A Look at Merch in 2024

By Rob Mobsby, Director & Head of Digital, EverythingBranded

The last year has been filled with branded apparel – from Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour merch selling out instantly to Netflix opening a brick-and-mortar merch storefront. Will this craze continue into 2024, or did promotional products (merch) peak in 2023? Here are a few key reasons we can rest assured that consumers will stay on the hunt for the latest, hottest items.

Greater lengths for merch

Memories have always been a main motivator for American consumers’ purchasing merch, but recently, we’ve seen consumers go to much greater lengths to get branded merch at events, concerts, and even online drops from favorite creators. In fact, research from earlier this year shows that nearly a third of consumers would purposefully plan to arrive at an event early just to make sure they get the item they want, and almost 20 percent would buy seats at a concert or an event that are close to the merch booth for easy access.

In 2024, we can be rest assured that consumers will stay on the hunt for the latest, hottest items. Demand for promotional products (merch) is on the rise. To leverage this trend, branded apparel players should rethink on the strategies for events and concerts and redefine their engagement with influencers and celebrities.

By Rob Mobsby, Director & Head of Digital, EverythingBranded

Higher quality expectations

Apparel stays number one

While consumers will be going to greater lengths to get merch in 2024, this doesn’t mean consumers will be willing to pay a higher price tag or compromise on quality of products. In today’s viral world, some creators and celebrities have already gotten backlash for poor quality merch (think poor quality fabric on a $65 dollar sweatshirt) across social media platforms. Imagine a fan waiting months to get tour merch from their favorite artist at a high price tag, just for it to feel cheap and not worth their time or money.

At the end of the day, consumers still want and favor apparel over other categories like home goods, accessories, and technology. While influencers and events may try to get creative with product offerings and think outside of the box, the tried and true sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets will always remain on top - 56% of consumers still want apparel over anything else, proving that their memory-driven merch purchases should also be useful products.

While we can’t predict exactly what 2024 will bring, there is no doubt that merch is on the rise. From upcoming events to new influencers and trending celebrities - the hottest trends are right around the corner.

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