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Are you looking for ways to keep your brand top of mind?
Consider selling your own merch.
Merchandising is a popular promotional tool for rock bands, small businesses, and corporations.
If you don’t know how to come up with merch ideas, I can help you.
I’ve compiled a list of the best merch ideas for brands that you can use for your online store or merch table.
Best Merch Ideas
1. Apparel Ideas and Bags
(Source: Google Official Merchandise Store)
Custom t-shirts are one of the easiest yet most effective band merch ideas. Thus, it’s unsurprising that every band has a “band t-shirt.” Chances are, you and others you know have at least one band shirt in their t-shirt collection.
The great thing about t-shirts is that the best print-on-demand companies make them easy to make in bulk at a reasonable price.
Tank tops are more laid back than t-shirts. Take notes from brands like Billabong that use design elements to turn plain tank tops into summer staples.
Jean Jackets or Hoodies
(Source: Food Beast)
Jackets and long-sleeve shirts are great clothing merch ideas for their versatility. Increase the hype by staying true to your brand voice. Arby’s and Old Spice’s comedic collab kit featured beef-print jackets and pants for tackling “meat sweats.”
(Source: Geeky Jerseys)
Sports fans are some of the most genuine followers you’ll have. You don’t have to be a sports brand to create and sell jerseys. Geeky Jerseys makes team merch ideas, repping movies and games from pop culture.
(Source: Positive Promotions)
Drawstring bags are great for merch products for daily casual use. You can also use drawstring bags as packaging for other promotional items, making them a great print-on-demand choice for big events.
(Source: Hub City)
Custom tote bags have a massive printable area, making them perfect for creative designs. Author Nana Nkweti used a clever graphic of a bookshelf to promote her short story collection.
Backpacks have a promotional reach similar to t-shirts. National Geographic backpacks appeal to fans with features useful to their target market, such as tripod holders.
(Source: The Color Run store)
The past few years have seen fanny packs make a resurgence. The Color Run, an annual five-kilometer run held worldwide, makes its line. The bags carry important accessories and raise awareness every time racers train.
(Source: A24 store)
Baseball caps are simple, functional, and affordable. Use embroidery to give caps extra depth. Play with short yet creative slogans. Film production company A24 introduced a clever twist to their name by spelling out “24.”
(Source: John Deere)
Farming companies first gave out trucker hats as promotional items in the ’80s. John Deere’s vintage trucker hat shows how high foam fronts work perfectly for logo merchandise ideas.
(Source: Hot Poc)
Known for being warm and cozy, beanies are ideal for brands related to cold weather. Check out this collab between Hot Poc, a reusable hand warmer maker, and Protect Our Winters (POW).
(Source: Golden Hills Brewery)
Bandanas are typically cheaper than caps and are perfect for fundraising events. These accessories aren’t just for humans, too! Golden Hills Brewery wins itself cute mascots with a stylish bandana dog-owning patrons will love.
(Source: Ashmolean Shop)
Many people worldwide now wear face masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making masks one of the best merchandise ideas for brands.
Use catchy designs and vivid colors to make masks pop. The History of Science Museum’s mask protects and piques curious minds with Einstein’s popular equation in its original script.
Real estate on sunglasses is limited; you can only print along narrow strips of frame. Eyeglasses make up for the lack of space in functionality and style.
As practical accessories, mitts have a wide reach. Delivery drivers wearing these FedEx gloves advertise the company whenever they work.
(Source: Uber Eats)
The global socks market remains strong. Use bold colors and creative designs to draw attention, like these novelty socks from McDonald’s that guarantee you’ll be craving its burgers and fries.
Sneakers are high-value items. Drive hype by styling shoes according to your business or band’s vibe. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s sneaker features elements such as Gary’s signature and trademark quote.
Wallets and Cardholders
(Source: Bank of America)
Finance, travel, and luxury brands will find a natural fit with wallets and card holders. Bank of America, BMW, and Emirates are just a few with wallets and cardholders on their ecommerce platform.
(Source: Void Clothing)
Patches rally followers behind shared passions. They’re great types of merch as they can be sewn or ironed onto jackets, shirts, pants, or bags.
(Source: CStore Decisions)
Brands that sell survival gear, restaurants, and chefs can use lighters as promotional items. Check out these branded lighters from popular YouTubers, the BBQ Pit Boys.
3. Best Band Merch Ideas and Cool Collectibles
(Source: Sold Out Posters)
Make your posters a collector’s dream with album artwork they won’t hesitate to display. Beauties like the 2007 Coachella poster retail for hundreds of dollars.
(Source: Selling The Collectors Collection)
Fans love to get their hands on exclusive memorabilia. Badges for backstage crew and staff also make cool and unique band merch ideas for hardcore fans.
Collectors will spend serious money on figurines. Fans will pay hundreds of dollars for rare figures of iconic bands like Metallica and Kiss.
(Source: Custom Trading Cards)
You don’t have to be in gaming or sports to leverage the marketing potential of trading cards. Tech company Arrow Electronics used trading cards to showcase different products.
If you’re looking for funny merch ideas, go all in with custom playing cards. Don’t be afraid to get wonderfully bizarre. Take a look at this eccentric combo: monster-themed playing cards and mayonnaise.
Keychains are useful and cheap to manufacture. Bud Light’s keychain doubles as a bottle opener, a smart way to stay on top of the minds of thirsty fans.
Stickers find their way onto laptops, notebooks, walls, tumblers–virtually anything can be a canvas for sticker lovers, making them good company merch ideas.
Bumper Sticker Magnets
With bumper sticker magnets, fans can show their support without marring their paint job.
(Source: America’s National Parks)
Originally a product of ’90s pop culture, pins are again perfect art merch ideas. The National Park Service has a collection of pins featuring its parks, encouraging people to visit them all.
(Source: Steiner Sports Memorabilia)
Autographs are a way to connect with fans and boost engagement. The good thing about autographed items is that fans are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy them if they’re from a famous band, musician, Hollywood actor, actress, or athlete.
4. Music and Instruments
(Source: Taylor Swift store)
A guitar pick is a meaningful and valuable band merch idea. Taylor Swift’s father, Scott Swift, is known for handing out guitar picks at her concerts, making shows more memorable for fans.
Guitar capos are tremendous band merch ideas for anyone in the music industry. Pop your brand logo (or your band’s logo) on a rivet and remind fans of your music every time they play.
Guitar straps are ideal band merch, whether you’re an artist or own a production music business. Legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea had a line of funky straps that featured his drawings.
Drumsticks make cool band merch for your band’s merch table. Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker’s drumsticks are visually striking and durable, perfect for a musician known for a wild playing style.
(Source: We Are K-Pop)
Booklets, cases, and discs give bands a lot of material to customize with your band’s image. K-pop groups like BTS sell collector CD sets with eye-catching boxes.
Custom Vinyl Records
(Source: Ed Sheeran)
Vinyl records feature prominently on the walls of music halls–they can even make cool club merch ideas. Even contemporary artists like Ed Sheeran regularly make vinyl recordings of albums.
5. Tech and Gadgets
Phone Grips or Pop Sockets
(Source: Pop Socket)
You can choose from grips like Pop Socket-type knobs and barely-there finger straps. Pop Socket regularly collaborates with Disney and Pokemon for exclusive grips.
(Source: St. Baldrick’s Foundation)
Phone cases are like tiny billboards for your promotional photo and are great if you want to raise money and awareness. St. Baldrick’s Foundation held a competition and used the winning art to make phone cases.
(Source: Geek Alerts)
There’s always a need for USB drives in a data-driven world, so they’re great giveaways. You can do crazy, creative designs to build buzz. Budweiser once made a USB drive that was floating around in real beer!
(Source: PR Newswire)
People watch videos on their phones for everything, from cooking tutorials to binge-watching Netflix. Popl took advantage of that proximity with a stand that connects to their iOS and Android apps.
(Source: Starbucks Facebook Page)
Users choose laptops over PCs because they’re portable, and sleeves are a must-have for protecting them against the rigors of travel.
(Source: ROG Asus)
Laptop bags are a must for techies and remote workers. Asus knows RBG is like catnip for gamers and designed its laptop bag with functional lighting and pass-through charging slots.
Webcam Slider Cover
(Source: Geek Tech Branding)
Slider covers protect users’ privacy while promoting your brand–they’re always in sight. They’re also small and relatively cheap to produce in bulk for trade shows and conferences.
Wireless speakers are a staple in the boardroom and tailgaters. EDM festival Tomorrowland partnered with JBL to create exclusive Bluetooth speakers for ravers and music lovers.
Powers banks are a natural fit for brands in travel. They can also work for companies like Ferrari, whose branding revolves around power under the hood.
(Source: One Esports)
Always wrapped around the heads of gamers and musicians, headphones are a smart choice for streamers, game developers, and eSports players looking for team gear ideas or YouTube merch ideas.
AirPods are easy to lose, so cases are a necessity. Cases come in any shape, and I advise getting creative with designs so customers won’t hesitate to whip out.
(Source: Branded Tile)
GPS trackers hang from things that matter, keeping them and your brand close at hand. Sleek and slim, Tile trackers pair well with corporate and tech brands like Telstra and Fujitsu.
(Source: Novel Tees)
Wireless chargers are lifesavers, and that positive association can help raise goodwill for your brand. Choose a look that pairs well with your brand. This charger, designed to look like a stone, is perfect for advertising the wilderness of Oregon.
6. Outdoors and Travel
(Source: The Star Wars Store)
Creative tags are easier to spot in a sea of bags and will impact everyone waiting around the luggage carousel. This custom tag from Star Wars riffs on an iconic line will make fans look wherever it goes.
Reusable water bottles have been popular for a decade. Gatorade has capitalized on the trend with a wide selection of colorful tumblers.
Insulated water tumblers keep drinks chilled and are must-haves for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This Vans x Hydroflask tumbler appeals to fans of the skating brand with iconic design flairs such as a waffle-pattern bottle protector.
(Source: Famous Campaigns)
Picnic blankets are comfortable and portable. You don’t have to print massive logos to make an impact. Take McDonald’s Sweden’s GPS blanket, which you can scan to have food delivered to your exact coordinates.
Beach bags are suitable if you are in the swimwear or travel business. The Make Waves Beach Bag by Stella Jean and ROXY embodies the collective’s sustainable, ethical fashion brand.
Reusable Shopping Bag
(Source: Leeds United)
Sky’s the limit with reusable bags, thanks to print-on-demand companies. Print anything on these eco-friendly tote bags, from tour dates to team logos.
Beach towels are known for bright and preppy colors, but the Stranger Things team went the other way to stay true to the Hellfire Surf Club brand.
(Source: MTG Proshop)
Promotional umbrellas are all-year accessories. Its size gives you plenty of space to put logos or quotes. Or, if you’re like Wizards of the Coast, turn the umbrella into a giant, blood-red die.
Athletes like runners and cyclists use gaiters, a great way to put your brand front and center. The NFL makes gaiters to unite fans under their favorite athlete or team.
(Source: Airline Employees Shop)
Travel brands are uniquely positioned to make organizers. See Delta Air Lines’ passport case celebrating the company’s long history with vintage bag stickers.
Vent clips keep your brand fresh because of where they’re placed on the dashboard. Attract even more attention by using a unique shape.
7. Home and Kitchen
Restaurants and food businesses can have a lot of fun with magnets. For example, check out Red Tomato’s push-button magnet that orders pizza for you.
(Source: 007 Store)
Naturally sleek and stylish, wine stoppers champion your brand effortlessly as they sit on home bars. Use on-brand design elements. This suave James Bond stopper will pair with any bottle of fine wine.
(Source: Dragon Glassware)
Glasses can work well for vineyards, breweries, and as movie-tie-ins as this Barbie set. Chic and pink, these wine glasses embody the brand from rim to base.
Like reusable plastic bags, steel straws have become the de facto way to sip for the eco-conscious. You can customize the straws and use a cleaning brush to complete your swag bag set.
(Source: Ads of the World)
Custom mugs hang around customers the whole day, as will any design on them. Coffee mugs from WWF feature a bear that disappears when you pour hot water into it, raising awareness for global warming.
(Source: Three Notch’d)
Coasters are practical merch ideas fans will love to display. Leather coasters are a particularly good fit for businesses like breweries and craft distilleries.
(Source: White House Gifts)
Aprons are useful and usually hang on a hook, increasing brand visibility. This official White House apron lets the world know your cooking’s good enough for the President.
(Source: Wyke Farms)
Oven mitts protect hands while placing your brand in front of cooks, bakers, and their customers. Cheesemaker Wyke Farms designed their oven glove to help customers remove their cheesy creations from the oven.
(Source: James Blunt)
Tea towels are versatile accessories that let your brand always shine in a person’s kitchen. Lean into the niche and go with designs related to cooking, or be like James Blunt and use it as a unique way to promote album art.
(Source: Fine Art America)
Yoga mats don’t always have to be all lotus flowers and alignment lines. This yoga mat from artist Michael Tompsett maximizes the length of mats to fit an expansive line art of Manhattan’s streets.
Doormats see heavy foot traffic, ensuring everyone sees your brand at least once. Tufted rugs have become popular among crafters, opening the floor for incredible custom merch.
8. Office and Stationery
Notebook or Journal
You’ll always need a notebook. No app can substitute for the satisfying scratch of a pen on paper. Notebooks like this Burn Book from the movie Mean Girls can be designed after iconic brand elements.
Planners are helpful, and that helps establish a positive connection to your brand. The front cover is prime real estate for cool designs. These Friends planners feature artwork many fans will love.
(Source: Disney Asia Shop)
Notepads are essential accessories for students, artists, and office workers. Many notepads lean into the theme, like this Monsters University Padfolio that features Mike Wazowski’s ID card and his to-do list.
Pens are low-hanging fruit that are easy to make in bulk and endlessly useful. Stand out with custom designs like this Automobili Lamborghini 60° fountain pen that incorporates elements from iconic supercars.
(Source: Trinity College)
Bookmarks raise brand awareness every time customers read. These items are trendy merch for libraries and universities. Trinity College created one of its famous Long Room, keeping the item on-brand for students, faculty, and bookworms.
Calendars are popular merch for fandoms. Movie studios, book publishers, bands, and game developers can make calendars as memorabilia for new content.
(Source: Everything Everything Store)
Lyric books give music fans another way to enjoy songs. I’d recommend using creative graphics to emphasize the themes of your lyrics.
(Source: Blizzard Gear)
Desk mats are popular amongst gamers, who love upgrading their rig with creative merch ideas that feature their favorite characters.
(Source: Call of Duty shop)
Mouse pads make cool merch items. This mouse pad features a Call of Duty eSports team, their vibrant colors letting everyone know who you’re rooting for.
9. Art and Decor
You can make exquisite candles for your brand with various essential oils. It doesn’t have to be all lavender and sage. Brands have played with odd scents for their merch store, like this gravy-scented candle from KFC.
(Source: Valley Cruise Press)
Use a throw blanket as a fun way to decorate and make fans happy. Lifestyle brand Valley Cruise Press keeps its eco-conscious slant strong with a throw blanket that features compostable fruits and veggies.
Walls are like large canvases full of decorating potential. Beautiful pieces like this official The Legend of Zelda tapestry breathe life into empty spaces and are cute merch ideas.
(Source: Grey’s Anatomy Merch shop)
Wall clocks are good merch for brand exposure. These themed clocks for Grey’s Anatomy tell you the time–and that it’s time to binge-watch again.
Canvas Art Prints
(Source: Disney Art On Main)
You can make a whole merch collection from canvas prints. Marvel’s online store holds scores of print merch examples in different art styles.
Wall decals give you more freedom, as you can install them without drilling. The company Fathead makes officially licensed, even reusable decals.
(Source: Pokemon Center)
Plant pots are niche custom merch design ideas, but you can have much fun with them with a little creativity. This Bulbasaur-shaped plant pot is a great find for green-thumbed trainers.
Art books are behind-the-scenes, all-access passes for the creative process. Books like Ghostbuster: The Ultimate Visual History also make fantastic coffee tables and conversation starters.
(Source: Terry Pratchett)
Puzzles immerse fans in your brand for hours and become year-round decor. Sell custom scenes that will challenge players. This Discworld puzzle depicts a cool design featuring beloved characters.
(Source: University Coop)
Adults have turned to crayons and colors to relax in the past decade. Engage customers by using artist merch ideas to tell your history. IRIS The Coloring Book showcases the fashion icon’s life.
(Source: USDA US Forest Service)
Temporary tattoos remove the steep commitment needed to get inked while retaining its charm and beauty. Most temporary tattoos still last weeks, so create designs that your followers would proudly wear on their skin.
(Source: Sega Shop)
Stress balls are helpful merch items. With a little inspiration, you can make stress balls that soothe by feel and sight. It’s hard to stay angry with a cute Sonic stress ball in your hand.
10. Unique Merch Ideas
(Source: Fast Company)
Consider unique pet accessories if you want weird merch ideas. Take a look at ad agency Rooster New York’s headphones for cats.
Tie in beer to beverages in the movie or book, and you have a refreshing drink and your merch idea in one. This novelty beer brings Warnog, the Klingon beer of choice, to life for franchise fans.
(Source: Moshi Moshi)
Say what you want about Cruella, but her makeup game is always impeccable. It’s an easy quirk to turn into a merch idea, and makeup brand MAC did just that with its Cruella makeup collection.
(Source: Makes Food Scents)
Lip balms are great, unique custom merch for food brands. M&M has already released their line of lip balms, one in every color, so you can always grab your favorite hue.
The real merch idea potential of hand sanitizers is in its containers. You can get fairly creative with the holders’ designs while keeping the formula simple and generic.
(Source: Nintendo Japan)
Start selling merch that hits cravings. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolates, especially if they’re custom-molded like some pieces from this Animal Crossing tin.
(Source: Sugoi Mart)
Follow up your chocolate DIY merch ideas with marshmallows. Aside from chocolates, Animal Crossing also created a box of marshmallows printed with characters from the game.
If you’re looking for creative merchandise ideas online, consider making games. This Critical Role Rubik’s cube uses the toy’s faces to feature the show.
11. Digital Merch Strategies
Personal calls let you get closer to fans in a way physical items can’t. Personalizing chats with details from their messages beforehand goes a long way in making this merch idea genuinely unforgettable for fans.
(Source: Rakuten Kobo)
An eBook is a fantastic way to invite fans into your process and tell your story. One Direction’s official book charts the band’s meteoric rise, with handwritten notes for that personal touch.
Chord Charts and Sheet Music
Fans will love sheet music if they listen to the band’s music and play an instrument. Sheet music allows fans to play their favorite songs how they’re meant to be played.
(Source: Disney Singapore)
Licensed phone backgrounds will look crisp at any resolution. They’re also low-cost small business merch ideas.
Your lyrics and your own music are what keep fans coming back. Imagine how happy they’d be to hear your musical chops bringing their favorite memories to life!
Sometimes, words or photos aren’t enough to capture the magic of a moment in the studio. A video library opens your day-to-day to fans curious about the artist when they’re not on stage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are the Most Popular Merch Products?
Fans love things they can use every day. Shirts, water bottles, mugs, and tote bags are some of the best-selling forms of merch on ecommerce sites and merch tables.
Where Can I Buy Branded Merch?
It depends on the type of merch and the band or brand you’re interested in. Bands, artists, celebrities, and famous brands often have a Merchandise section on their official websites where you can find t-shirts, coffee mugs, tumblers, and more.
I recommend going to the website of the band or brand you’re interested in and looking for the Merchandise section.
What Are Some Cheap Merch Ideas?
Smaller items are generally cheaper to procure in bulk. Think pens, webcam covers, stickers, guitar picks, and keychains.
The Bottom Line
I hope my list of merch ideas has helped you consider the merchandise you can sell online or in-store.
Don’t hesitate to try any of the cool merch ideas on my list, but ensure you pick an idea that suits your niche and target market.
Some of the best viral merch comes from strange pairings, so don’t be afraid to try creative merch ideas!