Releasing music merch is a MUST, and we know it.
But it can be a little bit harder to convince people to buy your stuff if you’re literally selling the same items.
So what are we supposed to do then?
Sell UNIQUE merch items, of course!
HOWEVER, they can be a little risky. Given the fact that they do not have an existing market, you won’t have any idea if they will actually sell. So instead of coming up with something weird merch that would make people go WTF?!, just go for simple items like shirts and stickers, but make sure you come up with badass designs…and more.
To help you along, here is a list of things that will make your merch stand out.
#1. IT’S BRAND-SPECIFIC
As a musician or band, I’m pretty sure you’ve got a branding or image already.
What you have to do is to make sure your image and your merch design are aligned. You can also align your merch with your album’s theme.
This cohesiveness is what will lead your creative mind into creating unique merch items that are uniquely you!
A great example would be what the pop band Shout Out Louds had for their single Blue Ice.
The band released a very unique vinyl record of the single.
It’s very unique because it allows you to make your own vinyl record made out of frozen water. It’s a very creative idea to market not just the vinyl merch but the single as well.
But of course, it’s a rather expensive one to do. But you get the point…
#2. CREATIVE DESIGN
If you’re going for a common merch like hoodies or shirts, then you better have some creative designs up your sleeves.
It doesn’t really have to be super fancy, just something that would catch people’s attention. It can be something funny, or something that would tickle their mind a bit with your jokes and puns.
Just like the number above, make sure the design aligns with either you or your band’s image or your album’s theme.
But designing a creative artwork for your merch is not everything. You’ve got a lot more things to think about before your merch gets to stand out.
You have to think about their placement on the shirt, their contrast to the shirt’s color (if it’s not white), the printing technique and more. You have to make sure you also got those things figured out and you’ll be good to go.
And of course, you gotta have a good printer (like ahem…UNIFIED!). If you want to make custom shirts and tees, hit us up!
#3. THEIR COLOR
While we love our classic black and white, color attracts people and it attracts more when it is paired well a color that complements it.
Colors can communicate the message you want to your customers. Most colors represent a feeling or thing like how the different shades of red can come across as a message of fiery love or a bloody death.
When you think of the colors to fill in your design, make sure it delivers the message across as well as compliment the other colors.
#4. HAS AN ATTRACTIVE PACKAGING
Packaging is more than just a protective layer of your merch. It is also considered as its promotional tool given that it attracts people to the actual product.
It’s comparable to human’s clothing because if you want people’s attention, you will dress up!
So, in order for your merch to attract attention, you will have to dress them up with beautiful packaging.
Keep in mind that packaging can also help communicate to your fans so make sure it delivers the right message with the right colors, font style, and design. Also, don’t be afraid to come up with your own unique packaging.
The more unique and foreign it is to the eyes of your fans, the more they’ll be intrigued and willing to spend money to get their hands on a copy of it.
#5. PRINTING AND MERCH QUALITY
Put yourself in the shoes of your fans, would you want to spend money on merch that’s guaranteed to be low quality?
Of course you won’t!
So if you want your merch to stand out, you have to make sure the merch itself is high quality. Then you have to ensure that the printing quality is too.
It needs to be high quality the first time you release one, or you will just be remembered as one of those musicians who’s got shitty merch.
Then you have to make sure you maintain that high quality. This will pay off because fans will surely trust you on their quality even if you add something new or add merch that’s rarely offered.
Moreover, high quality merch exudes that feeling of expensiveness. That’s why they stand out from the rest.
And we’ve reached the end of the list
So those were the 5 things that make a merch stand out.
We hope this helped you do some decision making for your upcoming merch releases.
Good luck and may you make a merch that would leave people wanting to spend money on it.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.