Custom merchandise as a branding tool

by Carter Toni

branding tool

Having people remember your brand is not always an easy task. You are probably already using a lot of tools to achieve it, but it is always good to explore more options. And today we are here to offer another one – custom merchandise for your brand. Something you might have thought about before but haven’t yet dived into. Let’s begin!

What can be custom merchandise

Custom merchandise can be lots of things. Starting with pens and pencils and ending with water bottles and raincoats. In this article though we will explore the options of a few merchandise items – t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, canvas, and wallpaper.


T-shirt is an amazing item to create as merchandise. However, the tricky part is, how to make it look cool and chic, so people actually want to wear it. If a t-shirt is not a part of your work dress code (for example, shop assistant), you need to make them look more like fashion items and less like merchandise.

It can be achieved by creating a custom design that looks appealing and adding a small logo somewhere on the shirt but making the main attraction the design. That can also be a quote or a saying, it doesn’t have to be a graphic design. Make it trendy and fresh. And your employees will gladly wear the t-shirt outside the work setting as well.


Hoodies are best for offices where a casual dress code is embraced. The same rules apply to hoodies as to t-shirts – create a wonderful design that will delight the wearer and find a smaller spot for your logo. The design doesn’t have to be something unrelated to your work, it can be an inside joke or something just people in your niche will understand. Just remember to make it nice and high quality so people want to wear their work hoodie on weekends as well.

Tote bags

Tote bags are the perfect canvas for custom merchandise used for branding. They are relatively cheap and can easily be used as a corporative gift. Employees will also gladly use a tote bag with your branding for their shopping and other carrying needs. You can create a tote bag with a cute design, but in this case, it is totally fine to use just your logo and/or tagline. People will still use the bag even if it doesn’t have an enticing design. Of course, if you want to have plus points, combine those two – add a logo, but also add a design. It is up to you what you choose.


Canvas can be a great corporative gift. You just need to be smart about it – don’t use just your logo, create a design, create a story, add a saying or a quote. Treat it as an art piece and then as a branding tool. But don’t forget the branding. It is important to get your logo and brand somewhere on the canvas.


Wallpaper is an amazing branding tool for your office. Just create your custom-made wallpaper for the whole office space! Definitely work with a designer to make it look good. Everyone who will take a picture in your office will have the wallpaper in the background. This is a moment where you can definitely use your logo and tagline. This is your office after all! You can make it as big and bold as you like, just remember that it still needs to look modern and office appropriate.

What about those gifts?

So you have your customer merchandise printed, should you just give them out as gifts to your employees, clients, or business partners?

Definitely be smart about it. Think about the merchandise creation cost and the expected return of investment when you give out your merchandise. Of course, you cannot directly calculate how much one printed t-shirt will bring back in return, but you can have a rough idea or even a feeling.

You might want to think about giving employees some merchandise as gifts on special days – for example, their birthday or work anniversary. If the merchandise item is something bigger and more expensive, you can have it as a prize for the employee of the month. Of course, you can always just treat your employees and give them some of the merchandise for free, no special occasion.

The same applies to business partners and clients. It all depends on how many of them you have and how willing you are to give your merchandise out. You can always wait for a special occasion or work event. But you can also just delight someone you enjoy working with with a gift.

What’s the key?

The key is to make your merchandise memorable and your brand clearly readable. Create a good design, brand it, and set it free into the world. The more people see your brand name, the more they will want to work with you. We are always leaning toward the familiar, and that is exactly what branding does – makes us familiar with your brand so next, we need to choose something, we choose yours. Just remember, when you are creating custom merchandise make the logo or your tagline clearly visible but don’t make it always the central element. You can do it! May your branding dreams come true!

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