When it comes to marketing, branded merchandise is often thought of as a useful add-on. Part of a larger overall promotional strategy. And yet, when it comes to brand recognition, sometimes the merchandise is the first thing that comes to mind.
When we consider the power it has, it begs the question – Is it possible to build your brand with merchandise as the key driver?
Let’s take a look at three companies that we feel did just that.
Three Companies. Three Bags. Three Examples of a Brand being built on the streets.
FITNESS FIRST: When you join Fitness First, you receive a branded backpack as part of your membership package. Makes sense – now you have the perfect bag to carry all your exercise kit around in. As an added bonus, you are now a willing participant in an ongoing marketing campaign for your gym of choice. The Fitness First backpacks are everywhere – spotted on the backs of bike riders weaving in and out of traffic, slung over the hurried shoulders of commuters on their way to work, jostling for space on the train at the end of the day. The backpacks act as a constant reminder. Every day people are getting fit. Going to the gym. And there are no prizes for guessing where.
DELIVEROO: Launched in Australia in 2015, this food delivery company didn’t take long to make its mark. In fact, you would be hard pushed to find a Sydney-sider who hasn’t seen the heavily branded Deliveroo driver out on the streets. With their distinctive grey and turquoise jackets and logo covered, high-vis delivery cases they are hard to miss. Their fast-pedaling fleet are a marketing strategy on the move, building brand recognition as fast as the food.
LULULEMON: Way before inspirational quotes on Instagram were a thing, this retail giant was reminding us that ‘friends are more important than money’ and to ‘do one thing a day that scares you.’ I doubt there is a woman alive (well, at least not one that I know) who hasn’t at some stage owned, or come across, the classic Lululemon reusable tote. Offered free with purchase, the bags come in a variety of sizes (shopping/gym/lunch) and cleverly align the brand with the kind of environmentally conscious lifestyle their customers identify with. Reusable bags are built for just that – to be used, used and used again. That way everyone remembers who Lululemon are and nobody forgets that ‘your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.’