Your Guide to Custom Merch

You may be asking yourself, “What is custom merch?”  Custom merch, simply put, is branded promotional products.  This can be custom t-shirts, headwear, drinkware, bags, totes, etc.  The list goes on and on.  It is any item or good that carries the name of your brand. 

There are many needs and purposes for custom merch.  It can be for an event, organization or business.  Whether it’s needed for promotional purposes or as memorabilia, this 4-part guide will help get you on your way with custom merch.


As with most decisions in life, there has to be a purpose and reasoning behind that choice.  The same goes when choosing the right merch.  In order to meet your need, you must first define your end goals.  Goals of branded merch can be used to:

  • Build brand awareness. Is it simply to get your name and brand noticed?
  • Cultivate followers. Are you aiming to gain new followers to your brand?
  • Give sense of community. For example, gyms and fitness centers utilize branded wear to give the sense of belonging and community to their group.


Whose hands do you aim for your custom merch to end up in?   Who is it that you are trying to reach?  Not all products are for everyone, thus it is important to define your target audience.   You want to relate to the end user as they are the ones that will be sharing your brand.  Even if the target audience is broad, you will still be able to break up and segmentize it as a whole.

Here are a few factors to think through:

  • What are the demographics? (i.e. age, gender, location)
  • Is it for an event? (i.e., sports, religious, family)
  • Industry Type being reached? (healthcare, construction, entertainment, hospitality, travel, fitness)
  • Where will they wear or carry your merch?

Think through the end user’s demographic and lifestyles.  By doing so, it will help you wrap your mind around the products you need.


Will the merch simply be your brand and logo?  Or, do you need it to portray a specific message?  Think of it as a walking billboard.  When you give out branded merch, especially products and apparel that people love, they will become walking free advertisements for your brand and message.


While t-shirts and hats may work for one purpose, another may need beach towels and beach bags.  By combining the goals, messages and end users, you will be able to narrow down the type of merch you need.  Thus, it is important to think through the previous three points.

The merch you invest in will reflect your brand and purpose.  Do not always invest in the cheapest products.  More than not, these products will end up in the trash.  Why not invest in the merch that people will carry and wear often?  

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