In April 2017, newspaper De Morgen published an article about merchandise in the nightlife-scene. Here is what we think.
The article ‘Merchandise sales explode in the US, The clothes make the superstar’ shows an explosion of merchandise in the US. Of course, we know the power of merchandise, but it seems like companies are only now starting to realize how powerful this marketing strategy actually is. Merchandise is booming and not just in the US. Belgian companies, artists and fashion brands also empower their brand with their own clothing line. The article is focused on the merchandise in the US and mentions how Belgium is associated with the success of cheap band T-shirts.
According to the article, “Belgium doesn’t care a lot about exclusive merchandise." Das Pop en Stromae came out with branded clothing and according to the article, they were the only ones to do so successfully. We don't really believe that's true, because a few entrepreneurs launched successful clothing lines tis past year. For example, Vedett socks are extremely popular, Topwijf started with one sweater and is now sold out on their webshop and pop-up stores, Tomorrowland has its own clothing label… There’s just so much potential in Belgium.
It's important to note that there's a gigantic difference between a band T-shirt and a clothing brand. A band T-shirt with the tourdata on its back is an easy way to be earn extra revenue. A clothing brand however, empowers your brand, whatever you do and wherever you go. Artists, festivals, companies and even coffeebars can and should use this wonderful way of branding.
In short, merchandise exploded because we changed from classic band shirts to a qualitative clothing brand. That’s exactly why it’s such a success, especially in Belgium. Bandshirts won’t dissapear, but you can’t compare a shirt with your logo thrown on it to a qualitative piece of clothing designed with your house style, story and brand in mind. Trust us, merchandise 2.0 is finally here. And it's looking better than ever.