Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

Why You Need Music Merchandizing, Even if You’re a Brand

April 5, 2017 - by Joseph Heller

Why You Need Music Merchandizing, Even if You’re a Brand

What do you, a Swedish clothing company and Kanye West have in common?

You’re about to make millions. At least, Kanye is.

If you’re a band or brand owner, I want you to pay attention. And if you’re a music lover who loves great gear, read on because how you buy swag is about to change awesomely.

Musician-branded apparel and accessories has been a revenue stream for artists ever since the Beatles began appearing on lunchboxes.  But now it’s growing into a highly potent money-maker for clothing companies, too.

Sweden-based H&M recently joined forces with Canadian rapper The Weeknd in the latest high-profile partnership between clothing brands and musician brands.

And while few artists have the Midas touch that landed Kanye West a $10 million contract with Nike for his designer shoe line, the lesson seems clear: being a fan these days means more than buying an album. It means buying a lifestyle and its accessories.

So how can The/Studio customers benefit?

This new wave of fashion-quality music-related merchandise doesn’t surprise me. As someone who’s followed fashion trends for nearly a decade, I can tell you this is part of a larger movement into niche-marketing, prompted in part by social media.

And it’s millions of potential profit currently wasted by companies not engaging in cultural trends with an “on-demand industrial network” like what we offer at The/Studio.

It’s a system that has the power to rocket small bands to the forefront of apparel, topple huge fashion giants and help dedicated fans get their favorite gear months before it could arrive in store.

The/Studio knows a thing or two about tapping into the power of music-based apparel. Our customer list includes big-names that I can’t mention who are signing multi-million dollar deals with apparel companies. But sometimes those apparel companies can’t get orders to market fast enough, and that’s when big names turn to us.

Just how profitable is band merch, you ask?

For some artists, it’s their entire income. Rapper “Chance,” who co-wrote Life of Pablo with Kanye West, has never charged for his music. But…

“I have a very successful merchandise business. I sell merchandise online … that’s my main revenue,” Chance said in a recent DJ Booth interview. I like to think part of his $9 million network has to do with having some seriously good merch.

That’s a success story I’d like bands and brands across the country to hear. Culture-centric merchandise is powerful because it engages something your fans naturally love. I can say that because it’s an explosive trend we have over a decade of experience in.

Let me leave you with one last fact I find amazing: our average pricing for an order of ten products with standard customization is just above its actual retail value.

That sort of pricing can’t be found on Alibaba unless you’re talking order sizes of 500 and are willing to dial way back on customization like custom trim or embroidery. In technical industry terms, that leads to “junk that gets stuck on the clearance rack.”

Small-batch, high-customization and relevant apparel is the future, and that’s why we’re already building collections for musicians, brands and fans.

Gear that creates buzz and legitimately excites people?

That’s where the market’s heading.

See the future for yourself at The/Studio, a place where artists and brands create high-quality apparel and accessories for fractions of our competitors’ prices. Free design assistance and shipping make joining the fashion revolution as easy a signing an autograph. Submit a quote request and get a free consultation call with our creative experts — what can we help you get started today?

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