When one is asked of brands they can recall, the answer is usually having to do with labels on products, apps we use or big MNCs and their sub-brands. Little do we reflect on how movies have an impact on our subconscious, after all, these are brands too. A new super-hero movie is out and fans can’t stop raving about the story, the super-hero and his or her camaraderie. We emulate them, look up to them and surely identify with the various personas shown.
While pop-culture has always been a part of the society, what’s to be noted is how the trends have changed from collecting vinyl-record covers of beloved musicians to collecting bobble-head figures of one’s favourite movie/TV character. This is a part of brand merchandising, a known branding tool. It might seem like a complicated topic at first, but it is actually another term for a business technique that has been in use for a while now.
Brand merchandising can be simply described as the act of creating an authentic, identifiable company logo and brand identity, and then incorporating this recognizable visual aesthetic on products or services that are used by customers. While some products that use logos are proprietary to a company, many other such products are everyday items that include quality hats, drinkware, premium hoodies, t-shirts, and the like.
While branding is not just all about the product, it’s about your niche and the people in it too. It’s about the way your market, prospects and customers perceive you. This is called niche branding and there has always existed a sector of toy/figure collectors who cherish their collection of characters from movies and comics, from old to new. Some brands thrive in this parallel universe.
A Ferrero product, Kinder Surprise along with such other brands have seemed to monopolise on the fact that there is a market for enthusiasts, not just kids who collect toys and love to collect to have the entire series of it. Disney, Marvel and DC, to name a few, seem to be cashing in on this strategy as much as they can and it seems to be a trend that is here to stay. Whether it’s a Chor-bazaar in Mumbai or Akihabara in Tokyo, those with a bit of passion for the unique and a mindset for owning something specific, always do end up breaking their piggy-bank for the same. The culture of collecting things has been on the rise in cities of Japan while the youth of certain other countries, the Gen-z’s steer clear from the “clutter-culture”. Opinions and perceptions towards a collector’s haven are mixed, but surely it is a niche that some brands have been able to enter and cater to.
Enter into the den of any collector enthusiast, he shall enunciate you the story of each collectible with pleasure and passion. It is this passion that many brands can rely on for keeping their brands and legacy alive.
Reference: What is Brand Merchandising? Posted by Tyler Browning on Jun 13, 2017. Niche Branding – First Step in Branding Success Posted by Scott Scanlon.