What is branded merchandise and why does it work?
If you’re looking to establish, promote and develop your brand, then branded merchandise can be a valuable tool. Branded merchandise is an immediate and varied means to establish and grow brand recognition. It can be simple and cheap, or more luxurious, depending on the budget you have or the impact that you want to make.
So what is branded merchandise and does it actually work?
What is branded merchandise?
Branded merchandise is everywhere. It’s a wide category that refers to objects that feature the logo of a particular brand. The range of goods that branded merchandise can be applied to is vast, from water bottles to notebooks, from fridge magnets to tote bags. Caps are a popular choice of branded merchandise and will usually feature the brand logo prominently on the front of the cap.
Most branded merchandise is relatively inexpensive and is given away free to customers, clients and prospects, often at conferences and other events. Branded merchandise may feature contact details and be designed to act as a reminder of a brand and its services for future reference.
Professionals may collect branded merchandise from companies in their field at conferences and other large-scale events which they use in their working lives. For this reason, pens and notepads are highly popular forms of branded merchandise.
While most branded merchandise is given away, already established brands with immediate recognition and some cache may sell their branded merchandise. A good example of this might include iconic global brands such as Jack Daniels.
Branded merchandise is big business and if you’re determined to ensure that your brand gets noticed, you need to have eye-catching merchandise to give away.
Why have branded merchandise?
Branded merchandise is a tangible tool to help market your brand. If you want to get noticed at trade shows, exhibitions and other corporate events, having a range of eye-catching branded merchandise at hand can be a great help.
People like collecting branded merchandise, and it serves as an alternative business card reminding customers, clients and prospects about your brand and what you can provide. Eye-catching, high-quality branded merchandise shows your business in a positive light and reflects something of your values and attention to detail.
If your competitors use branded merchandise as a marketing tool, then you are likely to be left behind if you don’t follow suit. It’s important to remember that branded merchandise should be more than just a box-ticking exercise. You can spend large amounts of money on substandard and uninspiring products, which can ultimately be counterproductive. Cheap, mass-produced products that have been branded are often a disappointment and can reflect badly on your company image.
The trick with branded merchandise is to create stylish, eye-catching and high-quality merchandise that says something important about your brand and its values. As with any form of marketing, investing in quality can make all the difference to the end result.
Why is branded merchandise important?
If your brand is looking to have any kind of public presence then, branded merchandise is all- important. Developing and growing a brand takes a range of key skills and approaches, of which branded merchandise is one.
What are the key reasons why branded merchandise is something you really cannot do without if you’re serious about growing your brand?
Branded merchandise gives you a strong visual identity
Branded merchandise acts as a shop window for your brand. By placing your logo on desirable products you make an immediate visual impact. When someone picks up one of your branded products, your brand name and logo are seen. If your branded merchandise is something they want to keep using this visual identity is reinforced in their minds. This helps them recognise your brand, as well as remember its existence when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
Make an emotional connection with your customer
Making an emotional connection with customers makes them feel as if your brand cares about them and shares their values. When customers make that kind of emotional connection with a brand they are more likely to become repeat customers, building loyalty over time. While creating emotional connections through marketing can be a complex and lengthy process, branded merchandise can play a key role.
Branded merchandise can act as a brand ambassador and can become something that your customers value. Items that are useful as well as attractive are highly desirable. Your branded merchandise is at hand even when your store or service isn’t. This reinforces something special about your brand.
Making an emotional connection with your customers helps to differentiate your brand from the competition. It creates that all-important human connection and positive brand recognition. It creates brand loyalty, which translates into greater customer retention and helps to grow the pool of committed customers to your brand.
Customers feel happy to be rewarded by a company for their custom and loyalty, and high-quality branded merchandise such as an iconic Yupoong cap is something that they can really value.
Branded merchandise raises brand awareness
Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand, how quickly they can recall it, and the knowledge they have of the goods and services that you deliver. Establishing brand awareness is vital if you’re wanting to grow and build your business. It helps to put your brand on a secure footing going forward and is particularly important in the early stages of developing your business. The sooner you can establish an awareness foothold with your brand, the easier it will be to plan and develop your brand going forward.
Branded merchandise is a valuable asset to help you grow your business and raise brand awareness. Because branded items are printed with a company logo or any design that might be connected to the company, they have an immediate visual impact. If your brand isn’t known to the potential customers they may be intrigued about your logo or brand name, and might want to know more, particularly if that name is connected to a high-value item such as a stylish cap.
Giving away high-quality branded merchandise, especially during the early stages of developing your business, helps to generate greater awareness of your brand, its logo and visual identity. High-quality branded merchandise says something important about your brand values at the same time as promoting your brand’s visual identity.
Branded merchandise builds a strong brand identity
If you’re serious about growing your business, then you need to build a strong brand identity. A strong, unique brand image helps you to foster good relationships with your customers. It shapes and expresses your brand values giving your customers a point of connection with your goods and services.
If your brand identity is recognised and encourages positive thoughts and feelings in your target customers, it becomes much easier to encourage repeat custom and loyalty. A positive, easy to recognise and relate to brand identity helps customers to feel comfortable choosing your services over those of the competition.
Developing branded merchandise is one way to strengthen brand recognition and enhance brand identity building. Giving away stylish, high-quality branded caps featuring the company logo combines the main aesthetic elements of your brand, while saying something about your values and brand philosophy. It’s an effective way to communicate your brand personality and strengthen your identity, creating something recognisable that helps you stand out from competitors.
Branded merchandise can be a new revenue stream
If you opt to create high-quality and desirable branded merchandise, it can become a new revenue stream in itself. While branded merchandise is often seen purely as a promotion tool, high-quality items that feature a stylish logo from a desirable brand can become a revenue stream in its own right.
High status, or brands with street cred or cult appeal, can find that their branded merchandise is in high demand. Businesses can sell their branded merchandise either directly to customers via a website or at events, or they can make it available to retailers. Whatever sale method they choose, branded merchandise can become an important revenue stream for companies as well as a tool to promote their brand.
If you would like your branded merchandise to be appealing enough for people to want to buy it’s important to think about the aesthetics of your logo and design as well as the quality of the product. High-quality, street and fashion-influenced caps and headwear are a great choice when it comes to creating branded merchandise that you can sell.
Quality branded merchandise improves brand perception
Growing brand awareness is important, but there’s no point spreading awareness about your brand if you’re not simultaneously improving how your brand is perceived. For instance, low-quality branded merchandise which is cheaply made and badly designed is unlikely to be valued. In some instances, poor-quality merchandise can leave people with a negative impression of your brand.
High-quality branded merchandise can be used to support and reinforce the perception of your brand. If a customer buys one of your products, as an added-extra you may want to include a smaller, high-quality branded item as a free gift, giving the customer a positive impression of your brand and its values.
When it comes to the perception of your brand, two key elements to keep in mind are quality and usefulness. When you produce branded merchandise that is high-quality and useful to the customer, this reflects back on your brand overall. Customised quality headwear is one such example of branded merchandise that is highly valued, practical and useful.
Does branded merchandise work?
The primary purpose of branded merchandise is to promote your brand, your goods and your services. You want to create positive brand associations, reflecting values of quality and usefulness that come to be valued by your target customers.
Companies across the world invest large sums of money in branded merchandise. Leading brands are some of the biggest spenders. This reflects the fact that branded merchandise is a highly valued tool by marketing professionals and one that delivers results.
It does this through visibility and recognition. Unlike most advertising streams, branded merchandise is tangible and has a lasting presence in the lives of your target customers. When you invest in branded merchandise that is desirable and has some utility to your audience, your brand name and logo will become a part of their lives.
It’s also a relatively cost-effective way to promote your brand and allows you to get creative. Whether created to sell or giveaway, branded merchandise can be an effective long-term strategy to remain at the forefront of your customer’s minds. With a clear visual brand identity on items that people use every day your brand will be recognised when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
High-quality branded headwear from Flexfit
Our iconic caps Flexfit and Yupoong and headwear set the standard when it comes to high-quality branded merchandise, helping you combine customisation with a quality product that your customers will come to value.
Our Flexfit and Yupoong hats combine classic style with iconic good looks and the latest manufacturing technology to create branded headwear that sets the standard.