Merchandising is one tool in the marketing arsenal that many people seem to overlook. In this day and age where social media influencing and online ads rule the marketing world, it can be all too easy to forget the power of merchandising. Merchandising offers high value when it comes to marketing, and can be utilised to create a personal, long-lasting bond with current and future customers or clientele.
1. Have clear objectives
When it comes to producing branded merchandising for your business, you will need to have clear objectives in mind when planning on what kind of merchandise you are looking to produce for your customers. You can utilise the services of merchandising companies to create customised or personalised items that will really leave a mark on your target audience.
You can capture customers attention with an item that is useful and that they will utilise on an everyday basis. For example, if you are a company selling artisanal tea, consider creating customised teacups, coasters or tea bags with your branding on it. This way, when your customers utilise your merchandise, they’ll be reminded of your brand, your products, services and so on each and every morning when they brew a fresh cup of tea. This is a fantastic way to make an impression and ensure that you remain fresh and memorable in people’s minds. What better form of marketing could you ask for?
2. Consider the costs
Merchandising can be one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing your brand, especially so if you weigh up the costs and assign a fixed budget to merchandise before jumping the gun. Choose a reliable supplier that will ask you what return on investment you are looking for, as they will be able to guide you towards your best options when it comes to customised merchandising.
Good suppliers will also be able to work closely with you when it comes to deciding what message you want on your merchandise or what it should convey to your customers. Do keep in mind that a great tactic to utilise is creating some premium merchandise for your most loyal customers, which may cost you a little more, but will potentially give you a huge return on investment – sometimes as much as online marketing or direct mail.
3. Distribute to your clients and customers
There is no point in producing merchandise if you aren’t handing it out to your clients, current customers and potential new ones. Consider handing these out at client meetings, events, expos, or networking events. Distributing your merchandise face to face is a fantastic way to add an added layer of personal touch, which will further assist in your marketing strategy.
You can also leave smaller merchandise items such as keyrings, pens and notebooks on your counter for your customers to pick up on their way out of your business. If you run an online business, consider sending free merchandise out with each order or when they sign up for your online newsletter. All these tactics are integral when it comes to utilising merchandising as a successful avenue of advertising.
4. Constantly update your merchandise
Just like any other marketing strategy, you’re going to want to continuously upgrade and improve on your merchandise in order to keep current and fresh. Order smaller quantities of different branded merchandise a few times a year, rather than ordering one larger batch of the same product once a year.
Try to keep things in line with the seasons, holidays or events that happen throughout the year to keep your brand current and in the minds of various groups of people. A wide variety of merchandise will appeal to different groups of people, ensuring that you’re covering all bases throughout the year!