Call it what you will…merch, swag, gear. No matter the terminology, we’re talking about much more than just getting your logo out there now – we’re talking about community, connecting, telling your story in meaningful, memorable ways.
The last few years have been a true test of our ability to navigate changes in our world, our work, and our relationships. We found new ways to help each other while also holding on to anything that felt “normal.” For me, normal meant using the mug I snagged on a past vacation as I (mentally) went to the beach or wearing the comfy t-shirt I bought to support my local coffee shop during lockdown. When people want to show their willingness to help and do something positive, merch is one way they can do that.
Now, more than ever, logo items are part of a larger communication landscape – the new press release, excitement-maker, call to action. Branded gear can generate buzz and excitement for an upcoming event, show backing for an important cause, or help promote a local organization’s mission. Whatever the reason, it brings existing and potential supporters into the storytelling process and that creates a bond that benefits all.
We encourage viewing a t-shirt, mug, or bag in the context of how it fits in the whole package of a brand, like a fully completed thought. This results in more consistent statements that resonate as understanding. By putting together cohesive packages (all at once, or over a period of time) that people want to keep and use and wear, it extends the life of not just the shirt or item, but also the story the brand is telling. Having “the shirt” displays that you were at the event or support the cause and it’s how you become a part of that inspired, excited community. (After all, there is a reason that the merch booth at a concert always has a line.)
As we re-imagine the world of promotional products related to your brand, it’s time to think beyond the tagline…it’s time to tell those stories in ways that will motivate, that will encourage, that will last.