Happy Holidays! Ok, ok, it’s a little early for that, but not by much—we’re only a few weeks away from the happiest time of the year. And you know I love any reason to celebrate with new merch and reignited appreciation with your fans, so let’s get straight to it!
First, let me say it’s great to acknowledge your fans all year round and there are so many ways to do that effectively—but, this is different. This is a chance to show them you appreciate them in a whole new way, and not only that, but you want to celebrate with them, the same way you would your closest friends and family. That’s pretty special, right?
Now, a new line of merch may seem a strange way to celebrate, but hear me out—we have a lot of really fun ideas in here that won’t break the bank for you or your fans, but will elicit that feeling of closeness and appreciation.
Now, the best ideas will be ones that are highly brand specific to you and your fans—you know what I mean, inside jokes, lyric-driven merch, things like that. But, because I want to help you get a kickstart on it all, we’re going to list out a few ideas to kickstart things.
Oh, and one last thing—if you’re still feeling stuck, try researching what your favorite bands have done. If you love something they’ve created, holiday-related or not, ask yourself, why? Did it feel personal? Did it make you feel closer to them? Was it just fun and spontaneous and silly? What specifically made you gravitate towards it? Once you know that, you should be able to get closer to what you can bring to your own fans.
Alright, ready to dive in? Here are five merch ideas to try out with fans this year.
Who doesn’t love getting a holiday card? This one is a double whammy because you can use them to send to your most loyal fans (they’ll LOVE getting one of these in the mail!) and you can also sell them in bundles to your fans to send out to their friends. Now, ideally these will be different cards—the ones you send your fans can have your photo or logo (or just be from the dollar store—it really is the thought that counts here) but the ones you sell for fans to use could have one of your most relatable/fan favorite lyrics, something that will appeal even to the non-fans (yet!) they send to. Your fans get to promote their favorite band in a holiday-centric way, (which they’ll love) and you get exposed to a whole new audience. Not a bad way to kick off the holidays!
Homemade (Super) Ugly Sweater
I love this idea so much, and I’ve honestly never seen it done. Make your own ugly sweater. You can mass manufacture it if that’s easier (and I have seen that done, it’s always a hit) but if you want to go a step further and make it even more personalized, while also keeping it on the cheap, literally make your own, by going to the thrift store or buying $5 blank canvas sweatshirts and then buying an armful of crafts to design your own. Draw your logo on with colorful design glue, slap some sparkles on there, pom-poms, whatever you want. It’ll be uniquely you, and your fans will love the homemade feel.
What’s better than an ornament by your favorite band?! Like so many of the ideas on this list, this is something you can outsource OR you can DIY it. Either way, it can be as simple or complicated as you want (band colors, lyrics, snowman with your logo on it, etc).
If you want to DIY it, just pick up an ornament kit at the craft store and start making these yourself. It’s more time intensive for sure, but beyond being budget-friendly, your fans will really appreciate knowing that each one was made by their favorite band, with care, and yes, even a little holiday love.
I don’t know the logistics of this one, but I think having PJs from my favorite band would be the coolest thing, and my guess is, you can make it happen with a little creativity and perhaps a bit of a budget. Get as involved as you want with this—it can be the full pants and button-down t-shirt set, or, on a smaller scale you could just stick to the accessories like band socks, or gloves, or bow-ties or slippers! Even better if you bundle a few of these together with something else cozy like a band mug, or hot cocoa for a cozy night in.
Would I hang stockings with my favorite band on them? I sure would! Like the others on this list, you have the option of DIY-ing these by simply going to the craft or dollar store, picking up a bunch of blank canvases, and going to town by designing them your own way.
With a little holiday love and creativity, you’re going to give your fans one of the best holiday seasons yet—truthfully, I can’t recall seeing many bands fully embrace this time of year in such a specific and thoughtful way. Making these for your fans will be not only something they’ll remember for a lifetime but something you can bring back year after year in new and creative ways,
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.