My tour merch has arrived-arrived in time for my book launch on Saturday 30 June 2018. Not only did I write the book, I wrote thesoundtrack and shot the trailer. And now it seems, I designed, curated AND modelled my promo merch. Why? Because a) I am a grassroots person. b) I make everything if I can and c) I cannot afford to hire anyone and no one else will work for free except me. Therefore I am my own asset and commodity.
There are many reasons why I chose this form of marketing.
1. It is cost-effective
Manufacturers of promotional products keep the prices very low for mass distribution. I learned everything I needed to know from when I was doing a band, Satsuma 2005-07. The difference was that in those days there was NO social media and very limited internet. The only way to reach people was to reach people physically, with real things they will touch and hold, and real people you smile at. Prices of the gift items are low but the impact is high. You cannot afford a huge scale advertising budget. Merch is cheaper than advertising. It is cost-effective for me because I am already a designer. I can design and curate and I can source products which I may safely say, are tasteful and funky. I have been designing for more than half my life, therefore the experience is there.
2. It is instantly my brand
I designed the black and white line drawing pointed heart logo with H G monogram before I mass produced the cards on which they were printed with all my contact information. The brand is themed through my story. I am using cultural references, the period and the settings throughout my merch products. I am telling a story through these products.
3. Greater exposure of my novel and my profile as an author
My products are fun and eye-catching. A leaflet or advertising on the internet will pass before the eyes whereas a physical entity, I believe, is attractive, permanent thereby having gravitas and lasting impression on consumers. Let’s face it, readers are consumers, are we not.
4. It is my business card
Every themed product has been packaged with my contact information, thereby acting like a handmade business card.
5. Reader loyalty
I am building loyalty through merchandising because I am hoping that readers will not just read this one novel but my other future books too. I am hoping that Heart of Glass will achieve a cult following, not to mention the fact that each item has been individually packaged by yours truly in my cottage industry. This strange and unique story of branding, merch and the book itself which is deeply rooted in the 1980s reflects the obsessive, foolhardy and youthful nature of music and how it drives our passion, my passion.
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