Building the Lifestyle Brand Merchandise
Lifestyle merchandise has always been an impactful and integral part of an athletes brand and freedom. By creating a Lifestyle theme, athletes no longer are limited to their team and league affiliation and those limited demographics. The Phoenix Program implements a strategic approach that ensures the athletes merchandise is a core part of their overall branding strategy. The best Lifestyle products help an athlete express their brand personality, emotionally connect with their target market, reinforce their message and engage with their fans and customers.
High Usability & Perceived Value
The best merchandise are lifestyle products with great functional features, such as hoodies, phone accessories, hats, and apparel. The more use the customer can get out of the item, the more likely the athletes brand will stay top-of-mind.
The Phoenix Program invests in a collection of different options that collectively tell a cohesive story about the athlete’s brand, without running into losses. When the athlete has a high variety of branded lifestyle merchandise, their reach and possibility of multiple exposures to the brand tend to be high. To achieve high merchandise goals, we bring together three critical elements: creative and catchy design, a clear brand personality, and products that bring value to the athlete’s audience.
Implement an Effective Strategy
From the get-go, we want to create and use the athlete’s merchandise in a way that communicates empathy, reliability, connection and brand consciousness. To achieve this, we work closely with the athlete for a clear understanding of who the athlete’s target audience is, while defining their persona(s) which creates branded merchandise that resonates with their demographic.
Focus on Maximizing Return on Investment
This is the most critical aspect of creating the athlete’s Lifestyle merchandise from a business perspective. We start with the end goal in mind. Does the athlete want to build brand value, increase brand recognition, boost sales, or inspire conversation? How do these goals factor into the messaging? It’s important that we’re able to have metrics for the different goals that the athlete is aiming to achieve already defined to truly maximize on returns.
Expanding Your Theme
This is a tricky balance. On one hand, we want to establish targeted messaging and distribution plans for the athlete’s merchandise, whether it be seasonal or campaigned-based or what-have-you, that will resonate with specific demographics, such as regions, age-groups, or seasons, to make the biggest impact. On the contrary, branding items that have cross-cutting themes will allow for ongoing use and reaching a wider pool of people.
In order to satisfy both of these needs, we create a collection of merchandise made up of a few staple apparel and merchandise pieces that offer the widest acceptance possible, and additionally swap in more unique items on a campaign-by-campaign basis. For example, custom hoodies and cell phone cases can span visibility across all seasons and age groups, while the relevancy of branded tank tops can be limited to promotions during warmer seasons and to people in warmer regions.
Stay Focused on Quality
Most think that their products have to be loud and in your face to make the biggest impact. That often becomes too salesy and drab for the customers to actually want to use. In reality, products that are high in quality and provide real value make the strongest impression and tend to have high conversions.
The Phoenix Program Merchandise Project consists of the following:
- Unlimited phone & video consultation with athlete
- 12 initial Lifestyle designs
- Initial merchandise scalability with six product categories and 100 product listings
- UPC purchasing and assignability
- Creation of all product listings on athlete website including image creation, descriptions and SEO
- Third-party marketplace set-up and listings including Amazon, Wal-Mart.Com, eBay, Etsy, Wanelo and Houzz