3 Important Facts About Branded Merchandise

Our goal at Hasseman Marketing is pretty simple.  We want to help you market your organization…and we want to do that joyfully.  As we have said many times, if we do our jobs right, when you get your branded merchandise, there is a little piece of Christmas morning.  We all get excited to open that box of what we call “marketing joy.”

But the last few years have been “different” to say the least.  There have been ups and downs…and plenty of challenges.  And our goal, through it all, has been to continue to help you market your organization and tell your story.  Sometimes that means creating a fantastic video, sometimes it means helping you get sweet t-shirts, and sometimes it means keeping you informed of what is happening in the industry.

Today…we want to give you 3 important facts about the branded merchandise side of the business.

Branded Merch Is More Valuable Than Ever

Okay…you might feel like this is more of an opinion than a fact, but go with us here.  Over the course of the last 2 to 3 years, the world of work has changed a lot.  Many people have gone from traveling to an office every day, to working from home, and then back.  And while the future of work is still up in the air, one thing is clear.  Work has changed.  Even those who still work at the office or manufacturing plant, have seen it change. Many are being asked to do more with fewer people around them.  The work world is just…different.

That is where Branded Merchandise (done well) has come in.

Smart organizations have used quality branded merch to help create team unity, show appreciation, or rally the troops.  The change that we have seen is a shift from “cheap” giveaways.  While those less expensive pieces still have a place, we have seen a trend of organizations focusing on quality and value.  If you want to show your team that you appreciate them, or you want to motivate them to work hard, a quality branded piece of merchandise has become a powerful tool for nearly every organization.

The Supply Chain is not Fixed Yet

I wish this was not true.  But it is.  The supply chain challenges, though improving, are not fixed.  There are still plenty of shortages in stock of popular items.  We talked about some things you can do to lessen your own stress here.  But in short, it’s important to continue to allow for more time.  Last-minute projects happen.  But in order to set your organization up for success, make sure you give a bit more time when you can.

Also, be open to alternatives when you can.  If you want a black t-shirt…awesome.  But if you want “that specific black t-shirt,” you set yourself up for frustration.

Prices Have Risen

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a fact.  Most items have had an increase.  We mentioned that it was coming in this article we wrote last year…and it has come true.  So just be prepared.  In addition, shipping costs have been affected as well.  These are just facts of life at this moment.  But don’t despair.  We can still work with your budget.  This is where open communication can be incredibly important.  Please let us know when constraints you are working under from the beginning of the project!

With all of that being said, now is NOT too early to think about the 4th quarter.  If you know the budget you have, now is a great time to select your gifts for customers and employees. This will decrease the stock concerns, rush charges, and shipping issues.

And if you are thinking “now is too early,” just remember…we have seen this movie before!  Let’s be prepared to learn from the past and make this 4th quarter a bit less frantic than the last couple!

These are 3 important facts that we see about branded merchandise.  If you have questions or concerns, please reach out and let us know!  We would love to deliver some marketing joy to you!

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Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.