in both product variety and quality, but there is zero risk to you. Using a similar approach, there are organizations you can partner with that will design, produce, warehouse, and ship your branded merch all on your behalf. You simply receive a royalty whenever something is sold. In this latter situation, as your program proves its worth over time, you can take on more of the supply chain risk in exchange for higher and higher royalties.


3. Brand Merch is an excellent brand promotion strategy, establishes brand presence, and drives brand loyalty

Why do people purchase brand merch? There are two main reasons:

1. They are brand loyalists

Brand loyalists are just what the name implies. They wear and use your branded merch because they are loyal to the main thing your company does. If you own a restaurant, they love your merch because they love to eat at your establishment. If you are part of a band, they buy and use your merch because they are loyal to the music you produce and what your band represents. If you are an influencer, they buy and use your merch because they want people to know how much they appreciate what you publish. And so forth.

2. They simply like something about the brand merch itself, usually artwork or a slogan.

These are people who buy your merch simply because they think it is cool. They love the artwork you have on a hoodie, so they buy the hoodie and they wear it. They love the thick, soft T-Shirts you provide, so they buy them and wear them because they are so comfortable.

4. Brand merchandise is an organic brand promotion strategy

No matter why people wear or use your brand merch, others see them wearing your T-Shirt with custom embroidery or carrying your tumbler and they are reminded of your brand. When potential customers see your logo often enough, they decide to try whatever it is you do. In their minds, they reason, “All these people are repping this brand, so it must be pretty good. I need to find out what it’s all about.”

5. A brand merch program shows your customers that you are serious about the quality of your branded merchandise solutions.  

As people identify with the wearers of your brand merch or the corporate merch itself, and form a favorable association, you get a positive bump for your brand from that association.

  • If someone sees a person they admire wearing your logo, it benefits your brand.
  • If someone identifies your brand merch as premium quality they perceive everything else about your brand to as premium quality. By investing in high-quality, well-designed branded merchandise solutions you send a message that you are a business committed to a quality brand promotion strategy, quality products, and customer satisfaction.

For many small businesses, having a lot of your brand merch displayed publicly creates the perception that your business is a little larger and a little more significant than it might currently be.

So, if you like the idea of a few extra dollars of direct profit (from a brand merch store), and some extremely cost-effective advertising to drive more people to want to do business with your organization, branded merch should be for you. What are you waiting for?

If you are interested in chatting about branded merchandise solutions, we are a branded merchandise company that never stops considering how to leverage the power of brand merch. Give us a call at (801) 355-0331 or drop us a line at info@hugebrands.com. We would love to get to know you.

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