Independent musicians do not often realise how band merchandising can help them connect with fans since this is seen as too mainstream or money-hungry. Yes, some additional costs can be covered but the main advantage of being an independent artist is creative control which you will have and make fans happy to have special items with your name.
First of all, find a designer who can bring out your vision. You can get information from other musicians or simply check out designer portfolios online. Art and design students are another option, since you may be able to get a lower cost on designs and you can help them gain exposure too, just make sure the quality is good. Talk things out with your designer regarding the band logo and images that can be used on the merchandise. You can even have polls on your website fan page or Facebook page for fans to vote on designs and items they would like best.
Some common products include t-shirts, badges, caps stickers and most importantly CDs. Do not forget about signed posters as most fans would love to take home something memorable. Other products can include phone cases, shot glasses or even key chains. This is all about expanding your brand and values too. When it comes to the band T-shirt printing in Singapore the band logo would be better than printing name of the band since it is a part of your visual identity. Make sure the fabric quality is durable and pick basic colours like black, white, grey or dark blue in sizes varying from Medium to Extra Large.
Budgets and Promotions
Maintaining a budget is important, since merchandising is meant to cover your costs not increase them. Price the items so that you will get a profit but not end up with annoyed fans who will complain about expensive products and bad quality. For example, selecting screen printing as the T-shirt printing method for your shirts can make a difference. You can have offers on your fan pages such as when someone buys a CD they get free stickers or when they buy a t-shirt and a cap they get a free signed poster.
You can try online merchandising as it gives you an idea of what the fans really need, what flaws you need to work on and which products are fast moving. You can start an online store on the band website and promote items on the Facebook page. During concerts, set up a merchandise table outside the venue and keep your products displayed in an organised and presentable fashion so that people feel encouraged to come up to you. As a band member and artist you can also spend some between at the merchandise table and interact with fans.