How to get the most out of your company merchandise budget

by Niels Vandecasteele

A question we, at Merchandise Essentials, get all the time is how to use your merchandise budget in the most effective way. In what follows, we are happy to give you some pointers. Here are the most important question to ask yourself when investing in company merchandise:

  1. What’s the goal of the merchandise?
  2. What’s the occasion of the merchandise?
  3. What products would you like?
  4. Do you know the sizes of your target audience?
  5. Do you need a lot of cheap products or few items of considerable value?
  6. Is this a one time event or will you be needing reorders?
  7. Are you giving the merch away or selling it?

1. Goal

Everything starts with the goal you want to reach with your merchandise investment. Do you want to increase visibility at an event?
Do you want to reward your high performing team?

Will the merch serve as a nice souvenir of that team building you are planning?
There are a lot of reasons why people implement merchandise. If you want to spend your budget wisely, you need to know exactly what the intended goal is.

2. Occasion

In life, love and merchandise, timing is everything.
Will your project take place in summer? Think about t-shirts, flip flops or sunglasses. If it’s during winter, consider beanies, socks or scarves.

Does your audience have the option to try the t-shirts or sweaters on? If not, sizing can become a problem and one-size-fits-all items would be a smarter pick.

3. What products do you like?

There are a lot of products you can customize, so you need to know what style you like. Do you like high end knitted shirts with a subtle embroidery for your sales team? Or is your company culture better represented in brightly colored casual hoodies? You need to think about what products match your companies' philosophy.

merchandise showroom
Choosing merchandise is like shopping.

4. What sizes to order?

The most common problem in merchandise is sizing. It can be dangerous to assume sizes and you might simply not have a clue who will wear your merchandise, making a size guess virtually impossible. Here's what you can do to avoid problems.

4.1. Fitting afternoon

Get your team together and organize a fitting. We can provide you with a sizing pack and all team members can try the merchandise on and write down their preferred size. This is the best way to get the right sizes, but this method can be incredibly time consuming if you have a lot of employees.

4.2. Size range

Because of our extended experience, we know a thing or two about size ranges.
We can suggest the most common size range (xs-s-m-l-xl) based on your target audience. This means that based on data from previous orders, we can estimate a size range that suits your occasion.

5. Quantity vs impact

You’ve read this correctly: it’s not quantity vs quality.
You should always go for quality. But sometimes your goal needs a different approach. Do you want to reward 150 people with a pair of socks or 25 people with a unique premium hoodie? You have to decide how volume works in your equation.

6. Will you reorder?

It’s important to always keep an eye on the future. Depending on if you’ll reorder or not, other techniques or solutions can be presented. Embroidery has a noticeable setup cost, but for reorders the setup cost disappears, which means cheaper reorders.

For other pieces, like socks, the MOQ is 100 pieces, so you can’t just order 5 extra pairs. You have to keep this in mind if you plan on reordering items later on.

7. Give-away vs selling

Giving merch away or selling it entails certain complications. Some products have a great retail margin, others don’t.
Beanies or caps are perfect as giveaway accessories, but if you’re looking to sell your merchandise, it’s better to go for textiles like sweaters or t-shirts.

All those things matter if you’re looking to spend €1000 on merchandise. It should not be a question of just picking the cheapest t-shirt and printing your logo on it.

If you know the what, where & when of your merchandise campaign, your results will be exponentially better. But the question still remains:
"What is the most efficient way to spend €1000 on merchandise?"

8. My personal merchandise pick

This is my preferred way to spend €1000 on company merchandise:

  • 100 pairs of custom socks with custom cardboards: €600
  • 25 beanies with embroidery: €275
  • 25 tote bags with a cool print: €128,25

How to use this company merchandise

Use the 100 pairs of socks to get volume, reward your clients/employees or to give to a lead after a meeting.
Beanies are a good choice because they're visible and one size fits all.
The tote bags are a great way to get your name out there and gain visibility in places you would never go. The ecological aspect of the bags gives your brand an eco-vibe which shows you care.

Looking to order your own merchandise?

Let our account managers help you get the most bang for your buck. 

Depending on the company goals you have, they will help you get the most out of your merchandise order. Ask for our other timesaving (and result increasing) services like our design service, e-commerce platform or logistics department.

Topics:Merchandise Marketingambassador marketing

About Merchandise Essentials

In 2015 Merchandise Essentials consisted out of two young guys with big dreams. Working out of their parents’ living room they started turning those dreams into goals.

The living room became a 600m2 office space with a showroom. The two man team turned into a workforce of more than 30 young and talented individuals who are now designing and producing merchandise for brands and businesses in 43 countries.


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