Business Marketing: Advertise Through Merchandise

Marketing and advertising costs take up a large chunk of the budget of businesses. These days, the expenditure covers both digital advertising and media advertising offline. Statista forecasts that the total digital advertising spending in the United States will reach $171 billion in 2021, while $175.9 billion will be spent on media advertising offline. There is another way that you can add to your advertising gains, though, and it can cover both online and offline spheres. A bonus is that instead of spending on it, you can make money out of it.

Merchandise that Promotes Your Brand

Imagine having your brand displayed on people’s clothes, headgear, bags, and water bottles as they walk around everywhere and take selfies that they then post on their various social media accounts. This is free advertising offline, and online that is even more valuable than the advertising you are paying for because it represents the brand recommendation of real people. This is word-of-mouth advertising that does not even require your buyers to say anything.

There are many ways of doing this. You can embroider or print your brand on textile. You can have various types of textiles specially manufactured with your brand already printed on them in several designs. You can then have these made into T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, jogging pants, caps, and different types of bags such as backpacks, duffel bags, totes, sling bags, messenger bags, and belt bags. You can engrave your brand on harder materials like water bottles and different sports helmets using a laser-carving machine.

Widen Your Reach

Make sure that you have something for everyone in your target market, accounting for various preferences. Using AI online on your website and various social media platforms, you can analyze consumers’ search and purchase behavior and determine the items that your target market wants so that you can focus on these.

When you sell these items, you are putting a premium on them. That makes them even more attractive and desirable. Only give away a few in your promotional campaigns, just enough to put some out in the market and whet the consumers’ appetite for more.

You can offer limited edition designs according to the season and certain holidays. For instance, you can have separate collections for winter, spring, summer, and fall. You can have special items for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween. Limited editions scattered throughout the year keep up the excitement and create collectors. Limited items also create an urgency to purchase.

Customize Your Branded Products

You can further boost the popularity of your branded merchandise by accepting orders for customization. Of course, they will have to pay more for it and wait longer for delivery. This is not a problem. According to the Deloitte Consumer Review, among consumers, 36 percent have an interest in buying customized products and services, and 48 percent of them will wait longer for these.

You can charge a premium of up to 20 percent on customized items, and 20 percent of consumers interested in them will pay up. You must provide the options they choose from, though, because this is what 42 percent prefer. To order customized items, 22 percent of all consumers are willing to give part of their personal information.

Consumers want customized products because it highlights their ownership and makes the item unique, standing out in a sea of similar items. You can further narrow down customization by offering many fonts and colors or color combinations. You can allow consumers to add initials, names, short messages, or their designs.

Avatars are also popular, so you can provide a wide range of options for skin, hair, eye, and lip color; hairstyle or no hair; and shapes of face, eyes, nose, and lips. If you offer full-body avatars, make sure to provide a wide range of body types and outfits, as well. You can also allow consumers to choose what part of the item they want their customization on.

This type of deep customization raises customer satisfaction and strengthens brand loyalty. When consumers see others also sporting the brand, their loyalty is further validated and reinforced. It creates a multiplier effect that further bolsters the reputation and credibility of the brand. The more popular a brand is perceived to be, the more popular it becomes.

You can create an online gallery and encourage your buyers to post photos of themselves and their customized products. You can create a contest in which netizens vote for the top creations. You can do so much, and this type of promotion will keep going because the momentum is fueled by consumer engagement. Getting your market engaged is the best kind of marketing strategy you can implement.

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