Skip to main content

The big branded merchandise survey 2019

The big branded merchandise survey 2019
7 February 2020

85% of people say they've bought an item of custom branded merchandise at some point.

(And, of those who haven't, 43% told us they'd consider buying merchandise if (their favourite brands, influencers or organisations started to offer it…)

85% of people have bought custom merch

What do they buy?

The most commonly bought item of custom merchandise remains the t-shirt, with 87% of custom merchandise customers saying they've bought or worn one.

73% have bought or worn a hoodie or sweatshirt.

Over a quarter have bought a phone cover, around 1 in 5 say they've bought a custom towel, while around 1 in 10 have bought a framed print or canvas.

What custom merch people buy

Why do people buy merch?

Vanity is the most common response! 73% of custom merch customers said they bought an item of merchandise simply because it looked cool.

A further 57% said they bought merchandise to publicly showcase or demonstrate a particular interest.

36% said they wanted to financially support a particular brand or artist.

And 29% said they felt like it made them part of a movement or family.

Where do they buy it?

52% of people say they've only ever bought 'officially licensed' custom merchandise direct from the brand or influencer.

…but that means that 48% have bought unofficial merchandise at some point. A …missed opportunity for brands and influencers!

Where people buy custom merch

How do they find it?

Social reigns supreme, with around 48% saying they most commonly discover merchandise through a social media channel.

22% say they generally find their products in-store

19% cite search engines as their discovery channel of choice.

7% most commonly find out about new merchandise products by email, while 4% rely on third-party websites like RedBubble and Society6.

Where people find branded merch

How does it make them feel?

58% said it gave them a sense of satisfaction to know they were supporting their favourite brand or influencer.

Around 50% say that wearing merchandise makes us feel closer to the individual or brand we're supporting.

32% say it helps us feel part of a movement or community.

And 42% said that people noticed and/or commented on the merchandise.

Around 9 in 10 of us say that we consciously think about the person or people we're supporting when we wear or use our merch — in other words, every time we wear or use that item of merchandise, it's an extra 'touch point' in our relationship with the brand or influencer we're supporting. Sweet!

How buying branded merch makes people feel

What's important about merch?

While 42% of customers say that the quality of the garment is the most important thing, they're outnumbered by the 45% who believe it's the creativity and design that matters most.

A further 10% consider price to be the most important factor, while 3% value great service and quick delivery highest.

Choosing the right print supplier and putting in time and effort to have great designs makes good sense then!

What's important about merchandise

The Bottom Line: People want more!

A whopping 89% of consumers say they'd like to see MORE merchandise from their favourite brands and influencers.

Do people want more merch?

Further reading