Selling merchandise is always a good idea for musicians and performers, but it goes even further beyond just making some extra cash from your fans.
Merchandise is a great way for your loyal listeners to experience your brand, but it can also be a way for your fans to become marketing machines to spread your brand even further!
The most common forms of merchandise include T-shirts and CDs, but when you think outside of the box, you can find a way to get your name out to the public with the help of a process referred to as merch marketing.
While there are literally hundreds of products that you can put your brand design on and make into merch, there are certain ideas that help your logo really stand out for the fan and their entire network.
For example, a pair of socks with your band on it is a decent idea, but how many other people will see your fans' socks?
Pairing your talent with great design ideas and implementation could be a great way to grow your fan base from 100 to 1000.
You can then grow to a full ten thousand fans if your merch has the ability to grab attention and give your fans a reason to spread the good news about your music!
Here's a classic idea that will work well if you have fans that often have visitors. When people come by and see your music logo or image on their poster, that is the perfect opportunity for your fan to share your music and possibly add to your base.
This is a great idea for your fans that are always on the go and get a lot of eyes when they are out and about. If you have an eye-catching design for a tote bag, you could have people inquiring to your fans as complete strangers.
Phone cases are another product that gets a lot of attention, especially if the design is cool. Friends of your fan that bought your custom-made phone case will always be asking about who is featured on their phone.
Stickers can make for a great cheap or free merch product that your fans can put anywhere, including their phones and their laptops. I always get asked about the sticker on my MacBook, which currently features the lovely ladies of Hamilton.
This is a great choice if you have a fan that is always in the office and socializing with their bodies on a lunch break. In scenarios like these, coffee mugs, spinners, and water bottles that have a cool and custom design can get the spotlight.
While T-shirts are always a good idea for merch, don't forget that other types of clothing, including coats and hoodies, get the same, if not more, visibility from those that are around your fans who have bought your custom merch.
Sweatpants and legwarmers may be a great addition as well!
Another item that tends to catch people's eye, especially family members, is keychains that are custom-made. This can be a good idea for a cheap yet effective way to get your brand out there as a musician that needs to spread the word about their work.
Hats and beanies with custom designs are often used for merch, but the trick here is that your hat design really has to stand out.
Most hats have nifty little logos, but the design space on headwear is so small that you can find it challenging to flesh out an eye-catching idea.
Some accessories, including guitar picks and piano covers, can be custom-made and really send the perfect marketing message on behalf of your fans that are music makers. This works particularly well for music acts that tend to attract like-minded people.
Pins that can easily be put on a bag or backpack make a solid choice of free merch for musicians that have a younger core fanbase.
This can be great for pop artists and punk bands that want to get the word spread about their music across schools and universities.
Here's another idea that may be a great fit if you have fans that are older and still like to use writing utensils instead of doing every single thing digitally. Pens with cool designs can still be an effective way to get people asking about your name.
This a great choice for the classic music lover that has an intense vinyl collection. Fans of vinyl love to show off their collection, and you can bet they will rave about you if your songs are great enough to share with their circle of friends and family.
This a unique way to get the attention of strangers on rainy days. Umbrellas are a cool choice of merch for your fans that live in city areas and may be able to spread your brand visibility to hundreds of people within one simple day.
Although we all wish it were so, the pandemic is not over yet. Fortunately, face masks with great designs can be a strangely cool way to get your fans talking about your music (and they don't even have to take their mask off to have the conversation).
While socks are good choices for merch but often hard to see, custom-made slides and sandals can often be a great idea for musicians to consider when it comes to merch ideas.
Like headwear, the challenge here is the amount of space you can use to fit your standout brand design.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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