Makers Gonna Make... Merch!

Branded merchandise doesn't have to be generic. And it certainly shouldn't be boring or (gasp) ugly!



At least not on my watch


Case in point my snazzy new coffee mugs (pictured above). Oh-so purdy... and branded.


Early on in my career I was encouraged to pull out all the stops when it came to creating branded merchandise, and I learned then that there is so much more to it than slapping a logo on the side of a magnet. Even the most humble of objects – a pen, cup or magnet – can make a bold brand statement that gets noticed.


Also, a little ingenuity goes a long way in this space. Clients and prospects are sure to notice when something pushes the boundaries of convention... just a smidge... or a whole bunch if that suits your brand.


Time to test your knowledge true or false style...


Welcome to Jen's Branded Merch Training 101!


Buckle up buttercup, because I'm going to push you out of your comfort zone, and into the stratosphere of stellar corporate gifting.


Test your knowledge, moxie and grit on the following questions:


1. YOUR LOGO ABSOLUTELY MUST APPEAR ON THE MERCHANDISE

False! If your message is memorable enough and you are gifting a client personally, your colours, your fonts and your design can take the place of a logo. Think of that t-shirt drawer, full of white tees with giant logos on them. You wear those "out" right? Mmmm, as I thought... NO!


2. A GOOD GIVEAWAY HAS TO BE APPROPRIATE FOR EVERYONE

False! It needs to knock the socks off your target audience. If your ideal client is a vegan, maybe that logo-ed full-grain leather binder thingy will not rock their 'eat nothing with a face' world. {Just sayin'}


3. GIFTING HAS TO BE EXPENSIVE IN ORDER TO IMPRESS

False! Just last week I received a new screen wipe when doing a little networking, and I can tell you that this bespectacled gal was very appreciative. A useful gift does not go unnoticed. Especially once your glasses or screen are sparkling.


4. NOBODY WANTS ANOTHER NOTEPAD/PEN/RE-USABLE BAG [...]

False! They sure as heck do when.. 1) you give it to them for FREE and 2) you make it memorable, cool, unique or preferably all of the above.

So, how'd you do?

  • 4 out of 4 = this is not your first branding rodeo

  • 3 out of 4 = you've got game

  • 2 out of 4 = keep on keeping on

  • 1 out of 4 = it's okay to shine in other areas

  • 0 out of 4 = SOS!!! Get yourself a branding expert STAT!

Recent Work: Food4Kids Tees
While black is not a core brand colour for Food4Kids, I used a dark tee as the foundation to give strength to the messaging... and look more fashionable too. A win-win for a client that needs its story to be heard... to change lives!
But Jen, my head is spinning, everything I held true about logos and magnets has just been shattered... AND I flunked the test.

Well... you could always "phone a friend", I happen to know someone very personally who eats this stuff up, and has been around the branding block a time or two. (Hint: It's me!).


I'm here for ya baby.


I totally live for this stuff, and it is how I make my living after all.


Questions, comments or concerns over your test results... I'm all ears. Drop me a line and we'll talk all things brand & branded!

© 2020 by Jen Schmaltz Boutique Design Studio

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