Making More Out Of Your Merch

WWhether it’s a T-shirt with a cool design or a small key chain, music fans have always loved buying merchandise from their favorite artist.

In the back of every concert venue you’re almost guaranteed to see a table set up selling merchandise. Both large bands and their smaller counterparts now rely on merchandise to be a huge part of their annual revenue.

Manhead Merch

Manhead Merch

The past 20 years have seen both the quality and variety of merchandise improve. There is a cool and exciting product out there for every fan. It is also easier than ever for bands to sell their products online and countless apps exist to help fans get their hands on merchandise. Sidestep is a mobile app that allows concert goers to bypass long lines and pre-order merchandise for either at-show pickup or delivery. With all the new ways to connect to fans, musicians shouldn’t hesitate at the opportunity to get their name out there.

In this day and age musicians should be looking for any way they can to increase their merchandise sales. I thought it would be helpful to provide these three simple tips to help bands develop their image:

  1. Know your audience. Over my years of working closely with musicians, I’ve often noticed my clients designing merchandise for themselves rather than for the fans. While it’s important to be creative with your merchandise it’s usually better to give your fans what they want. Your core fans will usually be the ones purchasing your products so it’s important that you appeal to them.
  2. Try new things. Every music scene is different and I am constantly seeing new products that “work”. Take advantage of trends by integrating them into your merchandise line. If a certain type of shirt style is becoming popular with your audience don’t be afraid to expand your line to include it.
  3. Take advantage of technology. The rise of technology can be looked at in both negative and positive ways. Lower prices due to technology have made it very easy for companies of all sizes to be competitive. Various plug-and-play ecommerce platforms and print-on-demand services allow you to manufacture a variety of products at a lower quantity to keep prices down. It is possible for every band to produce quality merchandise regardless of the scale.

Having a successful merchandising line isn’t dependent on you creating a fancy webstore with tons of cool products. Instead, aim to create an exciting online experience for your fans and then tie it all together with your social media marketing efforts. Nothing promotes the sale of your merchandise better than interacting with your fans.

To be honest, these tips closely resemble the approach we take at Manhead Merchandise with clients such as Fall Out Boy and Train. Often times when evaluating a new client we look to see if they have followed any of these strategies. This advice can be implemented almost effortlessly into your merchandising strategy. Then you get to watch as the sales pour in and your band starts to blow up.

Guest post by Chris Cornell, the Founder and President of Manhead Merchandise.