How to boost your business through merchandise marketing

by Henri-Philippe

A lot of great products, especially apps and softwares, don’t get the exposure they deserve. Ever heard of Wakely or Tunity? (Both of them are true gems, check them out!)

In this blogpost we will explain how to maximize exposure for your product with smaller budgets and more tangible returns.

So if you’re all about reducing churn rates and maximizing ROI, you've came to the right blogpost.

Why traditional advertising is not cutting it anymore

Experts estimate that there are 6000+ new apps and softwares being launched everyday single day.

The thing is that pretty much all of the companies behind those apps and softwares tend to take to traditional advertising and media to promote their product.

Which is pretty much the same for people with tangible products.

Merchandise Marketing

People are being exposed to a lot of direct and indirect ad’s throughout the day. Over the years Facebook and Google have been allowing marketeers to pinpoint their ads on their target customers.

More precise targeting made it super easy to get products in front of the right people.

Unfortunately not all of your potential customers have deep pockets and unlimited budgets.

Enter Decidophobia

Daily exposure to dozens of ads of the next revolutionary app and the best new software is now leading to two things.

One of those two being decidophobia [The fear of making the wrong decision].

You can try to reinvent online advertising every now and then but in the end there are only so many strategies that are going to work.

So we're ultimately, all in our own niche, using similar tactics to reach the same potential customers. In turn making it harder for those potential customers to pick the right products.

Partial Blindness or numbness

Secondly, call it whatever you want but either way, a lot of people have become partially blind or numb towards online marketing.

Do you recall the last 3 banner ads you have seen since you have started this internet session?

Do you still partake in a lot of online giveaways?

I do want to put an emphasis on ‘partially’. These techniques definitely still work, just a lot less than a few years ago.

So if not traditional advertising, what then?

By now you should have come to terms with the fact that the access-code giveaway you had planned for tomorrow isn’t that great of an idea.

Here’s what you should focus on instead.

Merchandise Marketing

We’re not talking about run-off-the-mill sweaters with your logo on them. But apparel made out of retail grade fabrics with awesome designs, super detailed finishing and your own brand labels stitched into them.

Why merchandise marketing will work for your business.

How merchandise marketing can boost your products

Let's go with the example of apps and softwares again.

Both are intangible products and are ‘’hidden’’ on peoples phones, laptops or any other device they use.

Although a lot of companies do hand out the occasional sticker, freebie or gadget, most customers will never actively promote your product.

If a customer likes your product, they might tell a friend about it but what are the odds they will start telling a random stranger on the subway about it?

Now imagine that same customer or user wearing one of your awesome branded hoodies, t-shirts or beanies.

1. That hoodie, t-shirt or beanie is bound to end up on social media sooner or later.

Most people tend to wear clothes when they go out, right?

Whether it’s at work, the cinema or at the bowling alley, people love to take pictures or short videos.

Instagram and the likes made that super accessible and easy for us. So although it’s not directly meant to promote your product. Your merchandise and logo will be seen by hundreds of people on social media.

And that’s just one customer posting one picture or live story.

2. The number of traditional advertisements spotted on top of Mt. Everest or in the middle of the Sahara?

Zero. And that won’t change anytime soon.

The point is that people go places where traditional advertisements won’t always be able to go.

Meaning that your merchandise marketing will reach more people in more places, creating interesting conversations between actual individuals.

3. Build the hype before you launch your product.

There’s a lot you can do to hype your product while building your MVP but as mentioned before as long as it’s not tangible, people might forget about it.

So start building a loyal fanbase way before launch.

You can set-up subscribe or referral campaigns in which you can reward people with merchandise.

You can also throw multiple launch events or guerilla style tabling events in which you can hand out customized merch.

People will most likely throw out your flyers but they will definitely hold on to your branded pair of comfy socks.

Lessons learned.

The key lesson is that we’ve been putting to much effort and cash into the same marketing channels for too long.

Marketeers basically thought people to look away from your banners and to feel indifferent when spotting your giveaway.

So it’s up to you to regain people's attention in a cost-effective and lasting way.

That’s where merchandise comes into the picture.

People tend to save it, wear it, show it off (based on the company and design) and that’s what makes it a great marketing tool and conversation starter.

Combine this with a traditional marketing campaign and trust me when I say that if it’s any good, people will share the life out of it.


  • Traditional advertising is expensive and doesn’t tend to build lasting relations.
  • Branded Merchandise is way less expensive and tends to stay with people for months to years.
  • Merchandise can go places where traditional ads can’t go.
  • A cool t-shirt, funky pair of socks or a branded hoodie makes a great conversation starter.
  • Combine merchandise with your traditional campaigns to get everything out of your marketing effort.
Topics:Merchandise MarketingMarketingfeaturedmost read

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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