A Brief History of Branded Merchandising

Take a look into this brief history of branded merchandising which has been provided by etc. Branding.

Branded merchandise dates back as far as the US election for George Washington in 1789. The use of campaign buttons (or badges) was proven effective as a way to advertise himself for the Presidential Elections. Moving into the 19th century, the inclusion of advertising calendars and rulers was more prominent.

There was still a lack of infrastructure for the creation and distribution of promotional branded merchandise. Jasper Meeks is considered to be the original driving force behind the branded merchandise industry.

His idea, while simple, was effective. Printing shop logos on bags for customers to take home. These events are the ones on record, however, there may be more history on branded merchandise that predates the 18th century.

When did promotional merchandise become popular in the UK?

Promotional merchandise in the UK started to be used by corporations in the 1950’s, before this the occasional gift was sent but nothing that represents branded merchandise as we know it now.

Fast forward to 1970 and the appetite for branded merchandise was high. Many companies began to see the importance of merchandise to help grow their business and create a cohesive brand.

Brand recognition is one of the most important, yet difficult to track marketing strategies. However, with the right knowledge, you can make branded merchandise the key to winning business. Starting with Event Branding.

Event Branding – where to be and how to be successful

For your events to be successful, you need to ensure your branding carries over to your stand and merchandise. When we mention branding, we mean the exact colours you use on your website, the font, and the tone of voice you use for your PR pieces.

 The brand you have created over time, tells your client who you are and what they can expect from working with you. This brand needs to be carried over into each individual aspect of merchandise and event products.Event branding starts weeks before you realise it. Ensuring your social media accounts are up to date with the events you are attending is the first step. Including email banners in your corporate email accounts is the next step. From there you can incorporate your event into unique items that sit perfectly within your business.

How do I track event merchandise?

A way to track which event is successful would be to alter the items you take to each event. For example, an event in June could be an item that not only shares a connection with your company but also could be more summer-focused.

 Perhaps you have two or three brand colours? If you prefer to use pens and notebooks as your branded merchandise, you could request batches of pens or notebooks in one of your brand colours for one event, and another batch in an alternative brand colour for the other. This is a clear and simple way to segment your merchandise with each event.

Creating these segments and using them to assist you in calculating the return on investment will provide you with tangible data. This can in turn be used to assess which events work best for you, as well as which promotional items work best for your brand.

Branded merchandise, and branding in general, is curated over time. Over the years businesses evolve, and the thought processes behind branding can drive the change you want to see in your business. When you actively work on what makes you successful and recognisable, you are able to accurately market your company through branding and events.


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