Ka-boom: with merchandising, your product launch is a guaranteed hit
Coming up with a new brand or product is one thing; successfully launching it is quite another. Especially in today's digital world, it is all too easy to drown in a pool of sameness and blanding. The secret to success is to be original in an online world by standing out offline. Ha! How do you do that? You have to think outside the box and back up your brand or product launch with clever merchandising.
Build a community
Merchandising is a fast-track method to build a community around your brand. Once you get the ball rolling offline, the conversation will continue online before too long. At Kick and Rush, we will work together with you to develop the perfect merchandising that inspires empathy, recognisability, brand awareness and connectedness - all completely in line with what your target group wants, your brand values and the story you want to tell.
The major benefit of this approach is that building a community that supports your brand or product message helps you leave a lasting impression and create true brand ambassadors. They will then spread the story far and wide and get like-minded people excited about your brand. Before you know it, you have a whole legion of new fans!
One example of community-building merch is the campaign we developed in 2019 together with StuBru. At the time, they introduced a brand-new corporate style that deserved to be seen - nay, that had to be seen. It called for branded merchandising for the fans of StuBru to show off. In the end, we opted for a tote bag. Simple? Yes. Effective? Definitely, if you do it right.
And so we did. We designed a tote bag that would not be thrown in the trash after a few uses. Instead, we chose a sturdy material and included a handy zip on the bags.
The edgy finishing was a perfect match for the brand launch. The result? The fans of StuBru wear their tote bags with pride and the new logo is visible in the streets. Mission accomplished! In conclusion: choosing an item is one thing, but its design ultimately determines whether your merchandise campaign is truly effective.
Merchandising is a great way to create brand awareness, but it also serves other purposes. Think of e.g. stimulating the sale of a certain (seasonal) product. By giving away a fun branded goodie with every purchase, your product will stand out more on store shelves. It goes without saying that you should pick something that suits the product and preferably tells a story or teaches the customer something.
To give you an example: several years ago, Pierre Fabre Cosmetics, the parent company of Avène, asked us to develop a promotional item to help boost the sale of their sunscreen products for children. We could have gone down the traditional path and opted for a beach towel or a pair of sun glasses. In true Kick and Rush style, however, we stepped outside that comfort zone.
The result was a cute, plush octopus that could be turned inside out. Each tentacle contained an icon that depicted a precautionary measure to prevent sunburn. Protective clothing, a parasol, a hat - and sunscreen, of course. Sales of the products sky-rocketed and the campaign taught children and their parents valuable knowledge about how to protect yourself from the sun. Once again: mission accomplished!
Merchandising for a brand or product launch: the checklist
How do you come up with something like that? At Kick and Rush, we dive deep into your brand or product story to find the perfect merchandising.
- For starters, we put ourselves in the position of your target group. The only way to know what your (future) fans want to wear, have and keep is by first understanding who they are and what they like.
- Another key factor in the design process of the promotional items is the purpose of your merchandise campaign. You need to decide what your goal is: raise brand awareness, create more brand value, boost sales, start a conversation...
- It is important to make sure that the merchandise has real use. If you give out worthless or time-related items that recipients will soon throw in the bin, you're not getting anywhere. It's that simple. Together, we will come up with high-quality items that your target group actually wants to have or can really use.
- If the merchandising is tied to a temporary campaign or collection, you can opt for a seasonal item such as a picnic blanket in the summertime or a mulled wine set in the winter. If that is not the case, it is best to go for timeless goodies. Water bottles, hoodies and backpacks can be used all year long.
- Determine whether cobranding is potentially interesting for your brand or product launch. Collaborating with another brand is a good way to increase your reach - provided that it is appropriate for your story (and the other party's).
- Unlike with e.g. t-shirts, there is no need to create different sizes if you go with unisex items such as a hat or a bag. This can have a major impact on your budget!
Are you ready to roll with your new merchandising campaign? We are happy to provide input and assist with your brand or product launch!
Karim is a Marketing Manager with a love for love brands.