Are you unhappy with your branded merch? Not the idea of branded merch, or your store, or your program, but the merchandise itself? Did you start with a lofty vision of people not only buying your merch, but of seeing your awesome logo and designs everywhere you looked all over town only to have reality set in that not very many people are buying it and even fewer are wearing or using it?


Austin Shakespear, Art Director

Austin Shakespear. Director of Art. "I've had a passion for graphic art for as long as I could remember and always strive to stay current with the latest trends to give our clients an edge over their competition." -Austin S.

You Did What You Thought You Were Supposed to Do

You researched it. You did what you thought you were supposed to do. Maybe you went to one of the big print-on-demand sites and pulled up their “super easy-to-use” templates. You designed what you wanted on your apparel. It looked pretty good on your screen. You digitally placed your order never having actually spoken to anyone.

Then the merch itself arrived. The material the shirts were made of was thinner than you expected and the amount of material in the shirt was skimpy at best. The shape of your hoodies wasn’t quite right. All the sizes seemed too small. . . or too large. The tumblers didn’t feel as substantial in your hands as you thought they would. Your coasters and magnets seemed to be nice quality, but unfortunately, they are not the focus of your program. But the worst part was your artwork. What you were so excited about when you designed it turned out to be kind of ‘meh’ once you saw it in the wild. You had hoped people would gravitate to your merch because it screamed cutting edge, but instead, it is whimpering, “we’re here. . . over here.”

If you are honest with yourself, maybe you are a little bit embarrassed. Maybe it is not so bad that your items aren’t selling well. Of course, that also means the extra revenue you expected from your program also has not materialized.

A Better Way

If some, or all, of what I just outlined is the way you see your merchandise, don’t worry. You are not alone. Many businesses fall short of their goals on their first go ‘round with branded merch. In some ways, it better prepares them to take the step to retail quality. Sometimes in life, we just need to experience the bad to better appreciate the good when it comes our way.

When you are ready for a dedicated partner instead of a detached vendor, there are people who can help.

Find a partner with Branded Merch in its DNA. A partner who:

  • Brings a unique and diverse perspective to how to present your brand instead of the same bland cookie-cutter approach everyone else uses.
  • Focuses not so much on where or what your brand is as what your brand could be with the power of merchandise.
  • Emphasizes a production process that prioritizes pursuing the craft over lowering costs.

Partner with a Dedicated Team

Find a partner who will stay with you every step of the way. Usually, that means you will be provided with a Dedicated Account Rep - a real person you can talk to who has

  • Worked with dozens or even hundreds of different types of organizations over time,
  • Knowledge of where the pitfalls are – where not to go and what not to do, and
  • An understanding of what is trending right now across other segments not your own.

Find a partner who has a Dedicated In-House Art Team to carefully work with you to get exactly the look and feel you want that represents exactly who you are.

You Dream it, They Produce it

Since apparel will generally be at the heart of your branded merch program, find a partner who, If You Can Dream It, They Can Produce It. Make sure they have access to and can work with

  • Multiple levels of quality blank merchandise,
  • Both Plastisol-based and water-based inks,
  • All types of specialty inks such as discharge, metallic, glow in the dark, sueded, puff, glitter, crackle, fashion soft, etc., and
  • Both vintage and vibrant looks.

Retail Quality Merchandise

Find a partner who can provide all the Detailed Final Touches That Scream Retail Quality including

  • Custom private label size tags,
  • Hem tags for a retail finish,
  • Hang tags for additional branding, and
  • Bag & sticker for inventory integrity.

One-Stop Shop

Finally, find a partner capable of providing Everything You Need as a One-Stop Shop from apparel to hats to drinkware to magnets and coasters and anything else you can think of.

You can do it!

Stop avoiding your branded merch program because your merchandise has not turned out the way you thought it would. Stop being embarrassed at the low-quality look and feel. Stop thinking the cookie cutter volume vendors who pop to the top of your internet search are the only ones out there who can provide you merch that fits your financial goals.

If what you are doing is not working, change the game. Your brand deserves a quality look you are proud of.

At Huge Brands, we practice what we preach. Give us a call at (801) 355-0331 or shoot an email to if you want to talk more about how to provide the best branded merchandise in your space.