Every day could be a potential merch day, and this goes for you, too. If you’re not looking at your merch strategy this way, you’re leaving a bunch of money on the table.
We wanted to help you identify additional merch moments to add to your merch cycle. Do this, and you’ll have a much more solid merch strategy to work with. Meaning you’ll generate a lot of revenue otherwise lost.
What is the best merchandising strategy for artists?
The answer to this is simple: the best merchandising strategy for artists is one where you make a habit out of regularly creating new merch. The biggest mistake you can make is to focus on a singular idea and leave it at that.
Why do recurring merch campaigns contribute so much to a robust merch strategy?
For starters, you want your fanbase to get used to the idea that you sell merchandise in general. Regularly exposing your fans new ideas and designs will help ease them into expecting merch from you.
Besides, the more products you bring to market, the more feedback you get about what works and what doesn’t. Try to see regular promotion of new merch as a way to find out what your fans want. Iterate to figure out what sticks, and what doesn’t.
None of this has to be difficult, nor expensive, either. But more on the specifics later.
What are the most common traditional merch moments?
The most common traditional merch moments can generally be divided into the following three themes:
- Individual gigs or concerts
- Large music tours
- New music releases
The reason these events lead to traditional merch campaigns is because there’s generally a lot of promotion surrounding them. Which means marketing materials are already available. If you’re playing a gig, the venue poster’s artwork has probably already been designed.
Most artists take these general marketing materials and simply copy-paste them onto their merch campaigns. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily. But there’s so much more you can do to keep your fans engaged.
7 merch moments to add to your merch strategy today
Here are some merch moments outside of your traditional marketing campaigns that will help you build a financially sound merch strategy.
1. The anniversary of your band
It all started somewhere, didn’t it? The day you decided to start your band or launch your music career is a day worth celebrating. Best of all: you can easily do so each year.
Celebrate this milestone with your fans. They love being involved in your music career. And what better way to celebrate than with an exclusive piece of merchandise to remember it by.
Often overlooked, anniversaries are a great merch moment you should most definitely add to your merch strategy today.
2. The anniversary of an album or single release
Sure, the origins of your band are worth celebrating. But so is that seminal album you released that skyrocketed your career in the first place. Remember: every single one of your releases has an anniversary, too.
Add these album or single releases anniversaries to your music marketing calendar. Design an exclusive piece of merch each year, using the release’s artwork, and spend some time promoting it.
You’ll generate a bunch of recurring revenue from merch sales. And you’ll see a significant spike in music streams while you’re at it.
3. Recurring merch mini-collections
In the fashion business, working with collections is common practice. Why not do the same with your merch? Come up with a theme that facilitates multiple possible merch products, and get your fans in on the plan.
This offers you the chance to publish and promote merch items recurrently, say, every two weeks or so. Again, seeing which items do well and which others see lower sales figures creates a feedback loop and shows you what kind of products your fans appreciate.
4. New colour ranges of previously released items
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you’re ever in need of inspiration when it comes to coming up with new merch designs, simply look at what you’ve shipped before.
Repurposing previous designs is an easy way to generate new merch products. It’s a proven strategy, too. Think about all the Nike trainers that have been going round for years, with new colour variations being added every season.
5. Seasonal merch types
The changing of the seasons means a change in attire for most people, too. When autumn comes knocking, we all start adding layers and pull our hoodies out from storage. Play into this shift by creating your own seasonal merch collections.
This means t-shirts in spring, hoodies in autumn, and scarves in winter, to name a few. Fashion businesses have been working with these seasonal collections forever. Meaning they work, so why wouldn’t you add them to your merchandising mix?
6. Discounts in shipping or commissions
Whenever your logistics or printing partner offers you a discount on shipping or logistics, you’re going to want to take advantage of this and launch a quick merch campaign.
Additionally, you could consider lowering prices for your fans as a promotion, as well, of course. Just another way to pay it forward and inspire fan loyalty, while generating more revenue yourself.
7. Specific holidays or other memorable events
There are an endless amount of dates you can pick that validate a merch campaign. Of course, there’s the classics like Valentine’s day and Christmas. But there are also a bunch of other specific holidays you can use – to get you inspired here’s a list of weird holidays.
But creating merch to commemorate a special event can be just as powerful. Just got your first million streams on Spotify? Signed a new record deal? Celebrate with your fanbase by releasing an exclusive merch item.
Looking for a good example? UK heavy metal outfit, Malevolence, used Fanbace to design and print on demand Valentine’s day special t-shirts. Best thing about selling merch on demand is you don’t need to invest in inventory, and have no upfront costs, nor risk.
Check out Malevolence’s Valentine’s day special t-shirt design below.
Ready to get started with your own merch campaigns? Get in touch, we’d be happy to help you out. Or click the button below and get started right away.