The Secret Behind Quick-Turn Merch: A Strong Partner


From Barbie to the Super Mario Brothers movie and even the debut of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift’s electrifying relationship, the last few months have been filled with pop culture moments that have captivated almost the entire world. Everywhere you look, someone is talking about these moments. To take the obsession even further, it seems like everyone is wearing branded apparel promoting them.

This branded apparel — or merch, as it’s more commonly called — sent consumers into a frenzy. Everyone wanted to get their hands on any piece they could, and even top international brands like Bloomingdale’s and Gap got in on the excitement for one moment or another almost immediately.

But what goes into these quick-turn collaborations? How do these brands turn around these drops so quickly? And how can you, as a brand, do the same? 

The key to consumers’ hearts lies in the merch partner you choose. Specifically, a strong, successful one that can bring these ideas to life quickly and successfully.


Start with Research

Before any merch can be created or printed, you first need to do research into the partnership options available, and build those relationships so that when you’re ready to pull the trigger, it’s all systems go.

To start, you’ll want to consider the product offerings. Large merch houses like EverythingBranded provide hundreds — if not thousands — of options for any piece of merch you could dream of. This versatility is a key tool in appealing to your target customers and creating items they actually want, so it’s important to find a company that offers an extensive product line.

You’ll also want to investigate a company’s international reach and network. While you may not be shipping products worldwide, the benefit of an international company is its extensive network of suppliers, sourcing and tools. You are automatically going to have more options that way, ensuring that you’ll be able to find the products your customers want, no questions asked.

Expertise and Experience is Crucial

Following offerings, determining the experience and expertise of a potential company is paramount. You will want to consider the company’s knowledge, proficiency and understanding of not only the overall industry and market, but also the products you want to create and who you are creating them for.

For example, if your primary target is a millennial woman who likes higher-end brands and items, you want to be presented with name-brand items ready for print versus something a bit more generic.

Additionally, a proven track record of successful products (especially with a quick-turn drop) is essential. In addition to your research, you’ll want to review case studies, past client testimonials and even public reviews to ensure that your expectations will be met.

Prioritize Customer Service and Communication

Last, but certainly not least, is prioritizing a company with stellar customer service and communication. The success of any pop culture-related merch drop is not just production speed. It’s also the speed at which you’re able to communicate with your account manager or designer.

You should prioritize a company that offers open, honest communication, as well as the attentiveness you desire to make your merch drops a success. This could be a dedicated account manager or portal where you can ask questions, review designs, etc.

Headed to Print

We all love a good pop culture moment and the conversation, activations and even merch that comes with it. But behind the scenes, creating these quick-turn drops involves a lot of work, all starting with the promo or merch house you choose to partner with. Choose the right one, and you’ll see success. Choose the wrong one, and you could risk investing in merch that doesn’t sell or live up to the moment’s hype.

As Director and Head of Digital, Rob Mobsby is responsible for all aspects of marketing operations at EverythingBranded, with a focus on digital transformation and expansion of the company’s online presence. Mobsby joined EverythingBranded in 2018 after having worked within the digital landscape for the past 18 years, including roles at large companies like Amazon. He brings a digital mindset to a traditional industry. With a data first approach, efficiency focus and automation at the core, Mobsby loves spinning plates, which is great as he has plenty!

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