While it can be exhilarating for a new business owner to get their own business up and running, opening up a new business can be fraught with challenges of many kinds. This is one reason why, according to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), at least 66% of new businesses will fail within the first two years of opening their doors.
The good news is, things certainly don't have to turn out this way for every business. The relatively small percentage of new businesses that survive and thrive over the long term have certain fundamental qualities in common, and having a robust, targeted, and well-planned brand merchandising strategy in place is one of these fundamental commonalities.
That being said, many owners of new businesses may know very little about the nuts and bolts of getting a brand merchandising program up and running. This posting will help such business owners and marketing professionals gain a basic understanding of the steps that they should take and evolve to fit their unique brand needs in order to create their very own successful brand merchandising strategy.
Related: What is Brand Merchandising?
What are Some Easy Steps to Setting Up a Brand Merchandising Program?
1. Define the Demographic
The first step in this process will be for business owners to take a careful look at their products and services and then decide which segment or segments of the population will likely find their products to be valuable. By carefully defining who they will be selling to, business owners can apply this knowledge to better design their products or services.
2. Create a Mission Statement
Another important part of the brand marketing process is establishing what the business stands for. This can be defined as figuring out what the ultimate purpose of the business is, the unique story behind the brand and what kinds of values the business reflects with its products. Doing so will greatly help evolve the merchandising strategy.
3. Design a Brand Identity for the Business
Next, business owners will want to create memorable, unique, and appropriate logos and identities for their businesses. An easy way to do this is to consult with a design company for their input on the matter. Business owners who are able to communicate the missions and demographic targets of their firms will be giving graphic artist valuable material that they can use to create iconic images and visual aesthetics that will stick in the minds of potential customers and connect with them in an authentic way.
4. Create an Online Presence
Whether or not a given business is virtual or has a store front, it is essential to create an effective online presence. The first step in this process will be to obtain a unique domain name, and if the name of the business in question in unique, then this step will be easy.
Once a domain name has been established, business owners will want to build their own proprietary websites that promote their products or services. Such websites can come in many forms, including blogs, self-help services, and even virtual storefronts.
Once this part is done, it will be time to link the business websites with social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. Since many people use their social media platforms on a daily basis, making sure to have an active presence on these platforms can provide a ready and continuous form of brand advertising. Making sure to create a branded business email address will make it easy for interested customers to contact the businesses in question, and can thus further grease the wheels of commerce.
5. Order Branded Products to Merchandise
Deciding on which products to offer to consumers that will make the biggest impact and gain the most return for the business requires thought and strategy. To help guide the selection, it is important to have a strong understanding of who the target audience is, and what items are trending among that demographic that will align in tandem with the ethos of the business.
Partnering with a branding agency at this point to strategize and execute can be highly beneficial to the overall success of the program. Once the collection of items are decided on, whether it be hoodies, pocket tees, drinkware, custom hats, or what-have-you, graphic designers can lay out the artwork to incorporate the brand's visual aesthetic into the branding of the items. Once produced, these branded products can be distributed in whatever way business owners see fit to support their marketing efforts.
6. Determine Channels to Distribute Branded Merchandise
Another important step, which may come earlier in the processes depending on the strategy at hand, will be determining how to get the branded products into the hands of potential customers. Popular channels such as setting up an ecommerce store on the business' website, using these items as giveaways on social media and email marketing campaigns, hosting or sponsoring events such as concerts, sporting competitions, trade shows, and more can be fertile ground for such efforts.
As can be seen, it doesn't have to be a complicated process to set up an effective brand merchandising program. Businesses that take this advice and apply it to their efforts in an authentic way will make positive strides towards thriving in today's dynamic business environment.
So, where should you go to get started? Our branding experts are here to help curate your custom merchandising program so it's unique to your brand and most effective for your business goals. Click below to contact us to explore the potential brand merchandising can bring to your company.