Roger Paterson
Roger Paterson
21 February 2018
Merchandise Print Brand Thinking
Reading Time
6 minutes
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The journey of expressing your identity

The journey of expressing your identity

Last week a former client called me. He wanted to talk about a few merchandise ideas that we presented to his team a while back that seemed to have stuck in his mind. Part of a recently rebranded FTSE 250 company, he wanted to resurrect the conversation as they were busy considering the best ways to express this new identity.

Keen not to simply replace the old logo with a new one on the same merchandise they’ve been using all along, there was clearly an ambition for something more nuanced and true to their rebranding message. After all, they had spent a lot of time and money working on this new positioning so they don’t want to risk all the trappings that come with a quick fix. This client appreciated that they needed to update their collateral, merchandise and whole representation to make sure it was in-line with the new brand. A sensible move, any brand designer would undoubtedly agree with.

It’s something of a well-proven truism. Take a newly elected Prime Minister for example. The journey to get to this position doesn’t just happen overnight. Their behaviour had to change and adapt over time in order to keep up with that aspiration to be living behind the door of No.10. The lesson being that you can’t expect a different result whilst trying to maintain the status quo.

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator. 

The identity of this client had evolved and therefore everything else related to it, from logo to email signature to the style of communication, has to develop along with it. 

Fundamentally, the way brands are represented tells a story about how they are positioned. One of this client’s new core values is ‘Partnering’ so one item we looked at was a bluetooth key finder which we felt tied in neatly to this theme. For another value, ‘Creativity’, we discussed a pack of three pencils all packaged up in a sleeve proudly sporting their shiny new logo and branding. For us, it’s all about careful consideration of how branded merchandise can be used strategically so that the true essence of the brand is promoted. A good piece of branded merchandise is so much more than a ‘giveaway’ – it tells a story, and it has to tell the right story. What’s good for one is seldom the same as for another.

The subtle nuances of colour and style are ‘food and drink’ to designers but we contend that merchandise is being commoditised. A soft-touch, crook-handled umbrella, complete with pantone matched ribs and contrasting canopy can create an amazing brand experience when compared to a standard windproof golf umbrella. Both are great products, but with their own distinct arenas in the brand marketplace. 

With a bit of thought and a creative mindset, brands can use merchandise to link their culture, brand personality and visual appearance all at once – and having that well considered, beautifully produced suite of brand merchandise will give you control of every touch point with your clients.

So, take a look around and think – does this represent our brand and what we stand for? Consider some creative merchandise products that fit with your brand, your audience, your event or campaign, and if you’re looking for a bit of support on what our research has found attracts good attention, then why not contact us.

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When it comes to branded items, consistency is paramount in showcasing your brand identity—we oversee that right through production. We will ensure your products carry an impression of quality across every communication.

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