Years ago I wrote a book called “Amazon’s Dirty Little Secrets” which explained how Amazon used others to market and sell for them as a way to grow their business. Many top brands do this as well – not just through influencer marketing, but by having ordinary people wear their branded merchandise.  Even, custom shirts might be co-branded with a company like Nike (notice the Nike logo on the shirt below).

When my kids were little they played on various sports teams, and inevitably, every team had a t-shirt. On the back of the shirt was always an advertisement by our local orthodontist, Dr. Collins. Every kid in our town was wearing Dr. Collins labeled shirts. And guess who got the most business when it was time to get braces? Dr. Collins of course!

Advertising your business on someone else’s t-shirt is great, but what about extending your brand to include other items besides t-shirts? I’m working with a specialty travel agent to put together a virtual trade show for small ship cruising. And we’ve created a series of products including luggage and hats that advertise his business. You can check this out at https://sscexpo.com/ship-store/. Notice however in this store, we don’t just put a logo on everything – we make the products fun and conversational.
And this is the key! Make your merchandise something fun so that people will want to wear it! The idea is to turn your customers into walking billboards for your business. You can still brand the products, but if they are fun, you can get people to pay you to advertise for you! How cool is that?

Make your merchandise something fun so that people will want to wear it! Share on X

How do you get started?

The great thing about extending your business with branded merchandise is that it’s never been simpler than now. You can use a process called Print On Demand (POD) where there are no minimums and you don’t have to keep any inventory.They drop ship for you directly to the customer.  I recommend using a company called Printify. The reason is that they use multiple printers all across the world to bring you the best prices and best selection of products. They have over 300 products such as t-shirts, mugs, socks, and home accessories ready for you to customize.

Of course, t-shirts are fun, but with so many different kinds of products to choose from, you can create all kinds of merchandise that you or your customers can use. We recently put together a couple of orders for our clients wanting “uniforms” for their business. One was for a cleaning company, the other for a water well pump company. It doesn’t matter if you are a travel agent, a dentist, or a contractor, creating fun, branded merchandise can be a great way to not only make a little extra money by having products to offer your customers, but one of the best ways to get others to market your business for you!

Next Steps

It’s really easy – all you have to do is visit Printify.

You can create your products and order directly from Printify. Or, if you want to set up your own online store like the Small Ship Cruising Expo, contact me and I’ll show you how. I’ve even got a course on Udemy that teaches you how to come up with designs, create the graphics, and set up your products.

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links, meaning that if you sign up by following the links provided, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.