Merch sales are a great source of income for just about any creator. However, you’re competing for your viewers’ money just as much as you compete for their time. In order to make more sales, your merch needs to stand out from what other creators are selling.
Here are three tips for brainstorming unique merch ideas.
1. Consider what kind of products you would actually use in your videos.
As you film your next few videos, be conscious of the kinds of products you use on camera. Every tool you pick up or recommendation you make is a potential merch idea. If you would link where you bought it in your description, then you’d probably be able to sell it to your viewers.
To get more specific, try to align such products with your content niche. For example, as a baking vlogger, you’d probably make more money selling branded cupcake tins than lipstick. Likewise, a gaming vlogger would probably be more successful launching their own mobile game than custom ring lights.
Beauty vloggers are one of the best examples of creators selling products they’d use in their own videos. There are dozens of beauty creators with their own makeup lines and brand collabs, but James Charles’s Morphe palette stands out. He specifically designed the eye shadows to be super pigmented for the artistic looks he likes to do. After it launched, the palette sold out quickly.
2. Imagine what kind of collectibles your viewers might like to display.
Next, imagine what kind of merch you would want to display if you were a fan. You could even glance around your own room to see what kinds of memorabilia you’ve decorated with. Do you have a poster of your favorite band hanging on your wall? Do you use a keychain featuring a character you love? Are there any figurines on your bookshelf or plushies on your bed?
If you’re artistically inclined, you could design plushies, figurines, or enamel pins for your viewers. If you don’t consider yourself an artist, then you could commission a designer to turn your favorite catch phrases or quotes into pins or art prints. Posters and photo cards are another good option, and you can add value by signing them.
The true secret to successfully selling collectibles is knowing your audience. For example, if you’re a travel vlogger with an audience in their twenties and thirties, then posters probably wouldn’t sell very well, but enamel pins might. A good example here is DIY creator Moriah Elizabeth. She has a younger audience who love the characters she creates in her painting videos. So, she’s designed several plushies based on her most popular characters. You can see one of her latest releases in the video below.
3. Think about the items your audience associates with your personal brand.
Finally, consider the kinds of products your viewers associate with you, even if you don’t use them a lot in your videos. Maybe you always talk about how much you love to drink tea in live streams, or you’re always posting pictures of your garden. You could sell mugs or plant pots to fans who share your interests.
British creator Phil Lester, for example, has been mentioning his love of scented candles in videos and live streams for years. He even added a candle to his video background. So, it made sense to viewers when he started selling candles. He’s also talked about how much he enjoys bath products, so fizzy bath dust was a nice addition to his latest merch collection as well.
My ❄️winter collection❄️ is here! Give yourself some care this December with a winter glow candle, gingerbread fizzy bath dust, peppermint hot choc (+mug) and a jigsaw puzzle! out now on the new snowy combined Dan and Phil shops https://t.co/2VYLr6Fmp9 / https://t.co/6UYMY9y92E pic.twitter.com/1mP9xyYeHH
— Phil Lester (@AmazingPhil) November 26, 2020
The more creative you can get with your merch ideas, the more potential sales you can make. Don’t be afraid to run ideas past your audience and gauge their level of interest.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.