what's your merchandise strategy, Merch strategy—how to be more than just a store!

Merch strategy—how to be more than just a store!

Merchandise strategy is extremely important for musicians.

It’s not just about generating profit. It’s also a powerful way to connect with fans!

Merch sales is just second to live show sales and that says something with how much revenue musicians get from it. It’s actually one of the reasons why merch releases became so widespread in the industry during the pandemic.

Due to health protocols, musicians couldn’t do live shows impairing their biggest revenue source.

What did they do?

They obviously turned to the second biggest—and that’s merchandise. Some even went back to releasing physical albums, e.g., CDs, cassette tapes, vinyl records.

Merchandising is not as simple as pasting your logo. 

So read on and learn more about merchandise, merchandising, strategies, and  more.


merchandise strategy

The very first thing you have to do is create a brand or image of yourself or your group. The brand brings everything about you and your music together.

When you decide on it, make sure it tells a story, more specifically your story. This way you and your fans can both connect to it. It might even attract people to you and your music if you present and promote it the right way.

In addition to that, deciding on a logo and/or design would be easy peasy with a brand. If you already have a logo, then you might want to incorporate it into your merch designs.

The logo will be your brand’s image, reminding people of you or your music when they see it on anything.

Related Articles:

9 Music Branding Tips



merchandise strategy

After conceptualizing your brand, you may proceed to deciding on the merch items you will be offering to fans.

There are a lot of merch out there and it can be a headache thinking about what would be the best things to have.

To make it easier for you, why not try looking through other artists’ merch offers. It would help you minimize your list.

You can’t choose just any artist though.

You have to choose fellow musicians with the same type of music or the same fan demographics. This way, you know what people that love that kind of music love buying from their faves.

You can also directly ask your fans what they want to buy from you. Try posting a poll and see the results or maybe post a question and read through the replies. You can then decide from there.

Here are some merch types that you might want to offer to your fans:


what's your merchandise strategy, Merch strategy—how to be more than just a store!

Custom merch in this context is much more than just customizing their printed design and what not.

This one’s more of the handmade ones making them much pricier than the others you’ll be offering. Meaning, their high prices are justified.

Let’s say you know how to crochet, then you can offer a limited number of crocheted keychains, jewelry, hats, or scarves.

You can also have painted physical albums like what Billie Eilish did for her vinyl record live album released by Third Man Record.

Related Articles:

Which Custom Merch Items Sell The Most?

22 Custom Band Merch Ideas For 2022


merch strategy

These merch are items that are quick and easy to mass produce like shirts, stickers, and more. Since they’re easier to produce, they have a much lower price point than your custom merch.

They will be a great addition to your merch table since they will be balancing out your custom merch.

Fans without much money to spend will be able to show their support to you through them.

Related Articles:

T-Shirt Merch 101: Conceptualization,Printing, & Marketing

Check out our custom t-shirts merch printing service


merch strategy

You read that right.

Even merchandise has been digitized. It’s really not that surprising anymore with how the world has been. There are fans who also prefer them, since they’re easier to buy, keep, and access.

Wondering what are some examples of digital merch? Well, you can offer PDF versions of your songs’ chord sheets or lyric book. Even behind-the-scenes videos can be offered as digital merch.

What’s great about this is there is almost no money spent in creating them while you get profit selling them.


merch strategy

This is a scalable merch, but what makes this different is that these merch are produced after an order for that merch is confirmed.

This is a very advantageous one for musicians who’re on a tight budget and could not afford to have their merch manufactured in bulk.

Check out our print on demand merch printing service



merch strategy

Everyone’s busy and got better things to do.

Plus, there are people who’re just lazy so having an online merch store will surely help them and yourself out. They get to shop remotely anywhere and anytime they want. And you get to profit with each item they check out from your store.

Don’t forget to link your store to your website, this will help your fans have an easier way of finding your merch store.

You can also add your store’s link to your social media accounts to further spread it around.

Related Articles:

Killermerch And Other Places To Sell Merch Online

10 Tips For Selling More Merch Online



Now, we’re going to talk about some of the types of merchandising strategy that you can incorporate into yours.

It’s not a completely foreign idea to people now, for sure, given that we’re surrounded with businesses and merchandise.

You might even be unknowingly using one or some of the merchandising strategies we have listed below.


merchandise strategy

This type of merchandising strategy is one that’s aimed at physical stores since this is designed to get more people to visit a merchandise store.

An traffic building merchandise strategy example would be to display attractive merchandise in places of the store where it’s easily visible and accessible.

For your online store, you can build store traffic through paying advertisement campaigns or hiring influencers.

If you want to keep your money in your pocket then you can try engaging on social media, through your posts. When you post your merch on your feed, story, or reels/shorts, make sure to link your store.


what's your merchandise strategy, Merch strategy—how to be more than just a store!

The transaction building or cash generating merchandising strategy is one that plays with human’s impulsive buying.

There are things that need other things so that it will be protected and/or useful, as well as provide a better user experience.

This strategy takes advantage of these complementary merch which drives people’s impulsive buying. It’s like how most people, when buying a cellphone, will be urged to buy a screen protector and phone case together with it.

This strategy is also used in the music industry with how musicians offer vinyl records as well as slip mats to complement it.


merchandise strategy

This is another type of merchandising strategy that takes advantage of people’s impulsiveness.

It’s a strategy that offers fashionable and seasonal items which generates buzz and excitement around them.

Because of that feeling of “exclusivity” customers get, they’ll have this feeling of urgently buying those merch. A great example of this would be the Christmas decors that musicians offer to their fans during the holiday seasons.

That’s all for now…

If you need help with merch, we’re here for you.

We can help you every step of the way.

Click here to check out some of the custom box sets, vinyl records, cassette tapes, and merch we’ve made.


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.

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