Create Your Own Merchandise For Your Brand [2024 Merch Guide]

Updated: October 8th, 2022


Print + Traditional
Brand Awareness
Cost Details
Promotional items can range in value from inexpensive to VIP gifts

What Is Branded Merchandise?

Branded merchandise/custom merchandise is a set of branded objects with a company logo, a company name, or a motto. Businesses distribute custom merchandise to raise brand awareness and to promote an event.

Branded merchandise is given away or sold at conferences, market storm events, tradeshows, or at the online store. The marketing approach creates a chance to leave a long-lasting impression on your target or current customers.

Branded Merchandise Key Takeaways

  • Branded merchandise furthers brand recognition and creates a direct connection to your fans
  • Merch increases customer engagement since customers keep the merchandise with them for a long time
  • You should distribute the branded merchandise for free or at a low price
  • Use items that have high usability & high perceived value
  • Create branded merchandise that resonates with the target audience
  • Avoid fashionable or trendy promotional products as they lose desirability after a period (e.g. fidget spinners)

How Does Branded Merchandising Work?

Branded merchandising shows off the brand identity to prospective buyers, and creates a lasting impression on the current customers, as well as their friends and colleagues.

Also known as promotional products, merch promotes your brand everywhere. Some customers will take photos and even share them on social media.

Thus, branded merchandise is a way to stay relevant and reach out a little deeper to your target market.

Real-World Examples of Branded Merchandise That Sells

Here are some inspiring examples from famous brands

1. Hard Rock Café City Famous T-Shirts

Hard Rock Café started as an American burger joint in London. Today, the company has a chain of theme restaurants across the globe.

One of the strategies used by the firm was the famous city T-shirts bearing the stylish logo. The unique t-shirts became an instant hit, not only in London but across the world. in fact, the hard rock T-shirts are available for sale online, and delivered around the world.


If you are feeling inspired by Hard Rock Café's branding strategy, create some high-quality branded merchandise that your customers will love.

2. Blue Bottle Coffee Sells Coffee Merchandise To Drive Customer Engagement

Founded in Oakland, Blue Bottle Coffee has expanded in more than six US locations and has footprints in Asia.


Perhaps one of the reasons behind the fast brand expansion has been the desirable merchandise available to their customers.

Bluebottle coffee includes aesthetically appealing travel mugs, books, carafes, and tote bags as their branded merchandise. The merchandise is available for sale on the company’s website.

How To Design Your Merch

The best tools to use for designing your branded merchandise are either Canva or Photoshop:

Where To Buy Merch Online

  • Printful: They print, pack, and ship everything on-demand—you only pay when an order comes in.
  • Spreadshirt: Your creative platform for custom T-shirts and custom clothing
  • Teespring: A simple solution for creating and selling products that engage your fans and help you monetize your content.
  • Zazzle: Create one-of-a-kind business supplies for your one-of-a-kind business.


Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool. You can use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos, and more.

Businesses using Canva:

903 successful businesses are using Canva ➜

Get Canva ➜


A raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS.

Businesses using Photoshop:

39 successful businesses are using Photoshop ➜

Get Photoshop ➜

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.