We want to wear our own brand.
When you create branded merchandise that resonates with someone, you create a place for your brand in their workspace or home. If that person uses your merchandise regularly, he or she sees your work and interacts with your brand frequently, helping brand recall. But it doesn’t stop there, branded merchandise on a desk or at home, as increases the chance that someone else will notice and discover your brand. That’s just one reason why branded merchandise makes for excellent gifting options.
Branded merchandise also helps large teams create a common identity. Merchandise like t-shirts, stationery and mugs give team members away to show that they are part of something bigger. This unified sense of belonging in turn benefits team performance.
But just having the brand’s logo on the merchandise is not enough. Branded merchandise should be an extension of the personality of the brand. It should also resonate with the person it is being gifted to. This is why merchandise design is essential. It renders value to an everyday object.
We created our own merchandise range called BAD-MASH for gifting clients and friends on Diwali. It was our way of saying thank you to our team members, clients and friends. It was also our way of staying in the minds of clients.
The process of merchandise creation can be broadly divided in to three steps:
Designing: The design should always capture the essence of the brand. Since most employees and clients are based out of Delhi, we chose character stereotypes from Delhi as inspiration for designing our characters. We wanted to created characters that they interact with or see everyday in Delhi, creating a connect between them and the merchandise.
Rendering: Rendering involved adapting the designs into prototypes and mock-ups for coasters, mugs and t-shirts to get an essence of what the finished product would look like.
Printing: Rendering is but virtual, it’s the printed product that makes merchandise. For BAD-MASH, after receiving the first batch of printed mugs, we had to modify our design to make them work for different form factors: what works well on a coaster doesn’t quite look right on a tshirt.
Although we worked on several characters inspired by our Delhi stories, we selected two characters for maximum appeal, a selfie addict (Selfie Queen) and bearded hipsters often spotted in Delhi ‘non-mainstream’ yet crowded bars, restaurants and more.
Our gifts were well received by all our clients and our social media was full of people who wanted to order our tshirts, mugs and more. For us, it given us the confidence to work on our next round of designs!
- Dennis Akham