Besides the music itself, merch has always been the killer app for artists when it comes to branding and revenue generation. It’s so easy today for an artist to have a wide range of merch products available while never having to pay a penny for inventory, thanks to the many specialty online manufacturers available. The problem is that many artists are content with just a few common items like t-shirts and hats. If that’s you, you could be missing out on a lot of additional revenue, and here’s why.
Your superfans will buy almost anything you have to sell.
To prove a point, a NetCredit study found that the merch stores of some of the biggest celebrities have a huge range of available products. For instance, this is what it would cost to purchase every item in the store:
Lionel Messi – $9,967
Eminem – $8,101
Beyonce – $4,843
Justin Bieber – $4,824
Justin Timberlake – $3,915
Shawn Mendes – $3,752
Megan Thee Stallion – $3,730
Ariana Grande – $2,717
Mariah Carey – $2,055
Lady Gaga – $1,656
On the other hand, Adele only has $200 worth of merchandise in her store. Guess who makes more?
Now superfans won’t necessarily buy everything that you have to offer, but they’ll buy a lot more than the average fan if it’s available to them. And having more products available can turn someone who doesn’t want another t-shirt into a buyer anyway.
Having the option to have more more merch in your store is pretty easy these days, as many manufacturers cater to artists and have plenty of additional products besides shirts and hoodies (just do a Google search and you’ll find multiple pages of possibilities). This does take is some time to put together, and that’s something that many artists just aren’t willing to provide. The thing is, you only have to do it once and your wide range of merch lives on from there.
The caveat, as always, is that you have to be popular enough for people to want to adopt and display your brand with a purchase, and even more important is that the artwork must be compelling. If you’re going to spend money, that’s the best place to start.
By the way, this infographic shows what some celebrities are bringing in with merch these days and you’ll be amazed (Harry Styles, almost $22 mil per year, Lady Gaga almost $16 mil). It’s worth checking out.[graphic from Custom Ink]