6 mistakes most companies make when starting with branded merchandise

6 mistakes most companies make when starting with branded merchandise

So you’ve decided to create some company merch. Great idea! In this guide, we teach you how to do it the right way. But before you start, read this post and learn about the six most common mistakes other companies make. 

  • No clear strategy

The first thing you have to think of, is what exactly you want to accomplish with your merch. Is it meant as an incentive for your employees or is your main goal to grow your business? Ideally, it would be a combination of the two. 


Is the merch meant for a company outing? Do you have an upcoming networking event and want to look sharp? Are the employees supposed to wear the merch in their free time? All these questions should have a clear answer. So figure out who exactly you want to wear your merch and when. 

  • Picking the wrong products: ‘Fast’ merch

We get it, you’re on a budget. Everyone is. In an ideal world, you would get the best stuff for little to no money. Unfortunately in the real world, quality comes with a price. We can’t tell you how many times we have been turned down by a stingy marketing manager, only to be contacted again a few weeks later because the initial supplier couldn’t provide quality merch.


In actuality, we don't have any real competitors. We believe merchandise should be qualitative, ethical and ecologically responsible. We pride ourselves in our production process, which is done from start to finish with only the best materials and with the utmost respect for people and the environment.

As for now, no one else on the market operates like we do. If you’re still in doubt, ask us about our various certificates proving our dedication to durability and quality.

If you want people to believe you provide quality services and products, you really have no other choice than to come out with quality merch. Do you really want an ill-fitting T-Shirt with a print that faded after one wash to carry your company name?

You have a choice in the matter. Either you buy a cheap shirt that will be worn to paint the house or you invest a couple of cents more and get a shirt that people actually will want to wear for a long time.

Fast merch is comparable to fast food. It might seem desirable for a split moment, it’s easily available and oh so cheap, but you really don’t want to know what’s in your burger. Furthermore, it will leave you unfulfilled and hungry for more, real food. Make the right choice and go for quality merch from the start. It’s what you deserve. 

  • Just printing your logo on whatever merch

We at Merchandise Essentials want the best for your company. That’s why we are standby to advise you throughout the whole merch process; from picking the ideal products to the perfect decoration technique and ultimately, the final design. Even after the order is delivered, we are ready to help you with marketing techniques to get your merch investment to reach its full potential


Other suppliers are interested in getting the logo you sent them printed as quickly as possible without thinking about how the end result will look. What’s the use in investing in merch if the end result is, well… just plain ugly? It won’t sell, employees will be embarrassed to wear it and you end up with a huge pile of unused rubbish gathering dust in the office attic. We choose not to operate that way. 

When you contact us during office hours, a merchandise specialist will get back to you within 120 minutes. We’ll find out your needs and wants and get to work. You’ll receive a digital example of what your merch will look like and a quote.

After we get your approval, our design team gets to work, providing you with a document entailing all the technical details of your order, which also needs your approval. 

The reason we want to keep in touch as much as possible and want your input is because that way, you have at least two chances to tell us if you’d like changes to the design, placement or decoration technique. We’ll work tirelessly to get the end product just right for you. After all, the best case scenario for both of us is to create kick-ass merchandise that gets you results. 

  • Not going the eco route

This should be a no-brainer, but your company should lead by example in the fight against climate change, no matter what service you’re in. Please don’t tell us you’re actually considering buying from a manufacturer who’s heavily polluting rivers with chemicals and employing kids to work 20 hours a day for next to no money? This might sound extreme, but extremely low prices need to come from somewhere...

There was a time when we all collectively shut our eyes for the damage we were doing to our planet, but when you know better, you do better. Merchandise Essentials’ core values reflect an ongoing commitment to the production of cool merch without hurting the earth or its people. All our T-Shirts, hoodies, socks and other products are made from eco-friendly materials. We even have shopping bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Cool, right?!

To further commit ourselves to a clean way of doing business, we decided to keep production within Europe. That way, we obviate the enormous damage of air- and sea transport. It also enables us to support local family businesses, visit them and actually meet the people we choose to work with. The most important reason however, is that Europe strictly adheres to human rights regulations, banning and strongly fining any form of slavery. 

Keep a clear conscience and go with a company that can provide you with merch you can be proud of in every way. It’s not easy to find a supplier like that in the textile industry, but that’s why we’re here. Your employees will love it, your online audience will praise you for it and you’ll prove that your company is thinking about the future ahead.

  • Your deadline is not met

Imagine the following scenario. You’ve ordered merch for that huge event next month, placed your order and got an automated email response saying the company has received your request. A week later, you want an update but oh no… There’s no way of contacting anyone by email, no track & trace link and no phone number to be found on the manufacturer’s website.


Of course, you’ve already been billed. Inevitably, the day of the big event comes and you find yourself without the merch you’ve been boasting about to your colleagues. Two weeks later, the order finally arrives... incomplete, royally late and at the wrong address.

Not having the right merch on time is a nightmare scenario for marketing managers. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers are used to just printing T-Shirts on autopilot, forgetting any real life needs and deadlines. Not only is it extremely frustrating, it’s the worst way to lose face in front of the whole company.

To us, customer service is extremely important. Without it, we can’t make the product you need. Every email is typed out by a person and contains information on how to contact us by phone, mail and social media, we’ll call you if we have questions and you are more than welcome to visit our showroom if you’re in the neighbourhood. 

Because we actually hear and see you, we are able to communicate clearly on important matters like deadlines, prices, production time and shipping. No ugly surprises at the end of the road, promise. Merchandise Essentials always goes above and beyond to get your product at the right place on time, saving you from embarrassment and allowing you to enjoy the merchandise as intended.

  • No action plan of what to do when you get your swag 

So, you’ve gone through the whole process and got cool merch out of it. Now it’s time to make the merch work for you. The ambassador marketing starts now, have you got a plan on how to implement it? 

Companies often fail to get the maximum potential out of their merch because they have no idea what to do after it arrives. If you find yourself wondering how to make merch work for you, our merchandise strategists are ready and happy to help you with an online and offline merch plan for your business. You can also take matters into your own hand and download or ebook on 10 easy steps to maximize the ROI of your merchandise.

Either way, we hope you get the qualitative merchandise you want and deserve! Contact us if you want to grow your business through merchandise.

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