Music Merchandising: Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts
Finding an artist, creating music, and taking the show on the road seems like the most logical way to make money when you’re in the music business. If you’re looking to expand on your investment and make more of an impact, creating more revenue for everyone involved, you’ll need to get into music merchandising.
The world of music merchandising can be treacherous, so a few do’s and don’ts can help guide you through the process.
What is Music Merchandising?
Let’s take a moment to see what you’re getting into as you launch into the world of music merchandising.
This is where you go from creating art to running a business. Merchandising takes what’s been created by the artist and puts value on the product, creating a revenue stream.
Commonly centered around simply promoting the artist, the industry is involved in everything from marketing to promoting products and music. Anything the artist needs to make money, the merchandiser creates a plan to achieve that goal.
Stay True to Yourself
When you’re trying to reach a certain monetary goal, it can be tempting to step outside the box and cash in on what’s “hot” at the moment. Instead, identify what your brand is and which areas you can market. Fans who will end up purchasing from the team want a product or service that they can associate with the artist. Stick to your identity and focus on what makes you unique in the industry and appealing to your fans.
Don’t Follow the Trends
Trends are everywhere. They permeate social media, surround you in the form of your peers, and can quickly overwhelm the team as they try to stick to your identity. Skip the trends and stay with the tried and true methods that have worked in the past. They’ll help you create and follow your identity as a band or artist and keep the fans coming back for more.
The Tour Tee
One of the simplest ways to promote an upcoming tour or get the dates out to the public isn’t a social media campaign; it’s a t-shirt. The classic “tour tee” has all the dates for an upcoming tour printed, making it easy for everyone to see and recognize. As fans wear it around the city, country, and world, it’s free advertising for you.
Don’t Bring Too Many Choices
When you’re in the midst of a tour, selling products left and right, the lines to your table or booth can get long—offering too many products while on tour can frustrate fans from waiting in line and make tracking of your inventory impossible. Choose a few products that fit your identity as a group and offer them in select designs.
3. Do Instead of Tell
Wear Your Own Merch
Everyone loves to see an artist and their team rocking their product! This goes for when you’re spending time around the booth and out on stage. Showing rather than simply telling is the best way to put a product out for everyone to see and showcase the appeal.
Don’t Brush Off the Designs
The design, style, and feel of your merchandise are important. Instead of opting only for the cheapest options or designs that don’t quite match your style, investing in the style and design can give you a better grasp of what you’re trying to sell. It’ll also match your identity and brand more closely and be more comfortable to wear for you and your team.
4. Personal Touches
Hang Out at the Merch Table
Music merchandising isn’t just about t-shirts, mugs, and knick-knacks; it’s also about connecting with and meeting fans. The best way to do that is by simply spending time at the merchandise booth or table and shaking your fans’ hands. A t-shirt will only go so far, but the impact of taking pictures and shaking hands is priceless. Building your base’s loyalty in this way is simple and effective.
Don’t Over Extend Yourself
It can be tempting to stay late, help people work around lines, or create entirely new means to let people work around the system. If you’re always letting people stay late to meet the artist or creating shortcuts for people, word will get out, and you’ll end up with a mess. Stick to your boundaries and time limits as best you can so you’ve got a standard.
If you’re just starting out with music merchandising, make sure you don’t go overboard. Investing in products can get expensive quickly, and if you don’t quite have a base to buy them all, it can leave you with unsold products. Starting with a few products as you gain popularity and keeping a limited inventory can help keep costs lower and build your reputation simultaneously.
Don’t Get Caught Up With Ideas That Don’t Work
Even if you love a new design or product, it doesn’t mean it’ll go over well with your intended audience. Instead of continuing with this same idea or product, move on to new things that connect with your fans more meaningfully. Changing things up can be good, but when ideas aren’t working or connecting like you thought they would, it’s best to simply move on and try something different.
Building a brand for your artist or band takes a lot of work. Not only does the music need to be something that appeals to the audience, the brand as a whole, from merchandise to social media platforms, has to remain focused on the central identity of the company.
One key area that you can always continue to grow to start making a profit is music merchandising. Starting with some simple products and investing your time, you’ll be able to connect with audience members and promote the brand without constantly having to post on social media or create expensive marketing campaigns.
Music merchandising offers a simple way to continue promotion and connection through products and events, so your audiences start to grow.