Concert swag and band merchandise: best tips to double your sales

Written By: CalypsoRoom Editorial Team - October 2023

Table of content

1. Introduction
3. Pick band merchandise that complements your music
4. Create a schedule for selling merch
5. Online merch: just do it
6. Concert swag that amplifies the live experience
7. Publicize your merchandise
8. Merch items ideas
9. Fun merch ideas
10. Leveraging CalypsoRoom for merchandise success
11. Conclusion
11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Concert swag and band merchandise: best tips to double your sales - Introduction

An essential component of the fan-artist interaction is branded band merchandise. When someone wears that band's logo, it forges a link that enables them to mentally hear music or physically hang on to a memory of a show.

For many musicians, selling band gear online has developed into a lucrative source of income over the past several years.

Supporting their favorite artists by purchasing T-shirts, mugs, and other merch has become popular among listeners of independent musicians.

But selling band merchandise online is more complicated than just adding a few products to your website store.

You should set yourself up for success by creating a strategy and carrying it out before you start selling merchandise.

Follow our best tips on how to improve and grow your merchandise sales online.

Concert swag and band merchandise: best tips to double your sales

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  • Establish a Strong Artist Brand: Before diving into merchandising, it's crucial to develop a robust artist brand. This includes defining your visual aesthetic, color schemes, and typography, all of which will influence the design of your merchandise. A consistent brand not only amplifies your music but also helps in creating merch that resonates with your audience.

  • Plan Your Merchandise Sales: It's essential to have a strategic plan for what merchandise to sell and when. You can start with a few affordable and easily produced items, and as they gain traction, you can expand your range.

  • Embrace the Power of Online Sales: Creating an online store on your own music website provides full control over design, branding, and inventory. This will serve as the official location for fans to purchase your goods, allowing you to present them in the most appealing way with high-quality visuals and descriptive text.

  • Offer Unique Concert Swag: Concert-specific merchandise offers an excellent opportunity to not only increase revenue but also enhance the fan experience. Limited-edition items like custom guitar picks, light-up wristbands, or date-specific posters can become valuable keepsakes and encourage immediate purchases during live events.

  • Leverage Platforms Like CalypsoRoom: Using platforms such as CalypsoRoom can provide real-time, direct engagement with fans, allowing you to test merchandise ideas before full-scale production. It also offers opportunities for exclusive promotions, thereby incentivizing fan attendance at virtual events and providing invaluable data-driven insights for your merchandising strategy.

Pick band merchandise that complements your music

Pick band merchandise that complements your music

Choosing what to sell will be the first stage in the online band merchandise selling process. You'll need to establish your own brand before conducting a study to choose the kinds of things to sell.

Make sure the things you select represent your music and are desirable to your audience.

Before thinking about selling merch, it's important to build your artist brand. This will be your distinctive look that you keep throughout your career, despite the possibility that it may vary over time.

Your branding affects the color and font you select to express your personal taste as well as the possible look. When making your products, all of these elements are taken into account.

Try to establish a video music connection with a few of your fans in CaypsoRoom and demonstrate to them in real time whether what you considered to be a wonderful concept for your merchandise is also a great idea for your followers.

Building a solid fan base is crucial for successful merchandise sales, much like the strategies employed in turning your fans into superfans.

Pick band merchandise that complements your music

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Create a schedule for selling merch

Make a schedule for what you'll sell and when once you've determined which things best suit you as an artist. Start with a few well-known products that are affordable and simple to create.

Using the same product line or logo, you may increase sales or develop other possibilities once you know what works.

Additionally, you should allow plenty of time to create your personalized merchandise. If your item is unique or takes a bit longer to make, indicate when it will be created and shipped.

Think about utilizing a print-on-demand provider like Printful if you intend to offer scalable physical merchandise.

As a result, you won't have any upfront expenses and can calculate your profit margin, which is a factor in your original budget.

Also take the time to understand the printify vs printful differences, to pick the option that's best for you.

Purchasing in bulk might be a more profitable alternative for your merch supply if you are organizing a tour or keeping to a small number of versions.

Create a schedule for selling merch

By restricting your designs and colour schemes and taking advantage of quantity price cuts, you may cut costs associated with large purchases (e.g., if you want 100 shirts but ordering 120 reduces the cost per unit, it makes sense to order those extra 20 shirts).

Online merch: just do it

Selling directly to fans via your own music website is the best way to make sure you have complete control over your online store.

By doing this, you can manage a store page that serves as the official location for fans to buy your goods while also maintaining control over the design and branding.

Online merch: just do it

You'll be putting your physical and digital goods on your website once you've built an online store. Spend some time including vivid visuals and a succinct, alluring description for each product.

The font used for your content should be legible and stand out against the background color of the website.

Online platforms have made it easier than ever for musicians to set up a store, making it an opportune moment to also host music giveaways to engage your fan base.

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Concert swag that amplifies the live experience

Concert-specific merchandise, often referred to as "concert swag," provides a unique avenue to not only generate revenue but also enhance the overall live music experience for your fans.

While standard merchandise like t-shirts and caps are always popular, consider creating exclusive items that are only available at your shows.

Limited-edition posters that commemorate the date and venue can become valuable keepsakes.

Custom-designed guitar picks, drumsticks, or even setlists can give fans a tangible piece of the performance to take home.

Concert swag that amplifies the live experience

For a more interactive angle, wristbands that light up in sync with your music can electrify the atmosphere.

Offering concert-exclusive swag also encourages immediate purchases, as fans know these items aren't available anywhere else.

Given that concerts are also prime locations for social media sharing, any unique, eye-catching swag can also provide additional exposure when fans share pictures or posts.

These items become not just merchandise, but memorabilia that fans treasure, serving as a long-lasting connection between you and your audience.

Publicize your merchandise

Reach out to your following to begin generating sales, just like you would while promoting a new album. Supporters like having a physical way to show their support.

This frequently results in them purchasing tangible goods to hold.

Give your mailing list, which most likely consists of eager fans, the opportunity to back you first with merch releases.

Publicize your merchandise

Your email list members can be rewarded with a special discount, or you could even make some merchandise just for them.

Use CalypsoRoom to set up in-person meetings with your biggest fans while they enjoy some of your music. You may, for instance, give away some merchandise to every fan that connects with you directly on CalypsoRoom.

This is a fantastic approach to promoting your merchandise to your devoted followers and generating more interest in your music.

The effectiveness of your promotional efforts can be measured, and you should evaluate this to fine-tune your approach, just as you would measure the success of your promotions.

Publicize your merchandise

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Merch items ideas

When curating merchandise for your band, it's vital to think beyond the ubiquitous t-shirts and hats, although they are staple items for good reason.

The key is to create products that resonate with your music, your brand's visual aesthetic, and, most importantly, your audience's lifestyle.

For example, if your music often features acoustic instruments and you have a rustic or folk brand image, consider custom guitar picks, canvas tote bags, or even eco-friendly bamboo speaker docks for smartphones.

On the other hand, if your genre is more techno or electronic, branded USB drives pre-loaded with exclusive tracks or LED wristbands can be exciting offerings.

Vinyl records with unique artwork can appeal to the audiophile fanbase, regardless of your musical style.

Merch items ideas

The idea is to diversify your merchandise to include both low-cost items like stickers or keychains and premium items like limited-edition posters or lyric books.

Always keep your inventory aligned with your brand's evolution to maintain a cohesive and appealing product range.

Visual aesthetics play a critical role in making merchandise appealing, which is why understanding the importance of album artwork is essential.

Fun merch ideas

While maintaining brand consistency is crucial, don't overlook the potential of introducing fun and whimsical items into your merchandise range.

Fans love items that have an element of surprise and entertainment, allowing them to interact with your brand in new ways.

For example, if you have a song about travel, consider selling branded travel accessories like passport covers or luggage tags.

For bands with a more playful image, think about temporary tattoos with lyrics or logo, or even custom bobblehead figures resembling band members.

Fun merch ideas

Puzzle sets featuring your album artwork can not only provide entertainment but also serve as unique keepsakes.

Augmented reality-enabled merch, such as t-shirts that come alive through a mobile app, can offer an interactive experience that merges the physical and digital worlds, providing value beyond the initial purchase.

Seasonal or holiday-themed merch can also be a hit, like special edition Halloween masks or Christmas ornaments. The key is to be innovative while staying true to your brand, giving fans more ways to celebrate their love for your music.

A loyal fan base is not just a popularity indicator; it's a revenue driver, and unlocking this potential is akin to unleashing your fanbase for maximum impact.

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Leveraging CalypsoRoom for merchandise success

CalypsoRoom can be a game-changing platform for artists seeking to fine-tune their merchandise strategies.

This platform allows for real-time, intimate engagement with fans, providing invaluable insights into what your audience truly desires from your brand.

Before investing in a full product line, artists can showcase prototype designs or samples during a CalypsoRoom session, soliciting immediate feedback.

This direct line of communication can help you make data-driven decisions, reducing the risk of overproducing items that may not resonate with your fanbase.

Additionally, CalypsoRoom provides an excellent opportunity for exclusive merchandise promotions. Artists can offer special deals or limited-edition items to fans attending these virtual meetings, thereby incentivizing attendance and driving revenue.

It's not just about sales, either; the platform can serve as a medium for strengthening your artist-fan relationship, which in turn creates a more engaged and loyal community willing to support your merchandise endeavors.

Utilizing CalypsoRoom effectively can therefore play a pivotal role in both the development and successful sale of your band's merchandise.

Leveraging CalypsoRoom for merchandise success

Concert swag and band merchandise: best tips to double your sales - Conclusion

In the increasingly digital landscape of the music industry, merchandise remains a tactile and personal way for fans to connect with artists.

From establishing a cohesive brand identity to selecting items that resonate with your audience, every decision you make is a brushstroke in the larger picture of your artistic enterprise.

Utilize platforms like CalypsoRoom to engage directly with your fans and gain real-time insights into their preferences, thereby minimizing risk and maximizing appeal.

Remember, your merchandise can extend far beyond the typical to encapsulate a range of fun, interactive, and concert-specific items that enrich your fans' experience and interaction with your music.

Ultimately, thoughtful merchandising isn't just an additional revenue stream; it's a powerful tool for brand building and audience engagement that can set you apart in a crowded marketplace.

Thanks for reading,
CalypsoRoom Team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of merchandise can musicians sell?

Musicians can sell a wide variety of merchandise, ranging from apparel like t-shirts and hats to accessories, limited-edition posters, custom guitar picks, and even digital content. The key is to select items that resonate with the brand's aesthetic and the audience's lifestyle.

How can musicians set up an online store for selling merch?

Musicians can set up an online store on their own website or use third-party platforms specialized in merchandise sales. Having a store on your own website gives you more control over design and branding, while third-party platforms can offer convenience and built-in audiences.

What are some promotional strategies for selling musician merch?

Promotional strategies can include offering discounts or special editions to mailing list subscribers, leveraging social media for announcements, and running timed campaigns around album releases or tours. Special bundle deals, like a t-shirt and album combo, can also incentivize purchases.

How can musicians integrate merchandise sales into their overall brand strategy?

Merchandise should align with the musician's overall brand aesthetics, including visual elements like logos and color schemes. Limited-edition or exclusive items can also be used to drive engagement during specific campaigns or events, serving as both revenue generators and brand amplifiers.

Can merchandise sales be a significant revenue stream for musicians?

Yes, merchandise can be a significant revenue stream, particularly for artists who tour or have a strong online following. Besides direct sales, merchandise also acts as a form of marketing, helping to increase visibility and fan engagement.

What platforms are best for selling musician merch?

Platforms like Shopify, Big Cartel, and Bandcamp are popular options for setting up online stores for musician merchandise. Each platform has its own set of features, fees, and customization options to consider.

How can musicians use social media to boost merch sales?

Social media can be used to showcase new products, announce special promotions, and engage directly with fans. User-generated content, like fans wearing the merchandise, can also be shared to provide social proof and encourage further sales.

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Written by CalypsoRoom Editorial Team
The CalypsoRoom Editorial Team is a skilled and diverse group of writers, researchers, and industry specialists who have access to Calypso's data and information in order to give you broad knowledge about the music industry as well as helpful advice to help you manage your music and dancing career.

Updated October 2023

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