August 18, 2013 Alchemist Studios

Corporate Branding Through Merchandise

Help your clients transform their brand into a Brand Champion by giving them the building blocks for a successful branding campaign. Once you’ve designed a great logo, your client will want it to go viral. Brand Champions are the logos that are recognised all around the world, the super brands that achieve iconic status.

Using merchandise to promote brands

Spreading the word is what it’s all about when it comes to building a superbrand. Your client will need to grow their cyber presence on the Internet and their physical presence in the real world. Potential customers need to see the logo everywhere; on stationery, in adverts, on posters and on a wide range of brand-appropriate merchandise.

Branded freebies and prizes are a great way of building word-of-mouth. The aim here is to create highly desirable objects that achieve cult status and build a brand following. This is an area where creativity pays dividends: no one’s going to be too impressed with a pin badge bearing the company logo so the challenge is to come up with something interesting, different or quirky that will be desirable to customers without breaking the marketing budget.

Eventually, when Brand Champion status has been achieved, customers will be willing to pay for branded items such as T-shirts with the logo prominently displayed. This level of brand loyalty is the Holy Grail in promotional branding and can only be achieved through an imaginative, evolving campaign.

Tips from the experts

  • Start small – dip a toe in the water with small product runs to find out what’s popular.
  • Identify the target audience for your product and design with them in mind. Identify their demographic and find out what they consider cool – it may not be what you consider cool but you’re not the target.
  • Work out what events and venues they frequent and get involved with tie-ins and competitions through which you can promote the brand with freebies and prizes.
  • Think outside the box – everyone does T-shirts, baseball caps and silicone wristbands. Try to come up with something new and different, things that your target audience will use, wear, keep on their desk or pass to friends.
  • Don’t be too cheap. These promotional items represent the company and if they’re shoddy that’s how the recipients will view the business. You may only be able to afford fewer of a better quality item but it will be more desired. Take your time to find a good and reliable supplier who can provide just what you’re looking for.
  • Even when you reach the point of being able to sell your merchandise rather than just give it away, don’t look at it simply for its revenue generating properties. Remember that each person wearing your company logo across his chest is a walking billboard, so offer good value for money.
  • Change your promotional offerings frequently to maintain interest in them and give them scarcity value.

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