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  • Clare Tweed

Merchandising copywriter

When you run a business, it's difficult to find the time to make sure your marketing is achieving all you want it to achieve. With each successive marketing campaign, it feels like it becomes more and more difficult to produce the copy and the content which really engage new customers.


One new area of marketing which any business could consider is print on demand products displaying your company's brand. Print on demand is the customisation of individual products, which can include anything from shoes to shower curtains, to the brand that orders them.


This might seem like an unusual suggestion but it really does work for some companies - stick with us for two minutes to find out which companies it does work for and why.


The main advantages of print on demand products is that they can be produced individually by the supplier you choose meaning that they can be sold with no need to purchase stock or to hold them inside a warehouse. This makes this form of marketing accessible to the many companies which would find holding stock difficult.


Branded clothing and promotional goods offer a unique way to get your brand across to consumers but you have to do it right. In this article, we cover:


  • example uses of print on demand

  • who is using printed products to push their brand?

  • the use of copywriting to sell your print on demand products

  • who can help you write copy for your print on demand products?


Uses of print on demand


Print on demand for brands is a small but growing niche of the merchandising sector here in the UK allowing companies to sell a range of personalised products which previously weren't available to them. Although the standard options of t-shirts, hoodies, and mugs, have always been popular, more eclectic products like shower curtains are can now be manufactured on demand.


Increase brand exposure


Print on demand is available to any business as the end products are printed and posted by another company on your behalf. Although this means less money is made per product, it means that no physical warehouse space is needed nor time spent shipping merchandise to customers.


This makes print on demand a cost-effective method to diversify the ways in which a brand can be exposed to the wider public. It’s a form of marketing which fans of your company spend their own money on to display your logo.


Pre-launch publicity


What if your company isn't quite ready to take its products to market yet but you’ve already created an online buzz about it? Start-ups whose capital is tied up in design, production, and manufacturing can raise additional (albeit small) revenue by selling them separately to supporters or as part of a package to drum up support, for example during fundraising.


Kickstarter is a crowdfunding service which allows customers to invest a potential new product or creation before it is released to market. You may choose to offer customers a branded hoodie when they invest in you or you may choose to send a hoodie later on if you’re not going to be able to bring the product to market on time and you want to keep investors as happy as possible.


Engaging Customers


On the flipside, a company can use print on demand services to further engage with their customers. If you offer experience holidays, providing a print on demand item of clothing as part of the overall package may drive sales – this approach has been used by tour operators for many years.


Another example might be that a historical building produces a new collectible mug every month. The building’s most loyal fans would likely subscribe to a service like this raising valuable and needed additional funds for the charity, business, or organisation which owns the building.


As print on demand requires only a minimum order of one and production can be turned around quickly, the production process is suitable for limited edition collectibles.


Who is using printed products to push their brand?


Discord


Discord is a voice and text communications app for the gaming community. As part of their service, they introduced a marketing strategy called the "Hype Squad". The Hype Squad splits their community into thirds and provides each third their own distinct logos and personality – rather like “houses” within schools.


They only offer the merchandise to their most successful partners and users and this incentivisation encourages them to build large communities on the platform. By restricting distribution in this way, the merchandise is highly sought after.


RedBubble


RedBubble is a print on demand service provider allowing consumers and business to upload their own imagery which is then printed on a variety of products and sold. When they ship out a product to a consumer, they also include a sticker of their own brand produced by one of the artists on their site.


This has three benefits. First, the prominent RedBubble logo in each sticker shows off the company brand. Secondly, the added sticker highlights the work of another artist which the customer might decide to buy from in the future. Finally, the sticker is an unexpected addition to their purchase improving customer satisfaction.


The Boring Company


The Boring Company is a tunnelling company owned by TESLA founder, Elon Musk. Musk used the brand of The Boring Company to market and sell experimental merchandise using B2C methods.


This started with an embroidered cap followed by a working flamethrower. This imaginative and eccentric product was successful in positioning the brand as belonging to a unique company and the marketing campaign surrounding it resulted in thousands of impressions on the company’s website.


Copywriting and print on demand


These products succeeded because the approaches taken allowed each company to stand out against their competitors. Discord, especially, uses an idiosyncratic tone of voice on its site and in its marketing communications which its userbase appreciates.


Discovering the right tone of voice and then finding a way to project it to your target audience is essential to achieving additional brand exposure (and the resulting revenues) from print on demand service. Few people will buy a T-shirt which has no special meaning to them and this is why copywriting plays an important role in providing that meaning and excitement if you choose to launch your own merchandising range.


Success in merchandising starts with the production of content for your target audience followed by a press release and an advertising campaign.


Who can help you write copy for your print on demand products?


A decision to offer print on demand merchandising should be thoroughly explored before you take any action or commit any company resources. For some businesses like zoos, merchandising is a natural extension of their brand. For other companies, you have to build a convincing case that this is something your customer base will buy into.


If you are considering launching a merchandising range for your business and you’d like to speak with one of us about the marketing campaign needed to achieve maximum positive exposure, please contact clare@morethanwordsuk.co.uk or you can call us at 0330 010 8300.


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