Sell Your Own Merch to Build Brand Awareness

Bev Feldman / March 26, 2019

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From t-shirts and pens, to stickers and tote bags, you’ve likely received promotional branded merchandise from various companies before. Every time you see or use those products, you’re reminded of the companies behind them. This might leave you more inclined to give these brands your business. In fact, BrandWatch states that there is “a direct correlation between promotional product advertising and an improvement in brand recognition and increase in sales.”

If you have established brand recognition, it might be time to sell your own merch as a way to generate added revenue, increase your exposure, and enlist fans to promote on your behalf.

Before you dive into merchandise design, determine whether this is the right course of action for your business, and how to use WordPress.com or a self-hosted WordPress website to sell it.

Branded merch is a business twofer

No matter the business, it’s important to have multiple income streams. Selling branded merchandise can be one such resource.

Brand recognition, however, is the primary reason to sell your own merch. Designing products that feature your logo or slogan can increase your company’s visibility and allows fans to tout their approval of your brand.

Choose your merch wisely

In theory, any company can sell branded goods. But it readily lends itself to service-based businesses such as restaurants and gyms.

If your business already sells products like footwear or coffee beans, it can be challenging to sell additional branded items — unless they complement your other products. A footwear company might consider a shoe horn to be viable as branded merchandise.

To determine what you might sell, consider your audience and what they are inclined to purchase. Generally speaking, lifestyle products like notebooks, water bottles, or accessories like hats and bracelets make great promotional tools. This is because they are practical and useful; and the more they are used, the more frequently your customers will be reminded of your business.

Learn by example

Consider how British Amplifier Company, Orange, sells branded goods like apparel, keychains, tote bags, and headphones. These complement their audience’s musical lifestyles.

Orange merchandise

Orange’s merchandise doesn’t just advertise the brand, it’s also practical. This means that people are more likely to purchase and actually use it.

Let’s talk shop

If you decide that selling branded merchandise is right for you, the next step is to consider how you want to deliver those goods to your customers:

  • Placing a bulk order: This process involves fulfilling your customers’ individual orders yourself. Many influencers take advantage of this opportunity by including a brief, hand-written letter with each purchase.
  • Print-on-demand: This is a model in which books, t-shirts, art, or any other printed products are manufactured as-needed. This minimizes your initial investment but also costs more, as you’ll need a third-party service to process and fulfill orders.
  • Drop shipping: For goods that aren’t printed, drop shipping is another way to outsource the legwork by having a distributor ship your merch to customers. This saves you the trouble of dealing with inventory, but also depends on a third-party service, which cuts into profits.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll want to use an eCommerce plugin such as WooCommerce to create product listings and accept online payments. WordPress.com site owners who want to take advantage of plugins will need to sign up for a WordPress.com Business plan.

Finally, create a product page to provide information about and sell your merch. You can even add social sharing buttons that encourage site visitors to advertise your brand to their own followers.

Raise awareness and generate revenue with branded merch

Selling branded merchandise can be a great way to generate added revenue and grow your following, as it enables loyal customers to show off their admiration for your brand.

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