Professional sports teams make big money from licensed products. There are t-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys and other apparel, along with cups, mugs, pennants, balls, dolls, and just about anything they can slap a label or a decal on.
Image merchandise isn’t just for sports teams, though. Although Pets.com ultimately didn’t survive, one thing that did is their “mascot,” Sock Puppet. The Sock Puppet was the most popular aspect of Pets.com and he recently turned up in television spots for an auto loan company, having survived the dot com bust and the demise of Pets.com.
If you have a character, logo, slogan, color scheme or other image associated with your business, you can create image products. When customers wear a t-shirt with your logo, or take a mug with your web site and slogan on it to a meeting, they help to spread the word about your company. You may give them away, but when you sell them, these items can be a profit center in their own right. Here are some ideas for image products. Which ones are right for your business?
T-shirts. A t-shirt is a basic image product used by many. Make your shirt something cool, something people will want to buy and wear. Put clever slogans, your company logo, or interesting images on the shirts. If you plan to sell them, don’t feature your URL too prominently. People do not want to wear your advertisement across their chest or back.
Mugs and sport bottles. Coffee mugs and water bottles are everywhere. They may carry your company name and logo, or slogan or an image related to your business. The National Museum of Funeral History sells a number of souvenirs (including mugs and sports bottles) with their slogan, “Any day above ground is a good one.” It’s odd and it’s funny, and many people will buy the products and use them because of the slogan.
Posters. An image may be magnificent, inspiring, humorous, or even titillating, but if it grabs attention it could become a poster.
Other products might include calendars, magnets, buttons and badges, mouse pads and more. You can create and sell your own products with no upfront investment at CafePress.
The ultimate image product. As you walk the aisles at your favorite toy store, you see action figures of superheroes, movie characters, comic figures and . . .you? You may not make it to the toy store shelves, but you can be immortalized in your own action figure. At prices starting under $30, MyFaceOnAFigure.com will custom sculpt a head to look like you, your logo character, a mascot or another real or fictional person. Then just attach the head to your favorite off-the-shelf actions figure, or buy one from them.
This idea isn’t for everyone. But if you’re looking for a fun way to stand out from the crowd, this could be it. It’s a great way of getting attention at speeches, booksignings, trade shows and other events.
Hmmmm . . . I wonder how much my action figure would go for on eBay?