What Is Branded Merchandise?

June 7, 2022

Understanding the importance of branded merchandise is essential to a successful...

Marketing plans have evolved over the last decade. In 2022, they require online and offline elements. To keep your brand in the minds of your target audience it helps to put things in their hands and on their screens. Online ads help promote companies, so does branded merchandise.

The promotional merchandise market started with pens decades ago. Now, it includes swag boxes, tech gadgets, and high-end corporate logo merchandise. More thought goes into the promotional branded merchandise as companies go beyond plastic keychains, basic pens, and refrigerator magnets. 

The Importance of Branded Merchandise 

Since the top branded merchandise companies manufacture so many options, Gemnote explores several branded merchandise examples in four categories. The goal is to provide give-away situations that make sense for some merchandise examples. Then, you can pick the most appropriate brand merchandise ideas and customize them through the customization service. 

Below we answer several questions you may have about the importance of branded merchandise online:

  • What Is Merchandise?
  • What Is Merchandise Inventory?
  • How To Create Branded Merchandise
  • What Is Merchandise Design?
  • What Is Merchandise Store?
  • How To Sell Branded Merchandise
  • What Is Merchandising Business?
  • What Is Third Party Branded Merchandise?
  • What Is Merchandising in Retail?

Before ordering brand merchandise online, it’s crucial to understand the importance of branded merchandise. Then, you can make better choices about the inventory. 

To start, let’s explore several merchandise examples.

1. Promotional Branded Products

For promotional branded products, consider ordering apparel and drinkware. To maximize your inventory, find unisex options in sizes that fit most people. If you plan to sell it, have your staff wear it so others can see the tees, hoodies, and sweatshirts. It also helps to serve drinks in branded drinkware - the strategy can entice customers to purchase cups, mugs, and tumblers.

Tee Shirts

Everyone has a few tee shirts in their closets and drawers, and they won’t mind adding another to their collections.

Shown: AsColour Tees 

If you make your brand the star, individuals will wear it.

Sweatshirts & Hoodies 

When the cooler weather rolls in, people search for warmer apparel such as sweatshirts and hoodies.

Shown: Marine Layer Hoodie 

If you gift or sell high-quality branded sweatshirts and hoodies, they won’t sit in storage very long.


Although socks don’t receive a lot of exposure when worn, they make great gifts.

Shown: Escuyer Cashmere Socks

Include socks in welcome swag boxes for new hires or as milestone gifts for employees.


When woo’ing new business partners, executives, or recruits, you can impress them with a high-end jacket.

Shown: The North Face Everyday Jacket 

Jackets double as valuable marketing tools when your employees wear them to events too.


If you decide to put together an apparel swag box, include a blanket. 

Shown: Rains Blanket


Office and remote employees will appreciate receiving cozy blankets to stay warm and comfortable while working. 

Traveler Cups

Traveler cups have become popular with daily commuters, weekend warriors, and digital nomads. Individuals concerned with the environment like them too. 

Shown: Stojo 12-oz Cup 

Most feature a lid that prevents spills and leaks. Plus, it allows for easy drinking.

Traveler Tumblers

Tumblers are a step up from traveler cups since they are larger. 

Shown: Miir Wide Mouth 

These are great for the office.

Coffee Mugs

Restaurants, diners, and coffee shops searching for business merch ideas benefit from ordering branded mugs.

Shown: Hasami Porcelain Mug 

By serving coffee, tea, or water in them, customers are more likely to purchase them.

2. Corporate Logo Merchandise

Corporate logo merchandise places a larger focus on professionalism. It’s also the company merchandise you can use to impress clients, business partners, and employees. 

Let’s take a look at some technology branded merchandise options for this category.

Tech Swag

Tech swag is where the rubber meets the road on branded merchandise. Although your organization can give away tech accessories, the following branded merchandise examples make a lasting impression.

Wireless headphones have overtaken their wired counterparts in popularity. The wireless versions have long battery lives, provide great sound and convenience.

Shown: JBL Wireless Headphones 

Earbuds have become another popular headphone alternative thanks to the innovations of Apple. In the United States, almost 114 million people own an iPhone. Worldwide, the number of iPhone users stands at one billion. For those who don’t own AirPods, earbuds remain a close second.

Shown: BeatsX Wireless Earbuds

Technology devices require a few accessories such as chargers. However, an electrical outlet isn’t always available - enter power banks.

Shown: MyCharge Power Banks 

Data shows that households have an average of 10 connected devices. If your recipient doesn’t have a household of their own yet, chances are still high that they own several tech devices and accessories. Thus, they need something to organize it all in their bags.

Shown: Native Union Organizer

Professionals who sit in offices during their workday have adopted fitness tracking and smartwatch combinations. Since sitting is the new smoking, the tech helps them take breaks from sitting.

Shown: Fit Bit Watch and Fitness Tracker

When you want to make an impression or show your appreciation, this is the tech that you distribute to employees, new hires, and business partners.

One downside of tech is how easy it is to misplace and lose it. Therefore, the technology industry came up with solutions - finders.

Shown: Tile app

Researchers estimate that the public loses 70 million smartphones annually and only seven percent reunite with their owners. Thus, finders come in handy.

Shown: Orbit Bluetooth Keychain

Another impressive corporate merchandise item to give away is the original smartwatch.

Shown: S7 AppleWatch with GPS 

Even though the Apple logo remains prominent on the device, recipients are not likely to forget who gave it to them.

3. Merch Ideas for Small Business

Small companies always have a steeper hill to climb financially. Smaller budgets mean that entrepreneurs must rely on their creativity to complete tasks and pay for things. Even though small businesses have smaller budgets for marketing, it doesn’t take them out of the promotional branded merchandise game.

Below are some merch ideas for small business entrepreneurs to consider.


A small company has to make peace with creative marketing strategies. One way to become memorable is to give away promotional products that fall outside of the norm such as puzzles.

Shown: Areaware Little Things Puzzles

The puzzles can match your industry, or you can pick something fun that matches it.


Although smartphones and smartwatches have calendars built into them, office employees can still use wall and mini calendars at work. 

Shown: Poketo Calendars

Physical calendars allow recipients to make notes on them, and it helps to see important, upcoming events on the wall.


Keychains are among the common promotional items that have seen an evolution. You can still give away the simple ones made from plastic. You can also order keychains made from enamel.

Photo courtesy of Idlewild Co. 

These branded merchandise examples remain popular for two reasons - the small items are practical and they easily market companies as recipients carry them around.


Bandanas picked up in popularity in 2020 as they became makeshift masks. However, bandanas have always had versatile uses. 

Shown: Custom Bandana

When recipients wear them on their necks, over their mouths, or on top of their heads, the branded promotional merchandise is a cost-effective marketing tool. 


Small businesses usually don’t have the budget to give away tech promotional branded products. However, it’s possible to budget for accessories.

Shown: Custom PopSocket

As small business merchandise ideas, you can find these accessories in an array of colors. Then, add your logo.

Healthy Snacks

Since people have to eat, another cost-effective item that helps promote brands is healthy snacks.

Shown: RX Protein Bars 

Whether you pick protein bars, dark chocolate treats, or dried fruit, it’ll receive notice from the recipients. 

4. Branding Promotional Items

The following branding promotional items started as the originals. However, they remain relevant and effective since the branded merchandise industry has updated them.


The best merch ideas take the recipients into consideration. Even the most technically inclined individual benefits from receiving notebooks. Moreover, you’ll find notebooks in an array of sizes and colors. 

Shown: Public Supply Notebooks

A pocket notebook that has a soft cover fits in laptop bags. They also fit backpacks and travel bags. If your target audience includes students, customizing them adds a personal touch.


In the 1960s, pens became the first branded promotional merchandise. Since the public didn’t take notes on their electronic tablets, smartphones, or laptops, it was essential to have easy access to pens. 


Shown: Poketo Prism Rollerball Pens

When you search for brand merchandise online from the top branded merchandise companies, check out the pens selection and their reviews. If the company can deliver high-quality pens, they can deliver other high-quality branded merchandise too.


Among the top 10 items that the public enjoys receiving is headwear. Headwear works as corporate merchandise, small business merchandise, and best brand merchandise. Pick a style and color. Then, our Gemnote.com team can place your logo front and center or on the side.

Shown: Poketo Creative Caps 

Caps remain a versatile promotional item that recipients will wear.


Another headwear option is bucket hats.

Shown: Bob Marino Bucket Hat 

The amount of protection against the sun that it provides has helped the style gain popularity.  

Water Bottle

Durable and high-quality reusable water bottles have become a hit among the population. As many individuals have become more conscious about their carbon footprints, they have adopted water bottles that keep their liquids cool in large quantities.

Shown: Kinto Water Bottle 

When you give away water bottles as corporate swag, your company reduces its footprint and the footprints of others.

Reusable Bags

As states have encouraged their residents to use reusable bags more often, top branded merchandise companies and the branded merchandise industry released several versions.

Shown: Baggu Happy Mix Bag 

With promotional branded products, it’s OK to have fun. Reusable bags that replace the plastic ones from groceries can have smiley faces and produce graphic art on them. Then, splash your logo across it or place it on the tag.

Canvas Bags

Reusable canvas bags have a place among the best brand merchandise. 

Photo courtesy of A24

As the public continues adopting reusable bags for running errands, a demand for canvas totes exists too. 

Toiletry Bag

People need containers and sacks to carry their things, especially if they travel a lot. Toiletry bags are nice gifts for corporate executives, digital nomads, and sales team members who double as road warriors.

Shown: Rains Wash Bag 

Most toiletry bags are simple and made from sturdy materials. You can also use them as containers for swag boxes. 

Weekend Bag

Another versatile bag is the weekend version. It fits more items and companies can fill it with items.

Photo courtesy of Lacoste

For example, if your organization hosts a company retreat, weekend convention, or seminar, gift attendees a weekend bag before the event. Fill it with the items that they’ll need. Then, they can use it to pack their things in it too. 

Fanny Pack 

The fanny pack made a big comeback a few years ago and it continues evolving into a fashionable accessory.

Shown: AsColour Waist Bag 1014 

It’s no longer just a fanny pack; it’s a convenient container for electronic devices, accessories, and daily essentials.


Most people remember backpacks from their school days. In 2022, the backpack is officially for grown ups too.

Shown: Topo Designs Daypack 

A backpack with multi-compartments and pockets keeps up professionals.


Sometimes a backpack doesn’t send the appropriate message. In those cases, consider a briefcase instead.

Shown: Incase Briefcase

The briefcase has also received a makeover. It looks different since many professionals carry laptops with them instead of paper documents. Nonetheless, it’s another option to put in your brand merchandise ideas.

Laptop Sleeves

Speaking of laptops, laptop sleeves are another best brand merchandise item to give away. 

Shown: Incase sleeves

If you give your staff laptop sleeves, it’s one less item that they need to purchase for themselves. Since you’ll customize it with your company’s logo, they’ll help you market your brand too.

Roller Luggage

Sometimes companies use branded merchandise to woo new clients, executives, or recruits. For those times, consider gifting roller luggage.

Shown: Timbuk2 Roller Luggage 

Turn luggage into an incentive or reward. Some professionals enjoy the traveling sales life. It doesn’t discount how much work it requires. Rewarding team members with high-end luggage for meeting and exceeding sales goals is a nice treat for them.

Now, let’s answer some of your importance of branded merchandise questions.

What Is Merchandise?

To help you understand What Is Merchandise, we outlined several merchandise examples in four categories. In 2022, brand merchandise ideas include traditional items such as pens and keychains. They also include tech gadgets, apparel, mugs, and blankets.

When your marketing team wants to know what is merchandise, it’s no longer confined to promotional items that only last a few uses. You can give away blankets, luggage, and Bluetooth-enabled devices too.

In addition to giving away company merchandise, you can also sell it. 

How To Create Branded Merchandise:

After your team picks the best brand merchandise for your organization, there are a few ways on how to create branded merchandise successfully.

For example, partner with brand merchandising companies that sell and customize the business merchandise ideas. Another option is to partner with a branded merchandise company like Gemnote.com. We help you take the best brand merchandise up another level.

What Is Third Party Branded Merchandise?

Gemnote falls into a third-party branded merchandise company in the branded merchandise industry.

Our team helps you pick out the best promotional branded merchandise. Then, we customize the items. Gemnote puts together swag boxes and dropships them too. Our team also stores and ships your best brand merchandise.

So what is third party branded merchandise? It’s companies who can help you create a merchandise store, like Gemnote.

What Is Merchandising Business?

In addition to describing Gemnote as a third-party branded merchandise provider, you can also describe us as a merchandising business. The top branded merchandise companies provide more than once service.

Gemnote helps marketing teams pick and customize the merchandise. Then, they ship it to your desired destination.

When you wonder what is merchandising business, think of Gemnote. 

What Is Merchandise Design?

The answer to what is merchandise design is the process of customizing business merch ideas. It’s as easy as placing your corporate logo on a cap, hoodie, or mug.

We can also dive in deeper and pick out a color palette and new font.

What Is Merchandise Store?

Restaurants, coffee shops, and other places of interest capitalize on their history, uniqueness, or story to sell company branded merchandise. It brings in extra revenue that pays for the corporate branded merchandise and a little more through a markup.

So, what is merchandise store? It’s an onsite glass case, shelf, or corner that features company merchandise for sale. You can also sell it online.

How To Sell Branded Merchandise:

The good news is that to sell your company’s brand merchandise online and offline, you only need to complete a few simple steps.

How to sell branded merchandise starts with obtaining a retail license from your local government. Then, display the promotional branded products on shelves, racks, or in a beautiful glass case onsite. If you prefer to sell brand merchandise online, establish a website and connect it to an eCommerce application. Next, promote the store onsite and online.

What Is Merchandise Inventory?

In the process of putting together a merchandise store, you might wonder What Is Merchandise Inventory?

Inventory is the items that you purchase and customize. Ideally, you’ll hand out all of them so that you don’t need to worry about storage. However, brands need to balance having enough inventory to avoid missing out on demand. 

What Is Merchandising in Retail?

When you want to know What Is Merchandising in Retail, it’s a little different from brand merchandising companies. 

It has to do with the retailer’s merchandising team. Retail stores display their inventory. They merchandise displayers and mannequins to drive sales toward specific items. The strategy also helps customers figure out how to put together outfits since selling outfits delivers more revenue for the retailer.

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