6 Tips For Upping Your Music Merch Game

Bikes-rock-merch-tableYour merch game may start with a t-shirt and you should definitely have some of those. But to really please your fans while maximizing your revenue, getting creative with music merch is the way to go. At a recent CMJ panel, a group of music entrepreneurs and artists gathered to share their perspectives on going "beyond the tour t-shirt."

CMJ 2012 included a variety of educational panels including "Modern Merch: Beyond the Tour T-Shirt." The panel was moderated by Digital Cowboys' Dave Kusek who is co-founder and Chairman of the still to launch Merchluv. Panelists included Zach Bair, Mary Sparr and Alexandra Starlight.


Button & Postcard Set from Alexandra & The Starlight Band

Ale Delgado attended the panel and came away with 5 Ways To Go "Beyond the Tour T-Shirt" plus a bonus tip. I've taken the liberty of summarizing them as:

6 Tips For Upping Your Merch Game

1. Think of merch as an extension of your brand

Example: Alexandra Starlight's "one-of-a-kind rainbow glitter vinyl record" is a great match for her style and image.

2. Cater to your spectrum of fans

"You should have something at your merch table for the fan who just wants to snatch a free download card and for the fan who wants to buy everything."

3. Be show-specific

Example: Mumford & Sons created a ticket passport that could be stamped at the merch table at each show for those following the tour.

4. Work your merch like a pop-up shop

Display items so they're easy to see, stay organized and provide friendly customer service.

5. Extend the experience

Example: "Make sure there’s someone taking pictures of your show, including grabbing a few shots of the crowd. Then post it on Facebook and encourage your fans to tag themselves."

6. Include limited edition collectibles

Example: The Hold Steady Foam Hand is sold out and likely to be on display in the homes of fans.

It's an insightful post and well worth a closer look.


[Thumbnail image courtesy Incase.]

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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1 Comment

  1. The ticket passport is such a great idea. It really hammers home the point of getting the fans BACK to see you again. Emails are so important these days. Download cards, as mentioned, can be one of the best ways to do this. The artist gives something (an acoustic version or a B-side, etc) and the fan give something (an email). Building that email list is huge; just think about when it’s time to release that next record and you’ve got either 50 emails from a few friends and family or 1500 emails from fans who are consuming your music. So much of this can be done right from the merch table.

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