Branded merchandise is an integral component in the marketing strategy of all successful companies. To define the concept: brand merchandising is “the ability to take a company logo or “brand” and effectively place it in products that are purchased or used by consumers”. It helps build brand awareness and – more importantly and when done well – a positive brand association. In this article, we’ll share why your company needs branded merchandise and how to effectively realize a branded merchandise strategy – without a ton of effort.
Top 4 Reasons Why You Need Branded Merchandise
From sustainable water bottles to cute totes and super useful power banks, there are many options for getting your brand out there. Let’s focus on why branded merchandise can be so powerful.
- Raise Brand Awareness
How familiar is your audience with your brand? Establishing brand awareness is vital, especially in the early years of your business. Branded merchandise puts you out there, it allows you to stand out, as well as retain customers and attract new ones.
- Build Positive Brand Association
Brand association is one of the biggest psychological influences on customer behavior – and it starts from the very beginning. It’s a mental connection your customer makes between your brand and an emotion, interest or activity. Even toddlers can identify brands and associate with them (Cocomelon, anyone?). As rightly stated by Widen, “the most powerful brand associations only take an instant to trigger a person’s recognition of your brand”. Brand association can be negative or positive and it takes time to build one. Handing out worthwhile merchandise can add value to your customer’s lives and hence promote a positive brand association.
- Promote Brand Affinity
Brand affinity is created when customers believe that your brand shares common values with them. Shared values help build a strong relationship and give you loyal customers. The right branded merchandise deepens your customer’s affinity to the brand.
- Appeal to the Senses
‘Brand’ is an intangible concept – but turning that brand into a physical product appeals to your customer’s senses. Branded merchandise establishes an animate connection with your loyal fans, but also all those who come across that merchandise.
How to Order Branded Merchandise
Traditionally, ordering branded merchandise went something like this:
Research – Design – Edit – Approve – Vendor search – Cost Review – Order – Manage – Pay – Distribute (or sell) – Analyze
Now, this is a most straightforward example. For many, ordering branded merchandise requires a lot of to and fro between different company departments, vendors, and delivery services. (And, if you’re reading this, chances are that your brand is still following this process. We feel your pain.)
As Jeff Bezos states, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”.
But, in this case, there are ways to achieve hard things without an excessive amount of effort. It’s called technology, and we’ve refined it so that brands get the most out of their branded merchandise without entire teams sweating it out.
The Ciloo Portal for Branded Merchandise
The Ciloo portal allows you to integrate technology in your process. It combines all your ordering needs into one, branded portal, accessible to global teams.
With Ciloo’s brand portal, you can:
- Manage your brand assets – Upload approved brand collateral for the right print, every time.
- Print-on-demand – Shorter delivery frames and great pricing allow you to order only what you need, when you need it, reducing waste in the process.
- Localize print – The portal identifies the nearest production site, saving you on transportation cost, and painful multiple currency and customs admin. The product is shipped to where it’s needed rather than to a warehouse and then onward to its final destination.
- Add a fan shop – Take your branded merchandise game a step further with a dedicated web shop full of lovely swag for loyal fans.
- Seriously reduce admin headaches – Think automated local currency invoicing, an optional 24/7 live chat and support team, and detailed orders and cost analytics for additional cost control and inventory awareness.
- Enjoy the best integrations out there – We work with other amazing companies to bring you one, streamlined solution. The Ciloo portal is integrated with vendor systems, procurement and accounting tools and software, logistics systems, and digital asset management tools.
- Achieve your brand’s sustainability goals quicker – Because of point 2 and 3, you’ll reduce waste and carbon emissions from transporting products across long distances. Our portals are also integrated with vendors that value sustainability and that have access to sustainable forestry.
A well thought out branded merchandise strategy can have impressive outreach with a great ROI. Branded merchandise is one of the most effective marketing tools available and, as we’ve seen, there are ways to make the entire implementation process more efficient, sustainable and cost effective.
Eager to up your branded merchandise game without the stress? Get in touch with us, we’d love to learn more about your needs!