June 21, 2018

How to Create Great Brand Merchandise


How to Create Great Brand Merchandise 


Let’s imagine that your business or organization understands the value of branded merchandise. If that’s the case, you probably know that 8 out of 10 consumers own up to 10 promotional products and that 89% of consumers remember the names of advertisers on promotional products they received in the past two years.

If you’re a marketing guru, you already know this stuff. But you might still be asking yourself, “What's the difference between our giveaway t-shirt and the giveaway t-shirt that never gets donated to Goodwill?” 

Generic answers to that question usually contain the mention of brand loyalty or that the logo makes all the difference.  OK, valid - but brand loyalty is created and your branded merchandise is capable of creating and generating that same loyalty that gets your market to spread your name to new audiences. BOOM! That is where your ROI lives. 

So, how exactly do you create great branded merchandise?


Test The Waters 

Before you slap your logo on a bunch of items, do a little research. Request samples of the apparel or products and see what your team thinks. Gather input from your trusted network because brand loyalty starts internally. Does Ruth from HR love the fit? Did that water bottle leak on Jerry’s hike last weekend?

Don’t have the time? Find a trusted product specialist to do the dirty work for you.

* Raises hand *


  Featured College Hill Client K&K Welding  Custom Design Gear apparel and promotional products beanies welding

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Featured College Hill Client K&K Welding 

Get Creative 

If you’re passionate about your company, you’re the differentiating factor between marketing that falls dead and marketing that generates buzz - bonus points if you fall into the company’s desired target market! Aim to create something that you would want. If you create something you personally want to wear, not only for the garment’s feel, but because the design is original and speaks to your network, that t-shirt is going to make it out of the bottom drawer and into the Friday night t-shirt lineup (or at least the laundry day line-up, am I right)?

Think about how many people rock tees representing their favorite breweries, festivals, tourist hotspots or teams. You could be one of them.

College Hill Custom Brewery Apparel with Original Designs

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Featured College Hill's Brewery Design Gallery.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality

As marketers, we don’t believe there is a time or place to ever sacrifice quality when it comes to putting your brand’s name on something. So many giveaway tees that are thrown out to audiences at events are ultimately thrown away back at home. People may wear those garments to bed, but that’s not going to spread your message. The goal is to get these audiences to wear them out in public.

That’s where attractive design comes in – it might be even more important than the garment itself. If you’re sick of your logo on everything, your staff may be, too. The goal is to produce a piece that tells your brand’s story, message or value. Trust us, there is a creative approach to your story that doesn’t involve your logo.

Featured College Hill Client CrossFit Devotion Custom Apparel for Crossfit Gyms and Studios

Featured College Hill Client CrossFit Devotion

Our in-house creative team can help you weave this story. Check out our design gallery for inspiration here.

Get Strategic 

Who is in your target market? What is your buyer persona? You need to know these things before throwing darts at a promotional product dartboard. Your goal should be to create merchandise in a way that communicates  brand consciousness.

Brand Merch Blog Email Product Insert Feb 2018

Insider tip: You don’t have to have a sponsorship with Nike to customize your next staff polo on a Nike garment. Invest in brands your target market invests in naturally and watch your brand increase in perceived value. Some of our office / client favorites: Comfort Colors, New Era, North Face, Cutter & Buck, Bella + Canvas and Alternative Apparel. 



Final Thoughts 

Intentional brand merchandise with authentic promotional messaging engages staff, loyal consumers and potential buyers in ways that traditional marketing can’t.

Your brand is capable of creating brand loyalty with great branded merchandise and College Hill can help! Have a project on the horizon? Take advantage of our product specialists and in-house creative team to develop your next custom order. We'd love to show you what we can do! Simply request a quick quote! 


Quick Quote

Do you have a promotional product  that left a lasting impression on you personally? I'd love to hear what it is! Leave a comment below.


As always, thanks for reading!